Inclusion of Sensitive Information in an Include File
If an include file source is accessible, the file can contain usernames and passwords, as well as sensitive information pertaining to the application and system.
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.
The following code uses an include file to store database credentials:
If the server does not have an explicit handler set for .inc files it may send the contents of database.inc to an attacker without pre-processing, if the attacker requests the file directly. This will expose the database name and password.
Weaknesses in this category are related to the A05 category "Security Misconfiguration" in the OWASP Top Ten 2021.
This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Exposed Data cluster (SFP23).
This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.
This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during implementation.