Talos Vulnerability Report


CloudLinux Inc Imunify360 Ai-Bolit php unserialize vulnerability

November 22, 2021
CVE Number



A php unserialize vulnerability exists in the Ai-Bolit functionality of CloudLinux Inc Imunify360 5.8 and 5.9. A specially-crafted malformed file can lead to potential arbitrary command execution. An attacker can provide a malicious file to trigger this vulnerability.

Tested Versions

CloudLinux Inc Imunify360 5.9
CloudLinux Inc Imunify360 5.8

Product URLs


CVSSv3 Score

8.2 - CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:N


CWE-502 - Deserialization of Untrusted Data


Imunify360 is a comprehensive security platform for web-hosting servers. It combines components for proactive real-time website protection and web server security.

The vulnerability exists inside the Ai-Boilt component of Imunify360. Ai-Boilt is a malware scanner specialized in a website-related files like php/js/html. By default, Ai-Boilt scanner is installed as a service and works with a root privilages:

icewall@ubuntu:~$ systemctl status aibolit-resident.service
● aibolit-resident.service - AibolitResident
	 Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/aibolit-resident.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
	 Active: active (running) since Mon 2021-09-20 05:16:49 PDT; 7s ago
TriggeredBy: ● aibolit-resident.socket
   Main PID: 321911 (php)
	  Tasks: 1 (limit: 9443)
	 Memory: 79.3M
	 CGroup: /system.slice/aibolit-resident.service
			 └─321911 /opt/alt/php-internal/usr/bin/php -n -d short_open_tag=on -d extension=leveldb.so -d extension=posix.so -d extension=json.so -d extension=mbstring.so /opt/ai-bolit/ai-bolit-hoster.php

Sep 20 05:16:49 ubuntu systemd[1]: Started AibolitResident.

To be more precise, a vulnerability is located inside the ai-bolit-hoster.php file and functionality related to deobfuscation. Inside the Deobfuscator class, ai-bolit-hoster.php keeps a list of signatures (regex) representing code patterns generated by common obfuscators.

Line 13821	class Deobfuscator
Line 13822	{
Line 13823		private static $signatures = [
Line    		(...)
Line    			[
Line 14950				'full' => '~function\s(\w{1,50})\((\$\w{1,50})\)\s?{.*?\$\w+\s?=\s?"[^"]+";\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?str_split\(\$\w{1,50}\);\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?array_flip\(\$\w{1,50}\);\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?0;\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?"";\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?preg_replace\("[^"]+",\s?"",\s?\$\w{1,50}\);do\s?{(?:\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\$\w{1,50}\[\$\w{1,50}\[\$\w{1,50}\+\+\]\];){4}\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\(\$\w{1,50}\s?<<\s?2\)\s?\|\s?\(\$\w{1,50}\s?>>\s?4\);\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\(\(\$\w{1,50}\s?&\s?15\)\s?<<\s?4\)\s?\|\s?\(\$\w{1,50}\s?>>\s?2\);\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\(\(\$\w{1,50}\s?&\s?3\)\s?<<\s?6\)\s?\|\s?\$\w{1,50};\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\$\w{1,50}\s?\.\s?chr\(\$\w{1,50}\);if\s?\(\$\w{1,50}\s?!=\s?64\)\s?{\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\$\w{1,50}\s?\.\s?chr\(\$\w{1,50}\);}if\s?\(\$\w{1,50}\s?!=\s?64\)\s?{\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?\$\w{1,50}\s?\.\s?chr\(\$\w{1,50}\);}}\s?while\s?\(\$\w{1,50}\s?<\s?strlen\(\$\w{1,50}\)\);return\s?\$\w{1,50};}\s?.*?function\s(\w{1,50})\(\){\$\w{1,50}\s?=\s?@file_get_contents\(\w{1,50}\(\)\);.*?(\$\w{1,50})\s?=\s?"([^"]{1,20000})";.*?\4\s?=\s?@unserialize\(\1\(\4\)\);.*?(function\s(\w{1,50})\(\$\w{1,50}=NULL\){foreach\s?\(\3\(\)\s?as.*?eval\(\$\w{1,50}\);}}}).*?(\7\(\);)~msi',
Line 14951				'id' => 'decodedFileGetContentsWithFunc',
Line 14952			],	
Line 13829		(...)	
Line 13830			
Line 13831			

When a certain signature (regex) is inside a scanned file, the proper de-obfuscation handler is executed, which tries to pull out essential data from the obuscated code. Let us take a look at the decodedFileGetContentsWithFunc function handler:

Line 20298    private function deobfuscateDecodedFileGetContentsWithFunc($str, $matches)
Line 20299    {
Line 20300        $res = str_replace($matches[6], '', $str);
Line 20301
Line 20302        $resCode = implode(' ', @unserialize(base64_decode($matches[5])));

As we can see at line 20302 there is a call to the unserialize function, which takes as an argument the matched 4th capturing group ( $matches[5] ) of the scanned file. There is no sanitization to check that input data $matches is malicious, which can lead to arbitrary code execution during unserialization. To test this vulnerablity let us create an evil.php file which looks like this:

part of a malicious file

Where to_unserialize == base64_encode( serialize( new Logger() ) ); We will prove that using that attack vector, we are able to execute __destructor of Logger class. To do this, let us add debug info into the ai-bolit-hoster.php script:

Line 1582    public function __destruct()
Line 1583    {
Line 1584        printf("==== CALL INSIDE Logger __destructor\n");


Line 20298    private function deobfuscateDecodedFileGetContentsWithFunc($str, $matches)
Line 20299    {
Line 20300
Line 20301        print("***************\n");
Line 20302        print("TO_UNSERIALIZE :".$matches[5]."\n");
Line 20303        print("****************\n");
Line 20304
Line 20305        $res = str_replace($matches[6], '', $str);	
Line 20306    
Line 20307        $resCode = implode(' ', @unserialize(base64_decode($matches[5])));	

Run scanner on our evil.php:

root@ubuntu:/opt/ai-bolit# /opt/alt/php-internal/usr/bin/php -n -d short_open_tag=on -d extension=leveldb.so -d extension=posix.so -d extension=json.so -d extension=mbstring.so /opt/ai-bolit/ai-bolit-hoster.php --deobfuscate -j /home/icewall/tool/evil.php 
Malware signatures: 6908
Start scanning file '/home/icewall/tool/evil.php'.
100.0% [/home/icewall/tool/evil.php] 1 of 1.                                                                                                                    
TO_UNSERIALIZE :Tzo2OiJMb2dnZXIiOjQ6e3M6MTE6IgAqAGxvZ19maWxlIjtOO3M6NzoiACoAZmlsZSI7TjtzOjEzOiIAKgBkYXRlRm9ybWF0IjtzOjExOiJkLU0tWSBIOmk6cyI7czoxMzoiAExvZ2dlcgBsZXZlbCI7Tjt9
==== CALL INSIDE Logger __destructor
100.0% [/home/icewall/tool/evil.php] 1 of 1.                                                                                                                    
Building report [ mode = 2 ]

Report written to '/opt/ai-bolit/AI-BOLIT-REPORT-_opt_ai-bolit-265386-20-09-2021_13-22.html'.

Building list of vulnerable scripts 0
Building list of shells 0
Building list of js 0
Building list of unread files 0
Scanning complete! Time taken:  1 s

We can see the message coming from __destruct has been printed.


2021-10-01 - Vendor Disclosure
2022-11-22 - Public Release


Discovered by Marcin 'Icewall' Noga of Cisco Talos.