21 Лют, 2024

Insecure object serialization

Insecure object serialization

“Insecure Object Serialization” is a security vulnerability associated with the handling of data in software code, particularly during the process of converting objects into a format that can be easily stored, transmitted, or restored. Serialization is commonly used for purposes such as data transfer over a network or saving objects to files.

The vulnerability arises when insufficient security measures are taken during the serialization or deserialization process, leading to various potential exploits. This can result in attacks such as:

Впровадження коду: Malicious actors may attempt to inject harmful code into serialized objects, which is executed during deserialization. This can lead to the execution of arbitrary code and ultimately compromise the system.

Підробка даних: Attackers might try to alter serialized data to introduce fraudulent information. This can cause incorrect behavior in the program during deserialization, leading to the mishandling of data.

Відмова в обслуговуванні (DoS): Attacks aimed at creating serialized objects of large size or complex structure can overload the system during processing, resulting in a denial of service.

					import pickle  # This example uses the pickle library for serialization and deserialization

class InsecureClass:
    def __reduce__(self):
        # This method is called during object serialization
        # __reduce__ allows specifying a function to be called during deserialization
        return (eval, ("print('Insecure code executed!')",))

# Create an instance of the insecure class
insecure_object = InsecureClass()

# Serialize the object into a string
serialized_data = pickle.dumps(insecure_object)

# Deserialize the data
deserialized_object = pickle.loads(serialized_data)

У цьому прикладі InsecureClass has a __reduce__ method used during object serialization. The method employs the eval function with an argument representing code execution. During deserialization, this function will be executed, leading to the execution of arbitrary code, in this case, printing “Insecure code executed!”.

Scanners that detect vulnerability

Burp Suite:

Опис: A widely-used web application security testing tool.

Приклад: Use Burp Suite’s Scanner to crawl and audit a web application for insecure object serialization vulnerabilities.

OWASP ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy):

Опис: An open-source web application security scanner.

Приклад: Utilize ZAP’s active and passive scanners to identify and report insecure object serialization issues.


Опис: A vulnerability scanner used for network and web application security.

Приклад: Run Nessus scans on a web application to identify vulnerabilities, including insecure object serialization.


Опис: A Ruby script that scans for vulnerable and exploitable third-party web applications.

Приклад: Run Yasuo against a target application to identify insecure object serialization vulnerabilities.


Опис: A penetration testing framework that includes various tools for security testing.

Приклад: Use Metasploit modules to detect serialization issues.

Average CVSS score for Insecure Object Serialization

Assigning an average Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score specifically for insecure object serialization vulnerabilities can be challenging because CVSS scores are typically assigned to individual vulnerabilities rather than broad categories. The CVSS score is influenced by various factors, including the impact, exploitability, and complexity of the vulnerability.

Insecure object serialization vulnerabilities can range from low to high severity, depending on the context, the impact on the application, and the potential for exploitation. Vulnerabilities that allow remote code execution or lead to critical data exposure are generally assigned higher scores.

CWE Information

CWE-502: Deserialization of Untrusted Data:

Опис: This weakness involves the deserialization of data from untrusted sources, leading to security risks if the deserialized data includes malicious content.

Potential Consequences: Remote code execution, data integrity compromise, and other security-related issues.

CWE-915: Improperly Controlled Modification of Dynamically-Determined Object Attributes:

Опис: This weakness involves the modification of object attributes in a way that is not properly controlled, often in dynamically determined ways.

Potential Consequences: Unintended modifications to object attributes, potentially leading to security vulnerabilities.

CWE-916: Use of Password Hash With Insufficient Computational Effort:

Опис: While not directly related to insecure object serialization, this weakness is often associated with the use of weak algorithms in serialization processes, leading to inadequate protection of sensitive information.

Potential Consequences: Weakened security due to the use of inadequate hashing algorithms.

CWE-1130: Improper Neutralization of Special Elements in Output Used by a Downstream Component (‘Injection’):

Опис: This weakness involves improper neutralization of special elements during output generation, which can lead to injection attacks.

Potential Consequences: Remote code execution, injection attacks, and other security risks.

Conclusion and Mitigation

In conclusion, insecure object serialization represents a significant security concern in software development and can lead to severe vulnerabilities if not addressed properly. This vulnerability arises when the serialization and deserialization processes are not implemented securely, allowing attackers to manipulate the serialized data and potentially execute arbitrary code on the target system.

Key points to consider regarding insecure object serialization include:

  1. Risk of Code Injection: Insecure object serialization can open the door to code injection attacks, allowing malicious actors to execute arbitrary code during the deserialization process.

  2. Data Tampering Possibilities: Attackers may tamper with serialized data, leading to unintended and potentially harmful modifications upon deserialization.

  3. Denial of Service (DoS) Concerns: Poorly implemented serialization and deserialization can be exploited to cause resource exhaustion, resulting in denial of service attacks.

  4. Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) Entries: Insecure object serialization is associated with specific CWE entries, such as CWE-502 and CWE-915, highlighting its recognition as a prevalent security weakness.

To mitigate insecure object serialization vulnerabilities, developers should follow secure coding practices, validate and sanitize input data, and use secure serialization libraries. Security testing, including automated tools and manual code reviews, is essential to identify and remediate vulnerabilities in the early stages of software development. Additionally, staying informed about best practices and emerging security threats is crucial for maintaining robust and resilient software systems.

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