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Improper Limitation of a Pathname to a Restricted Directory ('Path Traversal')


Severity High
Score 7.5/10


The filepath package does not recognize paths with a \??\ prefix as special. On Windows, a path beginning with \??\ is a Root Local Device path equivalent to a path beginning with \\?\. Paths with a \??\ prefix may be used to access arbitrary locations on the system. For example, the path \??\c:\x is equivalent to the more common path c:\x. Before fix, Clean could convert a rooted path such as \a\..\??\b into the root local device path \??\b. Clean will now convert this to .\??\b. Similarly, Join(\, ??, b) could convert a seemingly innocent sequence of path elements into the root local device path \??\b. Join will now convert this to \.\??\b. In addition, with fix, IsAbs now correctly reports paths beginning with \??\ as absolute, and VolumeName correctly reports the \??\ prefix as a volume name. UPDATE: Go 1.20.11 and Go 1.21.4 inadvertently changed the definition of the volume name in Windows paths starting with \?, resulting in filepath.Clean(\?\c:) returning \?\c: rather than \?\c:\ (among other effects). The previous behavior has been restored.

  • LOW
  • NONE
  • NONE
  • NONE
  • HIGH
  • NONE

CWE-22 - Path Traversal

Path traversal (or directory traversal), is a vulnerability that allows malicious users to traverse the server's root directory, gaining access to arbitrary files and folders such as application code & data, back-end credentials, and sensitive operating system files. In the worst-case scenario, an attacker could potentially execute arbitrary files on the server, resulting in a denial of service attack. Such an exploit may severely impact the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of an application.


Advisory Timeline

  • Published