Top 10 2014-I2 Insufficient Authentication/Authorization

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Threat Agents Attack Vectors Security Weakness Technical Impacts Business Impacts
Application Specific Exploitability
AVERAGE
Prevalence
COMMON
Detectability
EASY
Impact
SEVERE
Application / Business Specific
Consider anyone who has access to the web interface, mobile interface or cloud interface including internal and external users. Attacker uses weak passwords, insecure password recovery mechanisms, poorly protected credentials or lack of granular access control to access a particular interface. Attack could come from external or internal users. Authentication may not be sufficient when weak passwords are used or are poorly protected. Insufficient authentication/authorization is prevalent as it is assumed that interfaces will only be exposed to users on internal networks and not to external users on other networks. Deficiencies are often found to be present across all interfaces. Many Issues with authentication/authorization are easy to discover when examining the interface manually and can also be discovered via automated testing. Insufficient authentication/authorization can result in data loss or corruption, lack of accountability, or denial of access and can lead to complete compromise of the device and/or user accounts. Consider the business impact of compromised user accounts and possibly devices. All data could be stolen, modified, or deleted. Could your customers be harmed?
Is My Authentication/Authorization Sufficient?

Checking for Insufficient Authentication includes:

  • Attempting to use simple passwords such as "1234" is a fast and easy way to determine if the password policy is sufficient across all interfaces
  • Reviewing network traffic to determine if credentials are being transmitted in clear text
  • Reviewing requirements around password controls such as password complexity, password history check, password expiration and forced password reset for new users
  • Reviewing whether re-authentication is required for sensitive features

Checking for Insufficient Authorization includes:

  • Reviewing the various interfaces to determine whether the interfaces allow for separation of roles. For example, all features will be accessible to administrators, but users will have a more limited set of features available.
  • Reviewing access controls and testing for privilege escalation
How Do I Make My Authentication/Authorization Better?

Sufficient authentication/authorization requires:

  1. Ensuring that the strong passwords are required
  2. Ensuring granular access control is in place when necessary
  3. Ensuring credentials are properly protected
  4. Implement two factor authentication where possible
  5. Ensuring that password recovery mechanisms are secure
  6. Ensuring re-authentication is required for sensitive features
  7. Ensuring options are available for configuring password controls

Please review the following tabs for more detail based on whether you are a Manufacturer, Developer or Consumer

Example Attack Scenarios

Scenario #1: The interface only requires simple passwords.

Username = Bob; Password = 1234

Scenario #2: Username and password are poorly protected when transmitted over the network.

Authorization: Basic YWRtaW46MTIzNA==

In the cases above, the attacker is able to either easily guess the password or is able to capture the credentials as they cross the network and decode it since the credentials are only protected using Base64 Encoding.


References

OWASP

Top 10 2013-A2-Broken Authentication and Session Management

External