Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-48: Passing Local Filenames to Functions That Expect a URL (Version 2.11)  

CAPEC-48: Passing Local Filenames to Functions That Expect a URL

Passing Local Filenames to Functions That Expect a URL
Definition in a New Window Definition in a New Window
Attack Pattern ID: 48
Abstraction: Detailed
Status: Draft
Completeness: Complete
Presentation Filter:
+ Summary

This attack relies on client side code to access local files and resources instead of URLs. When the client browser is expecting a URL string, but instead receives a request for a local file, that execution is likely to occur in the browser process space with the browser's authority to local files. The attacker can send the results of this request to the local files out to a site that they control. This attack may be used to steal sensitive authentication data (either local or remote), or to gain system profile information to launch further attacks.

+ Attack Steps
  1. Identify web application URL inputs: Review application inputs to find those that are designed to be URLs.

    Manually navigate web site pages to identify URLs.

    Use automated tools to identify URLs.

  1. Identify URL inputs allowing local access.: Execute test local commands via each URL input to determine which are successful.

    Manually execute a local command (such as 'pwd') via the URL inputs.

    Using an automated tool, test each URL input for weakness.

  1. Execute malicious commands: Using the identified URL inputs that allow local command execution, execute malicious commands.

    Execute local commands via the URL input.

+ Attack Prerequisites
  • The victim's software must not differentiate between the location and type of reference passed the client software, e.g. browser

+ Typical Severity


+ Typical Likelihood of Exploit

Likelihood: High

+ Methods of Attack
  • API Abuse
  • Modification of Resources
  • Protocol Manipulation
+ Examples-Instances


J2EE applications frequently use .properties files to store configuration information including JDBC connections, LDAP connection strings, proxy information, system passwords and other system metadata that is valuable to attackers looking to probe the system or bypass policy enforcement points. When these files are stored in publicly accessible directories and are allowed to be read by the public user, then an attacker can list the directory identify a .properties file and simply load its contents in the browser listing its contents. A standard Hibernate properties file contains

hibernate.connection.driver_class = org.postgresql.Driver
hibernate.connection.url = jdbc:postgresql://localhost/mydatabase
hibernate.connection.username = username
hibernate.connection.password = password

Even if the attacker cannot write this file, there is plenty of information to leverage to gain further access.

+ Attacker Skills or Knowledge Required

Skill or Knowledge Level: Medium

Attacker identifies known local files to exploit

+ Solutions and Mitigations

Implementation: Ensure all content that is delivered to client is sanitized against an acceptable content specification.

Implementation: Ensure all configuration files and resource are either removed or protected when promoting code into production.

Design: Use browser technologies that do not allow client side scripting.

Implementation: Perform input validation for all remote content.

Implementation: Perform output validation for all remote content.

Implementation: Disable scripting languages such as JavaScript in browser

+ Attack Motivation-Consequences
ScopeTechnical ImpactNote
Read application data
Modify application data
+ Purposes
  • Exploitation
+ CIA Impact
Confidentiality Impact: HighIntegrity Impact: HighAvailability Impact: Low
+ Technical Context
Architectural Paradigms
+ References
[R.48.1] [REF-2] G. Hoglund and G. McGraw. "Exploiting Software: How to Break Code". Addison-Wesley. February 2004.
[R.48.2] [REF-3] "Core Concepts: Attack Patterns". <https://websec.io/2012/11/26/Core-Concepts-Attack-Patterns.html>.
+ Content History
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2014-06-23Internal_CAPEC_Team
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2015-12-07Updated Related_Attack_PatternsInternal
CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation2017-08-04Updated Attack_Phases, Description, Description Summary, ReferencesInternal

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: August 04, 2017