Graphite remote code execution vulnerability advisory

In graphite-web version between 0.9.5 and 0.9.10, a vulnerability exists as a result of unsafe use of the “pickle” module by the product.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2013-5093 to this issue. This is an entry on the CVE  list (, which standardizes names for security problems.

2013-08-06 – Vendor contacted
2013-08-06 – Vendor confirms issue
2013-08-07 – Sent CVE request, CVE-2013-5093 is assigned
2013-08-20 – Graphite 0.9.11 released
2013-08-20 – Advisory released

In graphite-web 0.9.5, a “clustering” feature was introduced to allow for scaling for a graphite setup. This was achieved by passing pickles between servers, and it was introduced in this commit.

The function “renderLocalView”, seen below, takes a request that contains a chart type, and a pickle:

However due to no explicit safety measures having been implemented to limit the types of objects that can be unpickled, this creates a condition where arbitrary code can be executed, as has been documented by Nelson Elhage.

Proof of concept
The proof of concept can be found as a part of the Metasploit Framework graphite_pickle_exec module.