Files or Directories Accessible to External Parties

The product makes files or directories accessible to unauthorized actors, even though they should not be.


Web servers, FTP servers, and similar servers may store a set of files underneath a "root" directory that is accessible to the server's users. Applications may store sensitive files underneath this root without also using access control to limit which users may request those files, if any. Alternately, an application might package multiple files or directories into an archive file (e.g., ZIP or tar), but the application might not exclude sensitive files that are underneath those directories.

In cloud technologies and containers, this weakness might present itself in the form of misconfigured storage accounts that can be read or written by a public or anonymous user.


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.

Example One

The following Azure command updates the settings for a storage account:

az storage account update --name <storage-account> --resource-group <resource-group> --allow-blob-public-access true

However, "Allow Blob Public Access" is set to true, meaning that anonymous/public users can access blobs.

The command could be modified to disable "Allow Blob Public Access" by setting it to false.

az storage account update --name <storage-account> --resource-group <resource-group> --allow-blob-public-access false

Example Two

The following Google Cloud Storage command gets the settings for a storage account named 'BUCKET_NAME':

gsutil iam get gs://BUCKET_NAME

Suppose the command returns the following result:




      "projectEditor: PROJECT-ID",
      "projectOwner: PROJECT-ID"


      "projectViewer: PROJECT-ID"




This result includes the "allUsers" or IAM role added as members, causing this policy configuration to allow public access to cloud storage resources. There would be a similar concern if "allAuthenticatedUsers" was present.

The command could be modified to remove "allUsers" and/or "allAuthenticatedUsers" as follows:

gsutil iam ch -d allUsers gs://BUCKET_NAME
gsutil iam ch -d allAuthenticatedUsers gs://BUCKET_NAME

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Exposed Resource

Weaknesses in this category are related to exposed resource.

OWASP Top Ten 2021 Category A01:2021 - Broken Access Control

Weaknesses in this category are related to the A01 category "Broken Access Control" in the OWASP Top Ten 2021.

Authorization Errors

Weaknesses in this category are related to authorization components of a system. Frequently these deal with the ability to enforce that agents have the required permis...

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during implementation.

Weaknesses Introduced During Design

This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during design.

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