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www.waraxe.us Forum Index -> PhpBB -> A Very Simple Question
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A Very Simple Question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:30 am Reply with quote
lampshade
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Joined: Mar 17, 2006
Posts: 6




Hey guys, Im completely new to this kind of thing and I was just wondering what the phpbb2mysql_sid is used for ? There is a hash in there and every time I grab the Header of my forum, it changes.

Thanks in advance
-Lampshade
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Re: A Very Simple Question
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:54 am Reply with quote
johnny
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Joined: Mar 13, 2006
Posts: 13




lampshade wrote:
Hey guys, Im completely new to this kind of thing and I was just wondering what the phpbb2mysql_sid is used for ? There is a hash in there and every time I grab the Header of my forum, it changes.

Thanks in advance
-Lampshade

phpBB uses sessions to keep track of users as they move between pages. The session information tells us who this user is. Therefore in order to determine what a user can do on a page we first need the session details. Once this data is available we can check whether the user is permitted to do whatever it is they are trying to do.
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Re: A Very Simple Question
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:51 pm Reply with quote
lampshade
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Joined: Mar 17, 2006
Posts: 6




johnny wrote:
phpBB uses sessions to keep track of users as they move between pages. The session information tells us who this user is. Therefore in order to determine what a user can do on a page we first need the session details. Once this data is available we can check whether the user is permitted to do whatever it is they are trying to do.


So this means that the phpBB sid is just a hash that actually stores A User ID ? not the password ? (such a n00b question, sorry ><)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:33 pm Reply with quote
waraxe
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Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2407
Location: Estonia, Tartu




From phpbb 2.0.19 source code, script "sessions.php":

Code:

$session_id = md5(uniqid(mt_rand(), true));


So as you can see, session ID is as random as possible Smile

How this stuff works?

1. User will log in and gives login.php parameters "username" and "password".

2. Login script will compare those strings to database entries and IF and only IF username and password md5 hash matches to database values,
then phpbb will create RANDOM session id and will insert it to database.
This session has bind to specific user account.

3. Session id will be written to cookie and can be spread as GET parameter too ("&sid=blablabla")

4. Now, if logged in user opens forum page, then browser sends to phpbb session ID
through cookie or through GET parameter. Phpbb will search this session id from database.
Positive match will point to user account, who owns that current session id.

Thats all. Session ID-s are not password md5 hashes. You can't crack them, this gives you
nothing. Only thing, you can do, is try to steal session ID and the reuse it by fooling
phpbb to think, that you are other person. As i know, there are programmatic counter
measures against this attack, but who knows ...

Then there is bruteforcing - script can be written, which will try random session id-s
against phpbb and therefore there can be lucky matches Smile
But session id is 32 chars long and probablility of such luck is very small.

One more thing - if there is virtual server with many websites and if apache
installation is unsecured, then may be possible session stealing from temp directory.
This is kind of local sploiting, but can be effective in some cases.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:19 am Reply with quote
lampshade
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Joined: Mar 17, 2006
Posts: 6




Ahh now I understand! Thanks for the reply waraxe, it was very helpful Very Happy !

-Lampshade
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A Very Simple Question
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