How I made $31500 by submitting a bug to Facebook

How did I found SSRF in Facebook — the story of my first bug bounty


Hello World ❤️,

Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world and one of the most widely used. I have always been interested in testing the security of Facebook. During the sub domain enumeration, I’ve got a sub domain which is “https://m-nexus.thefacebook.com/". It redirects me to “https://m-nexus.thefacebook.com/servlet/mstrWebAdmin" observe below screenshot:

I quickly Google keyword mstrWebAdmin and I observed that this is the Business Intelligence Portal that is built on MicroStrategy’s tools:

I confirmed it with a blog:

From the official configuration document for MicroStrategy, I found there are two endpoints which are publicly accessible:

Going further in official configuration document for MicroStrategy, I found that by default, HTTP basic authentication was enabled on Business Intelligence Portal (URL: “https://m-nexus.thefacebook.com/servlet/mstrWeb"), then I observed that “https://m-nexus.thefacebook.com/servlet/taskProc" does not require authentication.

It takes value from “taskId” parameter to perform some custom data collection and content generation. By enumerating pre-built tasks (Using Intruder), I found that each pre-built task checks for a valid authentication session parameter, but “shortURL” task which processes short URL and does not check for a valid authentication session. An attacker can use this observation to access this service without any authentication.

Pre-built tasks enumeration using Burp suite intruder


I started fuzzing on all the parameters mentioned in official document but I didn’t find anything. 😔 Every time it gives me an error message “The source URL is not valid” with status code 500. Then I thought, let’s download the hosted web application and start the source code review. I downloaded an application package of more than 400 MB. There were several scripts and jar files in the package.

Simply I decompiled that jar files using jd-gui tool and started reviewing code. My main target was shortURL task which processes short URL and does not check for a valid authentication session. Finally I found that Java class from a jar file.

Then I came to know why it gives the same error message every time, “srcURL” parameter of the “shortURL” task only takes the URL that is created with “https://tinyurl.com/" for importing data or reading data from that URL. Observe the following code snippet:


Now what? — Let’s Exploit! 💥

Steps to replicate (What I sent to Facebook):

1. Open Burp suite proxy tool and go to the Burp menu and select “Burp Collaborator client”. Generate a Collaborator payload and copy this to the clipboard.