5

There are a lot of requests like this in our logs:

[07/Dec/2015:19:37:03 +0000] "\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\!
x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01\x01" 400 172 "-" "-" "-"

I guess this a security vulnerability, but I could not find with Google. Has anyone else seen this or know what it is?

6
  • 1
    Welcome to wild internet. Someone sends bad request to you and nginx send 400 error code back. It's OK.
    – Alexey Ten
    Dec 8, 2015 at 8:33
  • But you might want to find out IP who send these requests and contact with them to stop it. Or just firewall these request, or do something else
    – Alexey Ten
    Dec 8, 2015 at 8:42
  • Thanks. These are coming from China or Taiwan. We are not worried about these requests, only curious which application's which vulnerability they are trying to exploit. Dec 9, 2015 at 1:32
  • 4
    Directly related on security.se : Server attack with \x01
    – Autar
    Jun 1, 2016 at 13:44
  • This is pretty normal. In the future you can mitigate malicious attacks with tools like fail2ban instead of worrying about manual firewall rules.
    – Signus
    Feb 15, 2017 at 23:28

3 Answers 3

2

It may be an attempt at exploiting a security vulnerability, but there is nothing in that log entry suggesting your server is vulnerable.

The client isn't speaking HTTP. It's just sending a sequence of bytes which all have value 1. If it was HTTP it would be interpreted as ASCII characters, and the 1 byte in ASCII is a rarely used control character, which has no meaning in HTTP.

It could be an attempt to exploit a buffer overflow, but if that's the case it would appear your server rejected the request as invalid before it even got to the malicious payload. On a vulnerable server it is quite likely nothing would have been logged.

The 400 in the log indicates that your server rejected the request as invalid. That's because a stream of 1 bytes isn't a valid HTTP method, and besides it's way too long.

An answer to a related question on a sister site points out that this kind of request may also be an attempt at fingerprinting your server to find out what software it is running.

1

Looks like someone is requesting some shellcode from your webserver.

I'd usually just ignore it, but if it's causing a problem with logging or something, ban them.

Do a quick Whois on their IP address and if it's a university, report it to the abuse@ email with logs ;)

0

Maybe you had set proxy_pass https://upstream; while your upstream server was just listening on http port, if the upstream server was also an nginx server, its access log would be like what you have posted above.

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