Home > CAPEC List > CAPEC-87: Forceful Browsing (Version 3.0)  

CAPEC-87: Forceful Browsing

Attack Pattern ID: 87
Abstraction: Standard
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
An attacker employs forceful browsing to access portions of a website that are otherwise unreachable through direct URL entry. Usually, a front controller or similar design pattern is employed to protect access to portions of a web application. Forceful browsing enables an attacker to access information, perform privileged operations and otherwise reach sections of the web application that have been improperly protected.
+ Likelihood Of Attack

High

+ Typical Severity

High

+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfMeta Attack PatternMeta Attack Pattern - A meta level attack pattern in CAPEC is a decidedly abstract characterization of a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. A meta attack pattern is often void of a specific technology or implementation and is meant to provide an understanding of a high level approach. A meta level attack pattern is a generalization of related group of standard level attack patterns. Meta level attack patterns are particularly useful for architecture and design level threat modeling exercises.115Authentication Bypass
+ Execution Flow
Explore
  1. Spider: Using an automated tool, an attacker follows all public links on a web site. He records all the links he finds. Use a spidering tool to follow and record all links. Use a proxy tool to record all links visited during a manual traversal of the web application.

    Techniques
    Use a spidering tool to follow and record all links.
    Use a proxy tool to record all links visited during a manual traversal of the web application.
Experiment
  1. Attempt well-known or guessable resource locations: Using an automated tool, an attacker requests a variety of well-known URLs that correspond to administrative, debugging, or other useful internal actions. He records all the positive responses from the server. Use a spidering tool to follow and record attempts on well-known URLs. Use a proxy tool to record all links visited during a manual traversal of attempts on well-known URLs.

    Techniques
    Use a spidering tool to follow and record attempts on well-known URLs.
    Use a proxy tool to record all links visited during a manual traversal of attempts on well-known URLs.
Exploit
  1. Use unauthorized resources: By visiting the unprotected resource, the attacker makes use of unauthorized functionality. Access unprotected functions and execute them.

    Techniques
    Access unprotected functions and execute them.
  2. View unauthorized data: The attacker discovers and views unprotected sensitive data. Direct request of protected pages that directly access database back-ends. (e.g., list.jsp, accounts.jsp, status.jsp, etc.)

    Techniques
    Direct request of protected pages that directly access database back-ends. (e.g., list.jsp, accounts.jsp, status.jsp, etc.)
+ Prerequisites
The forcibly browseable pages or accessible resources must be discoverable and improperly protected.
+ Skills Required
[Level: Low]
Forcibly browseable pages can be discovered by using a number of automated tools. Doing the same manually is tedious but by no means difficult.
+ Resources Required
None: No specialized resources are required to execute this type of attack. A directory listing is helpful, but not a requirement.
+ Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the attack pattern. The Scope identifies the security property that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in their attack. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a pattern will be used to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Confidentiality
Read Data
Confidentiality
Access Control
Authorization
Bypass Protection Mechanism
+ Mitigations
Authenticate request to every resource. In addition, every page or resource must ensure that the request it is handling has been made in an authorized context.
Forceful browsing can also be made difficult to a large extent by not hard-coding names of application pages or resources. This way, the attacker cannot figure out, from the application alone, the resources available from the present context.
+ Example Instances

A bulletin board application provides an administrative interface at admin.aspx when the user logging in belongs to the administrators group.

An attacker can access the admin.aspx interface by making a direct request to the page. Not having access to the interface appropriately protected allows the attacker to perform administrative functions without having to authenticate himself in that role.

+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CAPEC Categories and Views that reference this attack pattern as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a attack pattern fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory - A category in CAPEC is a collection of attack patterns based on some common characteristic. More specifically, it is an aggregation of attack patterns based on effect/intent (as opposed to actions or mechanisms, such an aggregation would be a meta attack pattern). An aggregation based on effect/intent is not an actionable attack and as such is not a pattern of attack behavior. Rather, it is a grouping of patterns based on some common criteria.367WASC-34 - Predictable Resource Location
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganization
2014-06-23CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2015-12-07CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns
2017-08-04CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Related_Attack_Patterns, Resources_Required
2018-07-31CAPEC Content TeamThe MITRE Corporation
Updated Attack_Phases, Attacker_Skills_or_Knowledge_Required, Typical_Likelihood_of_Exploit

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Page Last Updated or Reviewed: July 31, 2018