Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-136: LDAP Injection (Version 2.11)  

CAPEC-136: LDAP Injection

LDAP Injection
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 136
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Completeness: Complete
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

An attacker manipulates or crafts an LDAP query for the purpose of undermining the security of the target. Some applications use user input to create LDAP queries that are processed by an LDAP server. For example, a user might provide their username during authentication and the username might be inserted in an LDAP query during the authentication process. An attacker could use this input to inject additional commands into an LDAP query that could disclose sensitive information. For example, entering a * in the aforementioned query might return information about all users on the system. This attack is very similar to an SQL injection attack in that it manipulates a query to gather additional information or coerce a particular return value.

+ Attack Steps
  1. Survey application: The attacker takes an inventory of the entry points of the application.

    Spider web sites for all available links

    Sniff network communications with application using a utility such as WireShark.

  1. Determine user-controllable input susceptible to LDAP injection: For each user-controllable input that the attacker suspects is vulnerable to LDAP injection, attempt to inject characters that have special meaning in LDAP (such as a single quote character, etc.). The goal is to create a LDAP query with an invalid syntax

    Use web browser to inject input through text fields or through HTTP GET parameters

    Use a web application debugging tool such as Tamper Data, TamperIE, WebScarab,etc. to modify HTTP POST parameters, hidden fields, non-freeform fields, or other HTTP header.

    Use modified client (modified by reverse engineering) to inject input.

  2. Try to exploit the LDAP injection vulnerability: After determining that a given input is vulnerable to LDAP Injection, hypothesize what the underlying query looks like. Possibly using a tool, iteratively try to add logic to the query to extract information from the LDAP, or to modify or delete information in the LDAP.

    Add logic to the LDAP query to change the meaning of that command. Automated tools could be used to generate the LDAP injection strings.

    Use a web application debugging tool such as Tamper Data, TamperIE, WebScarab,etc. to modify HTTP POST parameters, hidden fields, non-freeform fields, or other HTTP header.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • The target application must accept a string as user input, fail to sanitize characters that have a special meaning in LDAP queries in the user input, and insert the user-supplied string in an LDAP query which is then processed.

+ Typical Severity


+ Typical Likelihood of Exploit

Likelihood: High

+ Methods of Attack
  • Injection
+ Examples-Instances


PowerDNS before 2.9.18, when running with an LDAP backend, does not properly escape LDAP queries, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (failure to answer ldap questions) and possibly conduct an LDAP injection attack.

Related Vulnerabilities

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: Medium

+ Solutions and Mitigations

Strong input validation - All user-controllable input must be validated and filtered for illegal characters as well as LDAP content.

Use of custom error pages - Attackers can glean information about the nature of queries from descriptive error messages. Input validation must be coupled with customized error pages that inform about an error without disclosing information about the LDAP or application.

+ Attack Motivation-Consequences
ScopeTechnical ImpactNote
DoS: crash / exit / restart
DoS: instability
Modify files or directories
Read files or directories
Modify application data
Read application data
Execute unauthorized code or commands
Run Arbitrary Code
Gain privileges / assume identity
Bypass protection mechanism
+ Injection Vector

User-controllable input used as part of LDAP queries: This may include input fields on web forms, data in user-accessible files or even command-line parameters.

+ Payload

LDAP statement intended to reveal information or run malicious code

+ Activation Zone

Back-end LDAP directory tree

+ Payload Activation Impact

When malicious LDAP content is executed by the LDAP engine, it can lead to arbitrary queries being executed, causing disclosure of information, unauthorized access, privilege escalation and possibly system compromise.

+ Relevant Security Requirements

Special characters in user-controllable input must be escaped before use by the application.

Custom error pages must be used to handle exceptions such that they do not reveal any information about the architecture of the application or the LDAP structure.

+ Purposes
  • Penetration
  • Exploitation
+ CIA Impact
Confidentiality Impact: HighIntegrity Impact: HighAvailability Impact: High
+ Technical Context
Architectural Paradigms
+ References
[R.136.1] [REF-1] "WASC Threat Classification 2.0". WASC-29 - LDAP Injection. The Web Application Security Consortium (WASC). 2010. <http://projects.webappsec.org/LDAP-Injection>.
+ Content History
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2014-06-23Internal_CAPEC_Team

More information is available — Please select a different filter.
Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017