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February 3, 2021

GHSL-2020-241: Arbitrary code execution and shell command injection in getsentry/sentry workflow

Jaroslav Lobacevski

Coordinated Disclosure Timeline


The ‘acceptance.yml’ GitHub workflow is vulnerable to arbitrary code execution and shell command injection.


getsentry/sentry GitHub repository

Tested Version

The latest changeset f325d54 to the date.


Issue 1: Untrusted code is explicitly checked out and run on a Pull Request from a fork

pull_request_target was introduced to allow triggered workflows to comment on PRs, label them, assign people, etc.. In order to make it possible the triggered action runner has read/write token for the base repository and the access to secrets. In order to prevent untrusted code from execution it runs in a context of the base repository.

By explicitly checking out and running build script from a fork the untrusted code is running in an environment that is able to push to the base repository and to access secrets.

      - master
      - releases/**
  # XXX: We are using `pull_request_target` instead of `pull_request` because we want
  # Visual Snapshots to run on forks.  It allows forks to access secrets safely by
  # only running workflows from the main branch. Prefer to use `pull_request` when possible.
  # See for more details
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
        name: Checkout sentry (pull_request_target)
        if: github.event.pull_request.head.ref != ''
          # Note this is required because of `pull_request_target`, which allows
          # forks to access secrets safely by only running workflows from the main branch.
          ref: ${{ github.event.pull_request.head.ref }}
          repository: ${{ github.event.pull_request.head.repo.full_name }}
      - name: Install dependencies
        run: yarn install --frozen-lockfile

      - name: jest
        run: |
          NODE_ENV=production yarn build-css
          yarn test-ci --forceExit


The vulnerability allows for unauthorized modification of the base repository and secrets exfiltration.

Issue 2: The forked branch name is used to format a shell command

The forked branch name is used to format a bash script.

      - name: Get merge base
        if: github.event.pull_request.head.ref != ''
        id: merge-base
        run: |
          echo "::set-output name=sha::$(git merge-base origin/master $)"

This vulnerability allows for arbitrary command injection into the bash script. For a Proof of Concept create a PR from branch named a";echo${IFS}"hello"#.


The injection allows for exfiltration of secrets and the temporary GitHub repository authorization token to the attacker controlled server. Although the token is not valid after the workflow finishes, since the attacker controls the execution of the workflow he or she can delay it to give the malicious server time to modify the repository.


This issue was discovered and reported by GHSL team member @JarLob (Jaroslav Lobačevski).


You can contact the GHSL team at, please include a reference to GHSL-2020-241 in any communication regarding this issue.