Problem With Files Owned By 'nobody' When Uploaded

Aug 4, 2007

I used to have my apache 1.3.37 with PHP compiled as a CGI. Whenever i have a php script (say vbulletin forum software) that allow file uploads, files will be uploaded with the correct userid and groupid on the server. However, once i compiled PHP as ISAPI module, the files will be uploaded but will be owned by 'nobody'. Of course i can log in as root and chown it back to the right user, but it's a hassle if there are multiple user accounts on the server and they're using php software on their end. If someone is using an ftp program and tries to overwrite that uploaded file that's owned by nobody, it will not let them do so. Is there a way to fix this, or change the config files that would fix it?

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I want to filter any files uploaded and i have put this line at php.ini
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Today I was contacted by someone; "Are you the owner of" so I informed that yes, it was my server and they then showed me an email they'd received from my server. I did a search and apparently someone uploaded mail.php and a couple of files it was using to send out spam based upon a variety of conditions that the other files met. The files contained forenames and surnames, it'd use a forename and a surname then send it to popular free mail services. The email contained ramblings about new world order and promoted a website.

How can I find out how they got the files uploaded to the account and what action can I take? I checked the whois for the domain and have their contact information, however it's a large site so I'm doubtful that the owner did it. I don't want my servers IPs being blacklisted for spam :|

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I have been told there is a way to do this but i havent been told how..

Basicaly i want to know if there is something where i can add a list of keywords that are in the malicious files and what ever it is will stop them from being uploaded or if they manage to get uploaded onto my vps will it make them not work?

I am looking into this as i had an issue before where someone uploaded a shell onto my server :@ luckily it didnt cause no damage or he didnt get anywhere but i still want to be safe.

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I've checked the umask that assigned to the shell (022) and have ruled out that as a problem.

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this webhost is your classic insecure VPS here is an chat transcript I sent the tech support



Non-authoritative answer: name = stresa.hostireland.c0m.

Authoritative answers can be found from:

from email from and to website

ictom: eqwrt

You are now speaking with Mitch of Support.

Mitch: Hello, thanks for contacting support how can i
help you

victom: hello

victom: I just called a while ago about phishing site


Mitch: Yes, I belive you were speaking to Anthony

victom: heh ya I ran out of min on my account

Mitch: ok, What i would ask you to do is place a
trouble ticket via PAM and i will forward this to our
senior technicians and admin team for further review

victom: firefox picked it up as a phishing website but
is not so lucky

Mitch: More then likley due to the outdated security fetures in IE6 it is becoming easy to get around it

victom: that and your running some exploitable services on that VPS prob. I use to work for a webhost

victom: trouble ticket via PAM?

Mitch: Are you currently a Host ireland customer?

victom: Hell no I got a spam email from umm hold


Mitch: Ok, So we can track this issue could you please send us an e-mail to

victom: so looks like you got at least 2 owned boxes

victom: sure

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Here are the links ....

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the PHP safe_mode is set to off.

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Does anybody understand what is going on here?

Here is the problem:

I log in to FTP and I try and upload an updated file (the file already exists on server). It prompts me to overwrite and I say yes but when I refresh/check the site the page hasnt changed - I then tried uploading the file again and it still says the existing file size (so I know it hasnt been replace).

Any idea why it it not overwriting?

The files are CHOWNed my the owner (FTP user) which is myself.

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Whenever someone uploads or re-uploads to my server a file relating to a CGI script that sends mail, I get an email with something like:


Note: If this is the first time you received this mail, it contains the history for the entire month so far.

Below are the recently upload scripts that contain code to send email. You may wish to inspect them to ensure they are not sending out SPAM.

/home/xxxxxxx/public_html/followup/send2.php:106: if($sc == "buchanan") {
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/home/xxxxxxx/public_html/followup/send2.php:108: }
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