Admin Tools is notifying me of a PHP exception that occurs within the Weblinks component on Joomla 3.9.6.

I have included the stack trace below for reference. The exception occurs infrequently (about once a week), and the affected weblinks are not being edited within the CMS when the exception occurs.

The server is running PHP 7.2.12 and Apache 2.2.34. Any ideas on why this is happening?

Exception Type: InvalidArgumentException
File: /path/to/domain.ca/html/libraries/src/MVC/Controller/BaseController.php
Line: 291
Message: Invalid controller: name='2f', format=''
#0 /path/to/domain.ca/html/components/com_weblinks/weblinks.php(14): Joomla\CMS\MVC\Controller\BaseController::getInstance('Weblinks')
#1 /path/to/domain.ca/html/libraries/src/Component/ComponentHelper.php(402): require_once('/nfs/c09/h01/mn...')
#2 /path/to/domain.ca/html/libraries/src/Component/ComponentHelper.php(377): Joomla\CMS\Component\ComponentHelper::executeComponent('/nfs/c09/h01/mn...')
#3 /path/to/domain.ca/html/libraries/src/Application/SiteApplication.php(194): Joomla\CMS\Component\ComponentHelper::renderComponent('com_weblinks')
#4 /path/to/domain.ca/html/libraries/src/Application/SiteApplication.php(233): Joomla\CMS\Application\SiteApplication->dispatch()
#5 /path/to/domain.ca/html/libraries/src/Application/CMSApplication.php(196): Joomla\CMS\Application\SiteApplication->doExecute()
#6 /path/to/domain.ca/html/index.php(49): Joomla\CMS\Application\CMSApplication->execute()
#7 {main}
  • Is there any date/time stamps that show when the exception happened? If there is check your raw access log for the same time and look for a URL with %2f and com_weblinks in it. 2f in Hex is a forward slash, '/', so it could be a hack attempt or a misconfigured link in com_weblinks regarding an extra forward slash.
    – Irata
    May 30 '19 at 0:55
  • @mickmackusa Thanks for the tip. My host has removed the access logs for that date, but I will be sure to check it the next time it occurs. May 30 '19 at 16:21
  • [ should have pinged @Irata ]
    – mickmackusa
    May 30 '19 at 22:42
  • A guess: There's a slash ('/') that was improperly escaped. %2f is a slash character. The likely consequence of this guess is: It's not a real request. Someone's attacking you. I see this sort of thing all the time. Someone feeds a string to your server as a request that is meaningless in Joomla terms, but still Joomla tries dutifully to parse it, and crashes out with this sort of exception. On busy servers it happens multiple times per hour.
    – Arlen
    Jun 19 '19 at 20:55
  • @Arlen Thanks for sharing. I am assuming this is the case. The website is only hit once or twice a month. Jun 19 '19 at 21:49

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