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09/05/2011

Mitigating the Apache Range Header DoS on Ubuntu Apache 2.2

If you are running apache 2.2 (the current version in Ubuntu Server on my recently created VM being 2.2.17) and you wish to mitigate your web server against exploitation by the Apache Range Header Denial of Service vulnerability and the killapache exploit, below is the mitigation steps that worked best for me.

Ubuntu's Apache 2 implementation utilizes httpd.conf for user specific server configuration changes. The mitigation suggestion from the Apache Software Foundation that had the most favorable impact was scrubbing the Range Header if an incoming request contains more than 5 ranges within that specific request. Please note that this fix may not help with future versions of the exploit.

The workaround makes use of mod_headers, which, on a stock ubuntu server apache2 installation, is not enabled. You can enable it using the command line:

sudo a2enmod headers

Once that is complete, modify your servers httpd.conf and add the following directives:

SetEnvIf Range (?:,.*?){5,5} bad-range=1
RequestHeader unset Range env=bad-range

If you want to enable logging of hosts sending you those range requests, modify the configuration file for your virtual server—if you add it to the httpd.conf, the log file will get created but nothing will get logged. For example, if you are using the instance, modify the /etc/apache2/sites-available/default configuration file and add the following line somewhere that makes sense:

CustomLog /var/log/apache2/range-CVE-2011-3192.log common env=bad-range

That's all you need to do. Pretty straightforward workaround but hopefully a more formal fix will be made available by the Ubuntu Server team soon.

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