I've come across Twitto, which basically is a web framework that fits in a tweet. It is so short that I can post the code here :

require __DIR__.'/c.php';
if (!is_callable($c = @$_GET['c'] ?: function() { echo 'Woah!'; }))
  throw new Exception('Error');

It basically searches for a file named c.php and calls whatever function in that files that is the same name as $_GET['c'].

On the project's website, there is a big red banner at the bottom of the page that reads :


I am no PHP guru, but to me it looks like if you take all the precautions you normally take with a standard PHP site (sanitizing user input, etc), it should be secure enough ?

What is wrong with this tiny framework ?

EDIT : I understand why this framework is not secure AS-IS, but with the proper bootstrapping and validation checks and everything inside the function you call, it should be just as secure as any other framework ?


2 Answers 2


This is not secure, since it allows to run any function available on your system.

It's difficult to find a good example of a function which will cause too much harm, since, for example, PHP doesn't have a magic "format my server" parameterless function. Still:


for example will display everything about your system to a hacker. Pretty nice, isn't it?

In the same way, you may add some parameterless functions to your app, without expecting them to be called by the end users. For example:

  • DisplayUsersInfo() flushes the information about the users, including the sensitive data,

  • ShowAdminTab(TAB_USERS) shows the users tab in the administration panel by calling DisplayUsersInfo.

The ShowAdminTab($tab) is called only after authentication and other means which protect the administration panel from unauthorized access. Fine. Then somebody calls twitto.php?c=DisplayUsersInfo. No authentication required.


I'ts because of this:

The "Hello World!" controller is now accessible at /twitto.php?c=hello_world.

Anybody can execute your PHP SERVER SIDE code from any browser! (With a simple HTTP GET)!

EDIT I'm pretty sure this call any standard PHP function, Not just the ones in the C.php file, how can you secure that?

  • The function is called without any parameters... I can't think of anything harmful that could be done with a standard PHP function that takes no parameters Mar 15, 2012 at 20:27
  • @CollinHockey Look at the Code, where is checking if the function called exists in the c.php file? Its just executing whatever is passed in.
    – Morons
    Mar 15, 2012 at 20:28
  • @Morons: It is executing whatever is passed id but without any parameters. Give me a standard PHP function that can break something which does not require any argument. Mar 15, 2012 at 20:32
  • 3
    What about this? php.net/manual/en/function.apache-child-terminate.php
    – Morons
    Mar 15, 2012 at 20:44
  • @Morons I didn't even think of that before. I wasn't thinking about built-ins, but only about the explicitly included files.
    – Collin
    Mar 15, 2012 at 20:49

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