QRadar RssFeedItem Server-Side Request Forgery vulnerability


The RssFeedItem class of the QRadar web application is used to fetch and parse RSS feeds. No validation is performed on the user-supplied RSS feed URL. Due to the lack of URL validation (whitelisting), it is possible for authenticated attackers to execute Server-Side Request Forgery attacks. Using this issue it is possible to call the Apache Axis AdminService webservice in order to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the Tomcat user.

See also

CVE-2020-4294 6189663 - IBM QRadar SIEM is vulnerable to Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) (CVE-2020-4294)

Tested versions

This issue was successfully verified on QRadar Community Edition version (7.3.1 Build 20180723171558).


IBM has released the following versions of QRader in which this issue has been resolved:


QRadar is IBM's enterprise SIEM solution. A free version of QRadar is available that is known as QRadar Community Edition. This version is limited to 50 events per second and 5,000 network flows a minute, supports apps, but is based on a smaller footprint for non-enterprise use.

The RssFeedItem class of the QRadar web application is used to fetch and parse (and cache) RSS feeds. The class is exposed in the JSON-RPC interface via the qradar.getRssFeedItem method. This method can be called by any authenticated user, no special privileges are required. RSS feeds are fetched using the Apache Commons HttpClient class, no validation is performed on the user-supplied URL. Due to the lack of URL validation (whitelisting), it is possible for authenticated attackers to execute Server-Side Request Forgery attacks.


Authenticated users can trigger the Server-Side Request Forgery vulnerability by making a JSON-RPC call with the method set to qradar.getRssFeedItem. This call is mapped to com.q1labs.qradar.ui.dashboard.RssFeedItem.getRssFeedItem() and takes one parameter named feedURL. Any valid URL can be passed to this method.


public class RssFeedItem extends DashboardItem {
	public static DashboardItem getRssFeedItem(PageContext pageContext, String feedURL) throws Exception {
		sessionContext = RequestUtils.getSessionContext((HttpServletRequest)pageContext.getRequest());
		RssFeedItem cachedItem = (RssFeedItem)feedCache.get(feedURL);
		cachedItem = null;
		if (cachedItem == null || System.currentTimeMillis() - cachedItem.lastUpdateTime >= 600000L) {
			cachedItem = new **RssFeedItem(pageContext, feedURL)**;
			feedCache.put(feedURL, cachedItem);
		return cachedItem;

No validation is done on the user-supplied URL, it is directly passed to HttpClient that will try to make a GET request to this URL. This behavior allows for Server-Side Request Forgery. The returned HTTP response is parsed as RSS feed. If the response isn't a valid RSS feed, an error is returned to the user. Due to this it is not possible to read the HTTP response, however the GET request is still executed. By abusing this vulnerability it is possible for an authenticated attacker to make GET requests to services that are normally not accessible, including webservices of QRadar that can only be accessed from the local machine.


public RssFeedItem(PageContext pageContext, String rssURLString) {
	GetMethod getMethod = null;
	Locale locale = LocaleUtil.getLocale((HttpServletRequest)pageContext.getRequest());
	try {
		getMethod = **new GetMethod(rssURLString)**;
		HttpClient client = new HttpClient();
		ISessionContext sessionContext = RequestUtils.getSessionContext((HttpServletRequest)pageContext.getRequest());
		UIAutoupdateService autoupdateService = UIAutoupdateService.getInstance();
		String proxyHost = autoupdateService.getSetting(sessionContext, "proxy_server");
		String proxtPortString = autoupdateService.getSetting(sessionContext, "proxy_port");
		int proxyPort;
		try {
			proxyPort = client.executeMethod(getMethod);
			this.log.debug("Proxy request successful.");
		} catch (Exception var29) {
			this.log.warn("Proxy request failed. Falling back to default HTTP request.");
			if (StringUtils.isNotEmpty(client.getHostConfiguration().getProxyHost())) {
				client = new HttpClient();
				proxyPort = client.executeMethod(getMethod);

The QRadar web application is deployed with Apache Axis version 1.2 to expose a number of SOAP services. The AdminService webservice is enabled, which allows deploying and undeploying of webservices. The enableRemoteAdmin option is set to false, meaning that the webservice can only be called from localhost. By abusing the Server-Side Request Forgery vulnerability it is possible to call the AdminService webservice and execute arbitrary code.

Proof of concept

A detailed write-up on how to exploit the Apache Axis AdminService webserice to run arbitrary code can be found in the article Oracle PeopleSoft Remote Code Execution: Blind XXE to SYSTEM Shell from Charles Fol. Since QRadar uses Apache Axis 1.2, the same technique can be used against QRadar. In this case the code will be executed as the Tomcat user, which in most cases is the nobody user. The proof of concept code is listed below, when successful a JSP shell will be created at /opt/qradar/webapps/console/core/jsp/DisplayException.jsp.

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