Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a legacy application running with the following link:

After installing this on a new server it fails with 403 Forbidden error.

I think the server is thinking it's a Directory Traversal Attack. What module could be causing this?


share|improve this question

migrated from Sep 26 '11 at 23:00

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

What does Apache say in it's error_log? Also, do you now have everything in a vhost, so that ../../user is not in the scope of the vhost anymore? – Alexander Janssen Sep 26 '11 at 18:42
I am getting the error_log. I don't actually have access to the server so it's kind of hard. – Grapes Sep 29 '11 at 20:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

mod_security can cause this. Also, you may not have DirectoryIndex configured properly or do not grant the appropriate permissions in the containing <Directory></Directory> block.

share|improve this answer
I've resolved the issue by adding a whitelist mod_sec rule. – Grapes Sep 30 '11 at 15:25

If you are trying to pass _tag parameter with value ../../user, replace / with %2F. Without URL encoding, apache tries to give you content of %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/?_tag=../../user directory, which does not exist.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.