26 Лют, 2024

Insufficient protection against brute-force attacks

Insufficient Protection Against Brute-Force Attacks refers to a  security vulnerability where a system lacks adequate measures to prevent or mitigate brute-force attempts. Brute-force attacks involve systematically trying all possible combinations of usernames, passwords, or other authentication credentials until the correct one is found. Here’s a detailed description of this vulnerability:

Authentication Weakness:

Target: Brute-force attacks typically target authentication mechanisms, such as login credentials, API keys, or encryption keys.

Insufficient Protection: Systems may lack proper safeguards to detect and respond to repeated, rapid login attempts, making them vulnerable to brute-force attacks.

Credential Guessing:

Attack Method: Attackers use automated tools to systematically guess usernames and passwords.

Insufficient Protection: Inadequate protection mechanisms allow attackers to attempt a large number of combinations without being detected or impeded.

Potential Consequences:

Несанкціонований доступ: Successful brute-force attacks can lead to unauthorized access to user accounts, sensitive information, or secured systems.

Account Lockout: In the absence of protective measures, repeated login attempts may not trigger account lockout or temporary access restrictions.

Common Causes:

Weak Password Policies: Systems may not enforce strong password policies, allowing users to choose easily guessable passwords.

Lack of Account Lockout: Absence of account lockout mechanisms allows attackers to make multiple login attempts without consequence.

Ineffective Rate Limiting: Poorly implemented rate-limiting measures may not effectively slow down or block repeated login attempts.

Mitigation Strategies:

Account Lockout Policies:

Implement account lockout mechanisms that temporarily restrict access after a certain number of failed login attempts.

Consider progressive lockout policies, increasing the lockout duration after multiple failed attempts.

Rate Limiting:

Enforce rate limiting on login attempts, preventing rapid successive requests from the same IP address or user account.

Implement exponential backoff strategies to increase delay after each unsuccessful attempt.

Strong Password Policies:

Enforce strong password policies, requiring a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Encourage regular password updates and discourage the use of easily guessable passwords.

Багатофакторна аутентифікація (MFA):

Implement MFA to add an additional layer of security, even if login credentials are compromised.

Logging and Monitoring:

Monitor logs for patterns indicative of brute-force attacks and implement alerts for suspicious activities.

Regularly review logs to detect and respond to unauthorized access attempts.

					def login(username, password):
    # Simulated user database
    user_database = {'user1': 'password123', 'user2': 'securePass'}

    # Check if the provided username exists
    if username in user_database:
        # Check the password; no protection against brute-force
        if password == user_database[username]:
            return "Login successful"
            return "Incorrect password"
        return "User not found"

In this example:

The system validates the password without any restriction on the number of login attempts.

An attacker can repeatedly call the login function with different passwords until finding the correct one.

Scanners that detect vulnerability


Опис: Hydra is a versatile and fast password-cracking tool that supports various protocols.

Приклад: Use Hydra to perform brute-force attacks on login forms, testing the system’s resistance to repeated login attempts.

Burp Suite:

Опис: Burp Suite is a comprehensive web application security testing tool.

Приклад: Employ Burp Suite to automate and analyze brute-force attacks on login pages, checking for rate limiting and account lockout mechanisms.


Опис: Fail2Ban is a log-parsing application that protects against various attacks, including brute-force attacks.

Приклад: Set up Fail2Ban to monitor authentication logs and dynamically block IP addresses with repeated failed login attempts.


Опис: Patator is an open-source brute-force password cracker.

Приклад: Use Patator to test weak or easily guessable passwords and evaluate the system’s resistance to brute-force attacks.


Опис: Wfuzz is a web application security testing tool designed for brute-forcing web applications.

Приклад: Employ Wfuzz to perform dictionary attacks on login forms, testing the effectiveness of password policies and account lockout mechanisms.

Average CVSS score

Assigning an average Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score specifically for “Insufficient Protection Against Brute-Force Attacks” is challenging because CVSS scores are typically assigned to individual vulnerabilities rather than broader categories. The CVSS score for a vulnerability is influenced by various factors, including the impact, exploitability, and complexity of the specific vulnerability.

CWE information

CWE-307: Improper Restriction of Excessive Authentication Attempts:

Опис: This weakness involves insufficient protection against brute-force attacks due to a lack of restrictions on the number of authentication attempts.

Potential Consequences: Unauthorized access, account compromise, and system vulnerabilities.

CWE-521: Слабкі вимоги до паролю:

Опис: This weakness involves the use of weak password policies that make it easier for attackers to succeed in brute-force attacks.

Potential Consequences: Increased likelihood of successful brute-force attacks, leading to unauthorized access.

CWE-799: Improper Control of Interaction Frequency:

Опис: This weakness involves not properly controlling the frequency or rate of interactions, allowing attackers to perform brute-force attacks more easily.

Potential Consequences: Increased risk of successful brute-force attacks due to the absence of rate limiting.

CWE-943: Excessive Repeated Authentication Attempts:

Опис: This weakness involves an attacker making excessive repeated authentication attempts to compromise authentication mechanisms.

Potential Consequences: Unauthorized access, account lockouts, and increased risk of successful brute-force attacks.

CWE-326: Недостатня надійність шифрування:

Опис: This weakness involves the use of inadequate encryption strength in protecting sensitive information, making it easier for attackers to break encryption during brute-force attacks.

Potential Consequences: Compromise of sensitive data through successful brute-force attacks.

Conclusion and Mitigation

Insufficient protection against brute-force attacks poses a significant security risk by allowing attackers to systematically attempt authentication credentials until they find the correct ones. This vulnerability can lead to unauthorized access, compromised user accounts, and potential security breaches. Addressing this issue is crucial to maintain the integrity and security of authentication mechanisms.

Key Points:

Authentication Weakness: Insufficient protection often manifests as a lack of proper controls on the number of login attempts, enabling attackers to conduct brute-force attacks.

Automated Attacks: Brute-force attacks are often automated, leveraging tools to iteratively guess passwords or authentication credentials.

Consequences: Successful brute-force attacks can result in unauthorized access, compromised user accounts, and potential exposure of sensitive information.

Mitigation Strategies:

Account Lockouts:

Implement account lockout mechanisms that temporarily lock user accounts after a certain number of failed login attempts.

Rate Limiting:

Introduce rate limiting to restrict the number of login attempts within specific time intervals, making automated attacks less effective.

Password Policies:

Enforce strong password policies, including complexity requirements, to increase the difficulty of successful brute-force attacks.

Багатофакторна аутентифікація (MFA):

Implement multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security beyond passwords, making it more challenging for attackers.

Monitoring and Alerts:

Implement monitoring mechanisms to detect and alert on suspicious login activities, allowing for timely responses to potential attacks.

User Education:

Educate users about the importance of strong passwords, the risks of weak credentials, and security best practices to prevent falling victim to attacks.

Security Testing:

Conduct regular AMAZON WEB SERVICES, including Пентест and vulnerability assessment, to identify and address vulnerabilities related to brute-force attacks.

IP Whitelisting:

Consider implementing IP whitelisting to allow access only from trusted IP addresses, reducing the attack surface for brute-force attempts.

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