Directory traversal vulnerability while serving static content

Who should read this

All Struts 2 developers

Impact of vulnerability

Read access to server filesystem resources (under certain application server environments)

Maximum security rating



Developers should upgrade to a minimum of Struts 2.0.12 or Struts 2.1.6

Affected Software

Struts 2.0.0 -

Struts 2.1.0 - 2.1.2

Original JIRA Ticket



Csaba Barta and László Tóth, PricewaterhouseCoopers

CVE IdentifierCVE-2008-6505


The Struts2 dispatcher logic by design allows to serve certain static resources found in the classpath of the web application for request URIs having a context relative path starting with "/struts/".

FilterDispatcher (in 2.0) and DefaultStaticContentLoader (in 2.1) have a security vulnerability that allows an attacker to traverse the directory structure and download files outside the "static" content folder, using double-encoded urls and relative paths, like:



Although not all container are vulnerable to this, the Struts2 dispatcher logic has to prevent access to static content outside the static resource folders.


As of Struts 2.0.12, the dispatcher logic was improved to correctly decode and normalize the request path before checking if static content serving applies for a given request.

You can obtain Struts 2.0.12 as a drop in replacement for Struts to get the fixed Struts 2 core library.

Within the Struts 2.1.x branch, upgrade to at least Struts 2.1.6.

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