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Top 10 2014-I1 Insecure Web Interface

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Threat Agents Attack Vectors Security Weakness Technical Impacts Business Impacts
Application Specific Exploitability
Application / Business Specific
Consider anyone who has access to the web interface including internal and external users. Attacker uses weak default credentials, captures plain-text credentials or enumerates accounts to access the web interface. Attack could come from external or internal users. An insecure web interface can be present when issues such as account enumeration, lack of account lockout or weak admin credenitals are present. Insecure web interfaces are prevalent as the intent is to have these interfaces exposed only on internal networks, however threats from the internal users can be just as significant as threats from external users. Issues with the web interface are easy to discover when examining the interface manually along with automated testing tools to identify other issues such as cross-site scripting. Insecure web interfaces can result in data loss or corruption, lack of accountability, or denial of access and can lead to complete device takeover. Consider the business impact of poorly secured web interfaces that could lead to compromised devices along with compromised customers. Could your customers be harmed? Could your brand be harmed?
Is My Web Interface Secure?

The simplest way to find out if you have an insecure web interface is to review the initial setup process and determine if the username, password or both can be changed and if the password is required to be long and complex.

Attempting to set usernames to have simple passwords such as "1234" is a fast and easy way to determine the initial security posture of the web interface. Manual testing can help a security analyst find instances where weak passwords are allowed, default credentials are not required to be changed or account enumeration is possible. Testing can validate these issues by enumerating usernames and conducting brute-force attacks against those usernames.

Automated scanning can also reveal issues such as cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery and sql injection.

How Do I Make My Web Interface Secure?

A secure web interface requires:

  1. Default passwords and ideally default usernames to be changed during initial setup.
  2. Ensuring complex password construction is required.
  3. Ensuring web interface is not susceptible to XSS, SQLi or CSRF.
  4. Ensuring credentials are not exposed in internal or external network traffic.
Example Attack Scenarios

Scenario #1: The web interface uses easily guessable default usernames and passwords.

Username = Admin; Password = password

Scenario #2: Username and password in the clear over the network.

POST /login.htm HTTP/1.1 ... userid=admin&pass=pass

In the cases above, the attacker is able to either easily guess the username and password or is able to capture the username and password as it crosses the network.