Password Plaintext Storage

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This is a Vulnerability. To view all vulnerabilities, please see the Vulnerability Category page.


Abstract

Storing a password in plaintext may result in a system compromise.

Description

Password management issues occur when a password is stored in plaintext in an application's properties or configuration file. A programmer can attempt to remedy the password management problem by obscuring the password with an encoding function, such as base 64 encoding, but this effort does not adequately protect the password.

Storing a plaintext password in a configuration file allows anyone who can read the file access to the password-protected resource. Developers sometimes believe that they cannot defend the application from someone who has access to the configuration, but this attitude makes an attacker's job easier. Good password management guidelines require that a password never be stored in plaintext.

Examples

The following code reads a password from a properties file and uses the password to connect to a database.

	...
	Properties prop = new Properties();
	prop.load(new FileInputStream("config.properties"));
	String password = prop.getProperty("password");
	
	DriverManager.getConnection(url, usr, password);
	...

Related Threats

Related Attacks

Related Vulnerabilities

Related Countermeasures

Password Management Countermeasure

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