Exposure of WSDL File Containing Sensitive Information

The Web services architecture may require exposing a Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) file that contains information on the publicly accessible services and how callers of these services should interact with them (e.g. what parameters they expect and what types they return).


An information exposure may occur if any of the following apply:

The WSDL file is accessible to a wider audience than intended.

The WSDL file contains information on the methods/services that should not be publicly accessible or information about deprecated methods. This problem is made more likely due to the WSDL often being automatically generated from the code.

Information in the WSDL file helps guess names/locations of methods/resources that should not be publicly accessible.


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 WSDL for a service providing information on the best price of a certain item exposes the following method: float getBestPrice(String ItemID) An attacker might guess that there is a method setBestPrice (String ItemID, float Price) that is available and invoke that method to try and change the best price of a given item to their advantage. The attack may succeed if the attacker correctly guesses the name of the method, the method does not have proper access controls around it and the service itself has the functionality to update the best price of the item.

See Also

Comprehensive Categorization: Sensitive Information Exposure

Weaknesses in this category are related to sensitive information exposure.

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.

SFP Secondary Cluster: Other Exposures

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Other Exposures cluster.

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.

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