HawkScan Test Info for Server Side Include

Server Side Include


Plugin Id: 40009 | CWE: 97


To mitigate the vulnerability of Server Side Include (SSI) commands being executed due to certain parameters, the following steps can be taken:

  1. Input validation: Validate and sanitize all user-supplied input to ensure that it does not contain any SSI commands. This can be done by implementing strict input validation routines and using secure coding practices.

  2. Disable SSI: If SSI is not required for the application, it is recommended to disable it completely. This can be achieved by removing or commenting out the relevant configuration directives in the server configuration file. For example, in Apache HTTP Server, the following line can be added to the .htaccess file or the server configuration file to disable SSI:

    Options -Includes
  3. Use server-side scripting languages: Instead of relying on SSI, consider using server-side scripting languages like PHP, Python, or Ruby, which provide more control over the execution of code and can help prevent the execution of arbitrary commands.

  4. Regular security updates: Keep the server software and all related components up to date with the latest security patches. This helps to address any known vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of exploitation.


Server Side Include (SSI) is a feature provided by web servers that allows the inclusion of external files or the execution of commands within HTML pages. It is commonly used to dynamically include common content, such as headers or footers, into multiple web pages. However, if not properly configured or validated, it can be vulnerable to attacks.

The vulnerability occurs when certain parameters are not properly validated, allowing an attacker to inject SSI commands into user-supplied input. This can lead to the execution of arbitrary code or the disclosure of sensitive information, such as database connection details.


The risks associated with the Server Side Include vulnerability include:

  • Arbitrary code execution: An attacker can inject malicious SSI commands that can be executed by the server, leading to the execution of arbitrary code. This can result in the compromise of the server, unauthorized access to sensitive data, or the installation of malware.

  • Database connection disclosure: If the SSI commands allow the inclusion of external files, an attacker can potentially include files that contain sensitive information, such as database connection details. This can provide the attacker with unauthorized access to the database and the ability to manipulate or extract data.

  • Server compromise: Exploiting the Server Side Include vulnerability can lead to the compromise of the entire server. Once the attacker gains control over the server, they can use it as a platform for launching further attacks, distributing malware, or conducting other malicious activities.

It is crucial to address this vulnerability to prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and potential damage to the server and its associated resources.