Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification
A Community Resource for Identifying and Understanding Attacks
An adversary searches for and invokes APIs that the target system designers did not intend to be publicly available. If these APIs fail to authenticate requests the attacker may be able to invoke functionality they are not authorized for.
To an extent, Google services (such as Google Maps) are all well-known examples. Calling these services, or extending them for one's own (perhaps very different) purposes is as easy as knowing they exist. Their unencumbered public use, however, is a purposeful aspect of Google's business model. Most organizations, however, do not have the same business model. Organizations publishing services usually fall back on thoughts that Attackers "will not know services exist" and that "even if they did, they wouldn't be able to access them because they're not on the local LAN." Simple threat modeling exercises usually uncovers simple attack vectors that can invalidate these assumptions.
Skill or Knowledge Level: Low
A number of web service digging tools are available for free that help discover exposed web services and their interfaces. In the event that a web service is not listed, the attacker does not need to know much more in addition to the format of web service messages that he can sniff/monitor for.
No special resources are required in order to conduct these attacks. Web service digging tools may be helpful.
Probing techniques should often follow normal means of identifying services. Attackers will simply have to execute code that sends the appropriate interrogating SOAP messages to suspected UDDI services (in web-services scenarios). Attackers will likely want to detect and query the organization's SOA Registry.
Probing techniques become more difficult when the service isn't advertised, or doesn't leverage discovery frameworks such as UDDI or the WS-I standard. In these cases, sniffing network traffic may suffice, depending on whether or not discovery occurs over a protected channel.
Authenticating both services and their discovery, and protecting that authentication mechanism simply fixes the bulk of this problem. Protecting the authentication involves the standard means, including: 1) protecting the channel over which authentication occurs, 2) preventing the theft, forgery, or prediction of authentication credentials or the resultant tokens, or 3) subversion of password reset and the like.
Authenticate every request or message to a service
Do not rely on lack of discoverability to protect privileged functions within the service
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