# Directory Traversal Analyzer PRO

Category Severity Time To Fix
🛡️ Security ⚠️ Critical 10 minutes

Class: Enlightn\EnlightnPro\Analyzers\Security\DirectoryTraversalAnalyzer

# Introduction

This analyzer scans your application code for possible directory traversal vulnerabilities.

A directory traversal attack aims to access files and directories that are stored outside the web root folder by manipulating variables that reference files with “dot-dot-slash (../)” sequences and its variations or by using absolute file paths.

Consider the following code:

use Illuminate\Http\Request;

public function downloadDocument(Request $request)
    return response()->download(storage_path('/').$request->input('filename'));

The above code is vulnerable to directory traversal attacks. If the user provides a filename such as ../../../../etc/passwd, then the user may gain access to your /etc/passwd file depending on your application's root path.

Other examples of vulnerable code include:

use Illuminate\Filesystem\Filesystem;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

(new Filesystem())->get($request->input('path'));
(new Filesystem())->copy($request->input('path'), 'sometarget');

# How To Fix

# Option 1: Using Basename

The best way to fix this is to use the basename function, if the directory path is pre-determined (not variable):


# Option 2: Validating Path Using Realpath

If the directory path can have sub-directories, you can use the realpath function instead and validate that it belongs to the intended directory:

use Illuminate\Support\Str;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;

public function downloadDocument(Request $request)
    $path = realpath(storage_path('somedir/'.$request->input('path')));
    if (! Str::startsWith($path, storage_path())) {
    return response()->download($path);


realpath converts the directory to a real path without any ../. Just using realpath will not protect your application. You will need to validate the result of the realpath function as above. This analyzer, however, will not result in a failure if you are using the realpath function as it assumes that you are using it to validate the path.

# PHP Secure Configuration Settings

For even more security, you may set the doc_root and open_basedir PHP configuration settings to your application root directory. This limits the files that can be accessed by PHP to the specified directory. Be sure to check out the PHP documentation on these configuration settings (listed below in the references section).


Using open_basedir will disable the realpath cache. This may adversely impact your application performance.

# Live Demo of Directory Traversal Vulnerability

Here's a Laravel Playground gist (opens new window) to demonstrate a live demo of the vulnerability.

# References