Insufficiently Protected Credentials
The product transmits or stores authentication credentials, but it uses an insecure method that is susceptible to unauthorized interception and/or retrieval.
The following examples help to illustrate the nature of this weakness and describe methods or techniques which can be used to mitigate the risk.
Note that the examples here are by no means exhaustive and any given weakness may have many subtle varieties, each of which may require different detection methods or runtime controls.
This code changes a user's password.
While the code confirms that the requesting user typed the same new password twice, it does not confirm that the user requesting the password change is the same user whose password will be changed. An attacker can request a change of another user's password and gain control of the victim's account.
The following code reads a password from a properties file and uses the password to connect to a database.
This code will run successfully, but anyone who has access to config.properties can read the value of password. If a devious employee has access to this information, they can use it to break into the system.
The following code reads a password from the registry and uses the password to create a new network credential.
This code will run successfully, but anyone who has access to the registry key used to store the password can read the value of password. If a devious employee has access to this information, they can use it to break into the system
Both of these examples verify a password by comparing it to a stored compressed version.
Because a compression algorithm is used instead of a one way hashing algorithm, an attacker can recover compressed passwords stored in the database.
The following examples show a portion of properties and configuration files for Java and ASP.NET applications. The files include username and password information but they are stored in cleartext.
This Java example shows a properties file with a cleartext username / password pair.
The following example shows a portion of a configuration file for an ASP.Net application. This configuration file includes username and password information for a connection to a database but the pair is stored in cleartext.
Username and password information should not be included in a configuration file or a properties file in cleartext as this will allow anyone who can read the file access to the resource. If possible, encrypt this information.
In 2022, the OT:ICEFALL study examined products by 10 different Operational Technology (OT) vendors. The researchers reported 56 vulnerabilities and said that the products were "insecure by design" [REF-1283]. If exploited, these vulnerabilities often allowed adversaries to change how the products operated, ranging from denial of service to changing the code that the products executed. Since these products were often used in industries such as power, electrical, water, and others, there could even be safety implications.
Multiple vendors used cleartext transmission or storage of passwords in their OT products.
Weaknesses in this category are related to access control.
Weaknesses in this category are related to the A04 "Insecure Design" category in the OWASP Top Ten 2021.
Weaknesses in this category are related to the A2 category in the OWASP Top Ten 2017.
This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.
CWE entries in this view are listed in the 2020 CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses.
CWE entries in this view are listed in the 2021 CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses.