16 Feb, 2023

Broken Access Control

Vulnerability Assessment as a Service (VAaaS)

Tests systems and applications for vulnerabilities to address weaknesses.

Broken Access Control refers to a security vulnerability that arises when a system’s access control mechanisms are not properly implemented or enforced. Access control mechanisms are put in place to ensure that only authorized users or entities are able to access certain resources or perform certain actions within a system. When access control is broken, it means that an attacker may be able to gain unauthorized access to resources or perform actions they should not be able to.

This vulnerability can occur in various ways, such as inadequate authentication mechanisms, lack of proper authorization checks, and insecure access controls for sensitive data. Broken access control can have serious consequences, such as data breaches, theft of sensitive information, and unauthorized modifications to system configurations. It is a significant security risk and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent potential attacks.

Example of vulnerable code on different programming languages:


in Java:

				
					// Insecure access control example in Java
public class BankAccount {
    private int balance;
    
    public int getBalance() {
        return balance;
    }
    
    public void setBalance(int balance) {
        this.balance = balance;
    }
}

// Client code
BankAccount account = new BankAccount();
account.setBalance(1000000); // attacker can directly modify the account balance without proper access control

				
			


In the above example, the BankAccount class provides a getBalance method to retrieve the current balance, and a setBalance method to update the balance. However, there is no access control mechanism in place to prevent unauthorized access to the setBalance method. An attacker can easily modify the account balance by directly calling the setBalance method, without proper authentication and authorization checks.

• in Python:

				
					# Insecure access control example in Python
class BankAccount:
    def __init__(self):
        self.balance = 0
        
    def get_balance(self):
        return self.balance
        
    def set_balance(self, balance):
        self.balance = balance

# Client code
account = BankAccount()
account.set_balance(1000000) # attacker can directly modify the account balance without proper access control

				
			


This Python example is similar to the previous Java example. The BankAccount class provides a get_balance method to retrieve the current balance, and a set_balance method to update the balance. However, there is no access control mechanism in place to prevent unauthorized access to the set_balance method.

• in PHP:

				
					// Insecure access control example in PHP
class BankAccount {
    private $balance = 0;
    
    public function getBalance() {
        return $this->balance;
    }
    
    public function setBalance($balance) {
        $this->balance = $balance;
    }
}

// Client code
$account = new BankAccount();
$account->setBalance(1000000); // attacker can directly modify the account balance without proper access control

				
			


This PHP example is also similar to the previous Java and Python examples. The BankAccount class provides a getBalance method to retrieve the current balance, and a setBalance method to update the balance. However, there is no access control mechanism in place to prevent unauthorized access to the setBalance method.

Examples of exploitation Broken Access Control

Example 1: Accessing Sensitive Data

Consider an online store application that stores customers’ personal information such as name, address, and credit card details. If the application has broken access control, an attacker can easily gain access to sensitive data by exploiting the vulnerability. The attacker may use various techniques such as brute-force attacks, session hijacking, or bypassing authentication mechanisms to access the sensitive data. Once the attacker has access to the data, they can steal the information or use it for other malicious purposes, such as identity theft.

Example 2: Modifying Data

In addition to accessing sensitive data, an attacker can also modify data if the application has broken access control. For instance, consider a banking application that allows customers to transfer funds from their accounts to other accounts. If the application has a broken access control, an attacker may be able to modify the destination account or the amount of money being transferred. This could result in unauthorized transfers of funds, leading to financial loss for the bank and its customers.

Example 3: Escalation of Privileges

Another way an attacker can exploit broken access control is by escalating their privileges within the system. This means that an attacker with limited access to the system can gain administrative or superuser privileges, which would allow them to access and modify all resources within the system. For instance, if an application allows users to perform certain actions based on their roles, an attacker with broken access control could modify their user account to gain higher privileges or bypass access control checks.

In summary, broken access control can be exploited in various ways, such as accessing sensitive data, modifying data, and escalating privileges. It is important to implement proper access control mechanisms to prevent such attacks and protect the system and its users.

Privilege escalation techniques for Broken Access Control

Parameter Tampering

Parameter tampering is the process of manipulating parameters used in an HTTP request to bypass access control checks. This technique can be used to escalate privileges by modifying a user’s ID, role, or other attributes to gain access to resources that are otherwise restricted. For instance, an attacker could manipulate the parameters of a request to a web application to gain administrative access or bypass authentication mechanisms.

Forced Browsing

Forced browsing is a technique where an attacker tries to access resources that are not intended to be accessed by guessing or brute-forcing the URL of the resource. This technique is often used to gain access to resources that are not linked to or accessible from the main application. For instance, an attacker could force browse to a URL that provides access to sensitive data or administrative functions.

Session Hijacking

Session hijacking is the process of taking control of a user’s session by stealing their session ID. This technique is often used to bypass authentication mechanisms and gain access to resources that are restricted to a particular user. Once an attacker gains access to a user’s session, they can perform actions on behalf of the user and gain access to resources that are otherwise restricted.

Exploiting Business Logic Flaws

Business logic flaws refer to vulnerabilities in the application’s logic that can be exploited to gain unauthorized access to resources. For instance, an attacker could exploit a flaw in the application’s workflow to bypass access control checks or escalate their privileges. Business logic flaws are often unique to the application and require a thorough understanding of the application’s functionality to be exploited.

Direct Object Reference

Direct Object Reference (DOR) is a technique where an attacker accesses a resource by directly referencing its identifier, without going through the access control mechanisms. This technique is often used to bypass access control checks and gain access to resources that are restricted to a particular user or role. For instance, an attacker could guess or enumerate the identifiers of resources to gain unauthorized access.

General methodology and checklist for Broken Access Control

Methodology:

  1. Identify Access Control Requirements. The first step is to identify the access control requirements of the application, such as which resources require authentication, which users are allowed to access which resources, and which actions are authorized for each user or role. This information can be obtained from the application’s design documents, requirements, or by examining the application itself.

  2. Enumerate Resources. Once the access control requirements have been identified, the next step is to enumerate the resources that are protected by access control mechanisms. This includes web pages, APIs, files, and other resources that are part of the application. This can be done manually by exploring the application or using automated tools to crawl the application.

  3. Identify Access Control Mechanisms. After enumerating the resources, the next step is to identify the access control mechanisms used to protect them. This can include authentication mechanisms such as usernames and passwords, access control lists, role-based access control, or any other access control mechanisms used by the application.

  4. Test for Broken Access Control. Once the access control mechanisms have been identified, the next step is to test for Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. This can be done by attempting to access protected resources without proper authorization, manipulating parameters or headers, performing forced browsing or directory traversal, and exploiting other vulnerabilities that can bypass or escalate access control checks.

  5. Verify Results. After testing for Broken Access Control vulnerabilities, it is important to verify the results and ensure that the identified vulnerabilities are actual security risks. This can be done by testing the vulnerabilities in a controlled environment and validating that the identified security risks can actually be exploited.

  6. Report and Remediate. Finally, any identified Broken Access Control vulnerabilities should be reported to the application owner or development team and remediated as soon as possible. The remediation can include implementing proper access control mechanisms, fixing vulnerabilities, or applying patches or updates to the application.

Checklist:

  1. Identify access control requirements: Understand the application’s access control requirements, such as what resources require authentication and authorization, which users can access which resources, and which actions are authorized for each user or role.

  2. Enumerate resources: Identify all the resources that are protected by access control mechanisms, including web pages, APIs, files, and other resources.

  3. Identify access control mechanisms: Understand the access control mechanisms used to protect resources, including authentication mechanisms, authorization mechanisms, and any other access control mechanisms used by the application.

  4. Test for missing access controls: Attempt to access resources without proper authorization to ensure that access control checks are enforced correctly.

  5. Test for insufficient access controls: Attempt to escalate privileges by manipulating parameters, headers, or other input data to bypass access control checks.

  6. Test for indirect object reference: Attempt to directly access resources by guessing or brute-forcing resource identifiers.

  7. Test for insecure direct object reference: Attempt to access resources by modifying the resource identifier or other parameters to bypass access control checks.

  8. Test for insecure access control methods: Test the security of the access control mechanisms used by the application, such as session management, role-based access control, and access control lists.

  9. Test for bypassing access controls: Attempt to bypass access controls by exploiting other vulnerabilities, such as injection vulnerabilities, file upload vulnerabilities, or other weaknesses in the application’s logic.

  10. Verify results: Verify that identified vulnerabilities are actual security risks by testing them in a controlled environment.

  11. Report and remediate: Report any identified vulnerabilities to the application owner or development team, and remediate them as soon as possible.

Tools set for exploiting Broken Access Control

Manual Tools:

  • Burp Suite – A web application testing tool that allows manual manipulation of requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • Postman – A powerful API development tool that allows manual testing and manipulation of requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities in APIs.

  • Tamper Data – A Firefox browser plugin that allows manual manipulation of requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • Fiddler – A web debugging proxy tool that allows manual interception and manipulation of HTTP requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • OWASP ZAP – An open-source web application security scanner that can be used for both manual and automated testing. It has a powerful proxy feature that allows manual manipulation of requests and responses.

  • Wireshark – A network protocol analyzer that allows manual interception and analysis of network traffic. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities in network protocols.

Automated Tools:

  • Nessus – A vulnerability scanner that can detect and report Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify and exploit vulnerabilities.

  • Acunetix – A web vulnerability scanner that can identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • AppScan – A web application security testing tool that can detect and report Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Netsparker – A web application security scanner that can detect and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Arachni – An open-source web application security scanner that can detect and report Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Skipfish – An automated web application security scanner that can detect and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Wapiti – An open-source web application security scanner that can detect and report Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Vega – An open-source web vulnerability scanner that can identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

  • Nikto – An open-source web server scanner that can detect and report Broken Access Control vulnerabilities. It uses a combination of automated testing and manual verification to identify vulnerabilities.

Browser Plugins:

  • Tamper Chrome – A Google Chrome browser plugin that allows manual manipulation of requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • FoxyProxy – A Firefox and Chrome browser plugin that allows manual interception and manipulation of HTTP requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • HackBar – A Firefox browser plugin that allows manual manipulation of requests and responses. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • XSStrike – A Google Chrome browser plugin that can detect and exploit Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. It can also be used to identify and exploit Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

  • Cookie Editor – A Firefox and Chrome browser plugin that allows manual manipulation of cookies. It can be used to identify and exploit Broken

Average CVSS score of stack Broken Access Control

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is a standardized system used to assess the severity of security vulnerabilities. The CVSS score is based on a scale of 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating more severe vulnerabilities.

Broken Access Control is a common vulnerability that can have varying levels of severity depending on the specific implementation and the extent of the access control weakness. Therefore, the average CVSS score of stack Broken Access Control can vary widely depending on the specific vulnerabilities and their severity.

That being said, in general, Broken Access Control vulnerabilities can range from low severity (with CVSS scores of around 4 or 5) to high severity (with CVSS scores of 9 or 10), depending on the specific context and impact of the vulnerability. Therefore, the average CVSS score of stack Broken Access Control is likely to be somewhere in the mid-range, around 6 or 7. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is only an estimate and the actual average CVSS score can vary widely based on the specific vulnerabilities present in the stack.

The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)

• CWE-285: Improper Authorization: This CWE refers to issues where the system does not properly restrict access to resources or functionality based on a user’s identity or role. This can result in unauthorized access to sensitive information or functionality.

• CWE-732: Insecure Permission Assignment for Critical Resource: This CWE is concerned with the incorrect or insecure assignment of permissions to critical resources. This can result in attackers being able to gain access to sensitive data or functionality, or modify important system configurations.

• CWE-269: Improper Privilege Management: This CWE refers to issues where the system does not properly manage user privileges, such as assigning excessive privileges or failing to remove privileges when they are no longer needed. This can result in unauthorized access to sensitive information or functionality.

• CWE-276: Incorrect Default Permissions: This CWE is concerned with default permissions that are set on a system or application that are too permissive, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive data or functionality.

• CWE-732: Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical Resource with Insufficient Authorization: This CWE refers to issues where permissions are assigned to a critical resource, but the system fails to properly check the authorization of the user making the request.

• CWE-269: Weaknesses in Authentication Mechanisms: This CWE is concerned with weaknesses in the authentication process, such as weak passwords or authentication bypass vulnerabilities. These weaknesses can allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or functionality.

• CWE-732: Insecure Permission Assignment for Critical Resource with Unintended Authorization: This CWE refers to issues where permissions are assigned to a critical resource, but the system fails to properly check that the user is authorized to access that resource.

• CWE-269: Missing or Incomplete Access Control: This CWE is concerned with the absence or incomplete implementation of access control mechanisms, which can allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or functionality.

• CWE-732: Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical Resource with Unintended Authorization: This CWE is similar to the previous one, but it specifically refers to issues where the user is not authorized to access a critical resource.

• CWE-285: Insufficient Authorization: This CWE is similar to CWE-285, but it specifically refers to issues where the system does not properly restrict access to resources or functionality.

• CWE-285: Improper Access Control: This CWE is similar to CWE-285 and refers to issues where the system does not properly enforce access control policies.

• CWE-306: Missing Authentication for Critical Function: This CWE refers to issues where a critical function or resource is not properly protected by an authentication mechanism, which can allow attackers to gain unauthorized access.

Top 10 CVES related to Broken Access Control

• CVE-2023-22471 – Deck is a kanban style organization tool aimed at personal planning and project organization for teams integrated with Nextcloud. Broken access control allows a user to delete attachments of other users. There are currently no known workarounds. It is recommended that the Nextcloud Deck app is upgraded to 1.6.5 or 1.7.3 or 1.8.2.

• CVE-2022-45475 – Tiny File Manager version 2.4.8 allows an unauthenticated remote attacker to access the application’s internal files. This is possible because the application is vulnerable to broken access control.

• CVE-2022-45369 – Auth. (subscriber+) Broken Access Control vulnerability in Plugin for Google Reviews plugin <= 2.2.2 on WordPress.

• CVE-2022-45353 – Broken Access Control in Betheme theme <= 26.6.1 on WordPress.

• CVE-2022-45172 – An issue was discovered in LIVEBOX Collaboration vDesk before v018. Broken Access Control can occur under the /api/v1/registration/validateEmail endpoint, the /api/v1/vdeskintegration/user/adduser endpoint, and the /api/v1/registration/changePasswordUser endpoint. The web application is affected by flaws in authorization logic, through which a malicious user (with no privileges) is able to perform privilege escalation to the administrator role, and steal the accounts of any users on the system.

• CVE-2022-45066 – Auth. (subscriber+) Broken Access Control vulnerability in WooSwipe WooCommerce Gallery plugin <= 2.0.1 on WordPress.

• CVE-2022-43844 – IBM Robotic Process Automation for Cloud Pak 20.12 through 21.0.3 is vulnerable to broken access control. A user is not correctly redirected to the platform log out screen when logging out of IBM RPA for Cloud Pak. IBM X-Force ID: 239081.

• CVE-2022-42461 – Broken Access Control vulnerability in miniOrange’s Google Authenticator plugin <= 5.6.1 on WordPress.

• CVE-2022-42460 – Broken Access Control vulnerability leading to Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) in Traffic Manager plugin <= 1.4.5 on WordPress.

• CVE-2022-41839 – Broken Access Control vulnerability in WordPress LoginPress plugin <= 1.6.2 on WordPress leading to unauth. changing of Opt-In or Opt-Out tracking settings.

Broken Access Control exploits

Object reference manipulation: This type of exploit involves manipulating object references to access unauthorized resources or functionality. For example, an attacker may manipulate the URL parameters in a web application to access another user’s data.

Parameter tampering: This type of exploit involves manipulating input parameters to a web application to gain unauthorized access to sensitive resources or functionality. For example, an attacker may modify a query parameter in a URL to access restricted data.

Direct object reference: This type of exploit involves manipulating direct object references to access unauthorized resources or functionality. For example, an attacker may modify the ID parameter in a URL to access another user’s data.

Forced browsing: This type of exploit involves manually or programmatically traversing through the directory structure of a web application to gain unauthorized access to sensitive resources or functionality. For example, an attacker may use a web spider tool to crawl through a website and identify unprotected resources.

Horizontal privilege escalation: This type of exploit involves an attacker elevating their privilege level within the same role or user group to gain access to unauthorized resources or functionality. For example, an attacker may modify a URL parameter to impersonate a different user and gain access to their data.

Vertical privilege escalation: This type of exploit involves an attacker elevating their privilege level to gain access to sensitive resources or functionality beyond their authorized level. For example, an attacker may modify a URL parameter to access administrative functions or data.

Practicing in test for Broken Access Control

Identify the scope of the test:
Determine the scope of the test, including the systems and applications that will be tested, the types of users and roles that will be examined, and the level of access that each user or role should have.

Map out the authorization model:
Map out the authorization model of the system or application under test, including the roles, permissions, and access controls that are in place.

Test for direct object references:
Test for direct object references by manipulating IDs and parameters to access resources that should be restricted.

Test for vertical and horizontal privilege escalation:
Test for vertical and horizontal privilege escalation by attempting to elevate privileges within a user group or impersonate other users.

Test for forced browsing:
Test for forced browsing by manually or programmatically browsing through the directory structure of the application to identify unprotected resources.

Test for parameter tampering:
Test for parameter tampering by modifying input parameters to access unauthorized resources or functionality.

Test for broken session management:
Test for broken session management by attempting to hijack an active session or replay a session ID to access unauthorized resources.

Test for insufficient authentication and access control:
Test for insufficient authentication and access control by attempting to access resources or functionality without the proper authentication or authorization.

Document and report findings:
Document any findings and report them to the appropriate parties, including developers, security teams, and management.

Verify remediation:
Verify that any vulnerabilities have been remediated before retesting.

For study Broken Access Control

  1. OWASP: The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) provides a wealth of information on web application security, including Broken Access Control. Their website offers free resources such as testing guides, cheat sheets, and secure coding practices.

  2. NIST: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers resources on security and privacy, including guidelines for securing web applications against Broken Access Control.

  3. SANS: The SANS Institute provides training and certifications in various aspects of information security, including web application security and Broken Access Control.

  4. Books: There are many books available on web application security, some of which specifically cover Broken Access Control. “Web Application Security, A Beginner’s Guide” by Bryan Sullivan and Vincent Liu, and “The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto are popular options.

  5. Online courses: Online platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, and edX offer various courses on web application security, including Broken Access Control.

  6. Conferences: Attending conferences and events focused on web application security can provide valuable insights and networking opportunities. Examples include the OWASP AppSec conferences and the SANS Security Summits.

Books with review of Broken Access Control

“Web Application Security, A Beginner’s Guide” by Bryan Sullivan and Vincent Liu: This book provides an overview of web application security, including Broken Access Control, and offers guidance on how to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.

“The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto: This book covers a wide range of web application security topics, including Broken Access Control, and provides practical guidance on how to identify and exploit such vulnerabilities.

“Real-World Bug Hunting: A Field Guide to Web Hacking” by Peter Yaworski: This book provides an overview of various web application security vulnerabilities, including Broken Access Control, and offers real-world examples and guidance on how to find and exploit them.

“Secure Coding in C and C++” by Robert Seacord: This book focuses on secure coding practices for C and C++ programming languages, including techniques for preventing Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

“Threat Modeling: Designing for Security” by Adam Shostack: This book provides guidance on how to perform threat modeling for web applications, including identifying and addressing potential Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

“The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications” by Michal Zalewski: This book covers a wide range of web application security topics, including Broken Access Control, and provides practical guidance on how to secure modern web applications.

“OWASP Testing Guide v4” by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP): This guide provides an overview of web application security testing, including testing for Broken Access Control vulnerabilities, and offers practical guidance and tools for performing such testing.

“Black Hat Python: Python Programming for Hackers and Pentesters” by Justin Seitz: This book focuses on using Python programming language to perform security testing, including testing for Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

“The Art of Software Security Assessment: Identifying and Preventing Software Vulnerabilities” by Mark Dowd, John McDonald, and Justin Schuh: This book provides an overview of software security assessment, including identifying and preventing Broken Access Control vulnerabilities.

“Professional Penetration Testing: Creating and Operating a Formal Hacking Lab” by Thomas Wilhelm: This book provides guidance on how to perform professional penetration testing, including testing for Broken Access Control vulnerabilities, and offers practical advice on creating and operating a formal hacking lab.

List of payloads Broken Access Control

IDOR (Insecure Direct Object Reference) payloads:
These payloads can be used to manipulate a web application’s data, for example, by changing the ID parameter in a URL to access resources or data that should be restricted.

Session hijacking payloads:
These payloads can be used to take over a user’s session by stealing their session ID or authentication token, allowing an attacker to perform actions on the web application as if they were the legitimate user.

Parameter tampering payloads:
These payloads can be used to modify input parameters in requests to the web application, bypassing access controls and allowing an attacker to access resources or data that should be restricted.

Privilege escalation payloads:
These payloads can be used to elevate a user’s privileges on the web application, for example, by adding the user to an administrative group or changing their role to grant additional access.

Forced browsing payloads:
These payloads can be used to access resources or data that should be restricted by guessing or brute-forcing the URL or parameter values.

Directory traversal payloads:
These payloads can be used to navigate to directories or files outside of the web application’s root directory, allowing an attacker to access files that should be restricted.

Path traversal payloads:
These payloads can be used to navigate to files or resources by manipulating the path parameter in requests to the web application, bypassing access controls and allowing an attacker to access resources or data that should be restricted.

How to be protected from Broken Access Control

  1. Access controls should be implemented on both the client and server side of the application. Client-side controls can be bypassed, so server-side controls are essential.

  2. Use an access control mechanism that is appropriate for the type of resource being protected. For example, role-based access control (RBAC) is appropriate for controlling access to features and functions of the application, while attribute-based access control (ABAC) may be better suited for controlling access to sensitive data.

  3. Implement access controls early in the development process, and test them thoroughly to ensure they work as expected.

  4. Use a principle of least privilege, where users are granted only the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks.

  5. Enforce separation of duties, where no one user has access to all of the application’s sensitive functions or data.

  6. Use strong authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication, to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

  7. Implement encryption for sensitive data in transit and at rest, to protect against data theft and unauthorized access.

  8. Use secure coding practices to ensure that the application is not vulnerable to injection attacks or other types of vulnerabilities that could be exploited to bypass access controls.

  9. Implement monitoring and logging to detect unauthorized access attempts, and have an incident response plan in place in case a breach occurs.

  10. Regularly review and update access controls to ensure that they continue to meet the changing needs of the application and its users.

Mitigations for Broken Access Control

  1. Implement proper access controls: Ensure that access controls are implemented on both the client and server side of the application, and use an appropriate access control mechanism that is appropriate for the type of resource being protected.

  2. Use a principle of least privilege: Ensure that users are granted only the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks.

  3. Enforce separation of duties: Ensure that no one user has access to all of the application’s sensitive functions or data.

  4. Use strong authentication mechanisms: Implement strong authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication, to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

  5. Implement encryption: Use encryption to protect sensitive data in transit and at rest.

  6. Use secure coding practices: Use secure coding practices to ensure that the application is not vulnerable to injection attacks or other types of vulnerabilities that could be exploited to bypass access controls.

  7. Conduct regular code reviews: Conduct regular code reviews to identify and fix potential vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

  8. Use automated testing tools: Use automated testing tools to identify potential vulnerabilities in the application.

  9. Implement monitoring and logging: Implement monitoring and logging to detect unauthorized access attempts, and have an incident response plan in place in case a breach occurs.

  10. Educate users: Educate users on the importance of good security practices, such as using strong passwords, avoiding phishing attacks, and being cautious when downloading or installing software.

Conclusion

Broken Access Control is a critical security vulnerability that can have severe consequences if not properly mitigated. Attackers can gain access to sensitive data or functionality that should be restricted to specific users or roles, leading to data breaches, system compromises, and other security incidents. To prevent Broken Access Control vulnerabilities, it is essential to implement a strong access control model, proper input validation and sanitization, and regular monitoring and auditing of access logs. By following these best practices, organizations can greatly reduce the risk of Broken Access Control vulnerabilities and maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their systems and data.

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