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Mail injection through WebMail applications

This article describes an attack method against Web applications that communicate with mail servers, particularly WebMail applications. Some of the applications that are vulnerable to the mail injection threat can be exploited and forced to send arbitrary commands through e-mail protocols such as IMAP and SMTP. Hopefully, this information will prove useful to auditors and mail server code developers.

Introduction
 
WebMail applications generally use the IMAP and SMTP protocols to communicate with the actual mail servers. That means they act as middle-men between Web browsers and mail servers to execute actions. Sometimes the WebMail interface is used to shield off the server from the Internet, thus being the only way to contact and interact with the mail server from a location outside the local area network, through IMAP. The SMTP service should be available at all times to ensure the e-mail receiving functionality, but an attacker could have authenticated SMTP access through an exploited WebMail interface.

The method consists in crafting special POST variable contents that trick the interface into requesting or providing certain commands or information to the MTA.
 
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