06 Mar, 2023

Insecure Resource Management

Vulnerability Assessment as a Service (VAaaS)

Tests systems and applications for vulnerabilities to address weaknesses.

Insecure Resource Management refers to a category of software vulnerabilities that arise from improper handling or management of system resources such as memory, files, sockets, and other resources. This type of vulnerability can allow an attacker to access or manipulate resources in a way that was not intended by the software’s developers. Common examples of insecure resource management include buffer overflows, memory leaks, file path traversal, and race conditions. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers to execute arbitrary code, cause denial of service, or gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. It is important for software developers to implement secure resource management practices to mitigate the risk of such vulnerabilities.

Example of vulnerable code on different programming languages:


in C/C++:

				
					#include <string.h>

void foo(char *input) {
    char buf[10];
    strcpy(buf, input);
    // ...
}

				
			


In this example, if the input string is longer than the buf array (10 bytes), it will cause a buffer overflow vulnerability. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability by providing a string that is longer than 10 bytes, which can overwrite adjacent memory locations and potentially execute arbitrary code.

• in Java:

				
					import java.io.*;

public class FileExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
        String filename = args[0];
        File file = new File(filename);
        FileInputStream fis = new FileInputStream(file);
        // ...
    }
}

				
			


In this example, if an attacker provides a filename with “..” or “../” in the path, it can lead to a file path traversal vulnerability, allowing the attacker to read or modify files outside of the intended directory.

• in Python:

				
					import os

filename = "/tmp/myfile"
if not os.path.exists(filename):
    os.system("touch " + filename)
os.system("echo 'secret data' >> " + filename)

				
			


In this example, if multiple instances of this script are run simultaneously, a race condition vulnerability can occur. The os.path.exists() call and the os.system() call are not atomic, so one instance of the script may create the file, while another instance of the script can modify the file before the first instance writes to it. This can lead to a data race, allowing an attacker to potentially access or modify the data being written to the file.

Examples of exploitation Insecure Resource Management

Buffer overflow exploitation:

In a buffer overflow attack, an attacker provides an input that is longer than the buffer size and overwrites adjacent memory locations with their own data or code. This can lead to arbitrary code execution, where the attacker can execute any code they want on the vulnerable system.

For example, an attacker may exploit a buffer overflow vulnerability in a web application’s input field by providing a long input string that overflows the buffer and overwrites the program counter with an address that points to the attacker’s malicious code. The attacker’s code will then be executed with the same privileges as the vulnerable program.

File path traversal exploitation:

In a file path traversal attack, an attacker provides a filename with “..” or “../” in the path, which allows them to access files outside of the intended directory.

For example, an attacker may exploit a file path traversal vulnerability in a web application’s file upload functionality by providing a filename with “../” in the path, which allows them to access sensitive files on the server. The attacker can then read or modify the contents of these files, potentially gaining access to sensitive data.

Race condition exploitation:

In a race condition attack, an attacker takes advantage of the non-atomicity of multiple operations to modify or access resources in a way that was not intended by the software’s developers.

For example, an attacker may exploit a race condition vulnerability in a multi-threaded application by modifying a resource that another thread is accessing at the same time. This can lead to unexpected behavior, such as data corruption, denial of service, or privilege escalation.

Privilege escalation techniques for Insecure Resource Management

  1. Exploiting buffer overflow vulnerabilities to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges: In this technique, an attacker exploits a buffer overflow vulnerability to execute their own code with elevated privileges. The attacker’s code may contain instructions to grant additional privileges to the attacker, such as by modifying the system’s user account database or installing a backdoor.

  2. Exploiting file path traversal vulnerabilities to access sensitive files: In this technique, an attacker exploits a file path traversal vulnerability to access sensitive files, such as system configuration files or user credentials. The attacker can then use this information to escalate their privileges, such as by gaining access to a privileged user account or by modifying system settings.

  3. Exploiting race condition vulnerabilities to modify system resources: In this technique, an attacker exploits a race condition vulnerability to modify system resources in a way that was not intended by the software’s developers. For example, the attacker may modify the permissions on a sensitive file or change the configuration of a system service to grant themselves additional privileges.

  4. Exploiting memory corruption vulnerabilities to gain control of a running process: In this technique, an attacker exploits a memory corruption vulnerability, such as a buffer overflow, to gain control of a running process. The attacker can then modify the process’s memory to grant themselves additional privileges, such as by changing the process’s user ID or executing code with elevated privileges.

General methodology and checklist for Insecure Resource Management

Methodology:

  1. Identify the resources used by the application: The first step in testing for insecure resource management vulnerabilities is to identify the resources used by the application. This may include memory buffers, file handles, network sockets, and database connections.

  2. Review the code and design of the application: Once the resources have been identified, review the code and design of the application to determine how the resources are managed. Look for potential vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows, file path traversal, and race

  3. Test the application with various inputs: Use a variety of inputs to test the application’s handling of resources. This may include testing for boundary conditions, such as input strings that are longer than the allocated buffer size, or file names with “..” or “../” in the path.

  4. Test the application’s error handling and recovery mechanisms: Test the application’s error handling and recovery mechanisms to ensure that the application gracefully handles errors and fails safely when resources are not available or are misused.

  5. Use automated tools to assist in testing: There are a variety of automated tools that can assist in testing for insecure resource management vulnerabilities, such as static analysis tools, fuzzing tools, and dynamic analysis tools.

  6. Verify the effectiveness of mitigation measures: After vulnerabilities have been identified, verify the effectiveness of mitigation measures, such as input validation, access controls, and error handling mechanisms.

  7. Test in a realistic environment: Finally, test the application in a realistic environment that simulates the production environment, including network conditions, server configurations, and user behavior.

Checklist:

  1. Identify all resources used by the application, including memory buffers, file handles, network connections, and database connections.

  2. Review the code and design of the application to identify potential vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows, file path traversal, and race conditions.

  3. Test the application with various inputs to ensure that it can handle a range of input values, including boundary conditions.

  4. Verify that the application’s error handling and recovery mechanisms are working as expected.

  5. Use automated tools, such as static analysis, fuzzing, and dynamic analysis tools, to assist in testing for insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  6. Verify that access controls are implemented correctly and are limiting access to sensitive resources.

  7. Verify that all resources are being released correctly after use.

  8. Verify that the application is not leaving sensitive data in memory or on disk after use.

  9. Verify that the application is not leaking sensitive information over the network.

  10. Verify that the application is not vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks, such as resource exhaustion or memory leaks.

  11. Test the application in a realistic environment that simulates the production environment, including network conditions, server configurations, and user behavior.

Tools set for exploiting Insecure Resource Management

Manual Tools:

  • Burp Suite: A web application testing tool that allows testers to intercept, analyze, and modify HTTP requests and responses.

  • IDA Pro: A disassembler and debugger for reverse engineering compiled software.

  • GDB: A debugger for analyzing and debugging compiled software.

  • Wireshark: A network protocol analyzer for capturing and analyzing network traffic.

  • Metasploit Framework: A penetration testing tool that includes modules for exploiting a wide variety of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • SQLMap: An automated tool for testing SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications.

  • Nmap: A network exploration and security auditing tool that includes modules for scanning for open ports and vulnerabilities.

  • OpenSSL: A library for implementing SSL and TLS protocols that includes tools for testing SSL/TLS vulnerabilities.

Automated Tools:

  • Nessus: A vulnerability scanner that can identify a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • OpenVAS: An open-source vulnerability scanner that includes plugins for testing a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • Retire.js: A browser plugin for identifying outdated and vulnerable JavaScript libraries in web applications.

  • OWASP ZAP: An open-source web application security testing tool that includes modules for identifying and exploiting a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • Arachni: An open-source web application scanner that includes modules for testing a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • Skipfish: An automated web application scanner that includes modules for testing a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • Nikto: A web server scanner that includes modules for testing a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • AppScan: A web application security testing tool that includes modules for identifying and exploiting a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • Acunetix: A web application security testing tool that includes modules for identifying and exploiting a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • Vega: A web application scanner and testing platform that includes modules for identifying and exploiting a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

  • sqlninja: An automated tool for exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities in web applications.

  • Wfuzz: A web application scanner that includes modules for testing a wide range of vulnerabilities, including insecure resource management vulnerabilities.

The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)

• CWE-639: Inadequate Access Control for Critical Resources: This CWE refers to situations where access controls are not properly implemented for resources that are critical to the security of a system or application, such as administrative functions or sensitive data.

• CWE-732: Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical Resource: This CWE refers to situations where incorrect permissions are assigned to critical resources, allowing unauthorized access or modification of those resources.

• CWE-250: Execution with Unnecessary Privileges: This CWE refers to situations where code is executed with unnecessary privileges, which can increase the attack surface and make it easier for attackers to gain unauthorized access to resources.

• CWE-732: Incorrect Permission Assignment for an Existing Resource: This CWE refers to situations where permissions are incorrectly assigned to an existing resource, allowing unauthorized access or modification of that resource.

• CWE-602: Client-Side Enforcement of Server-Side Security: This CWE refers to situations where security controls are enforced on the client side instead of the server side, which can be bypassed by attackers.

• CWE-327: Use of a Broken or Risky Cryptographic Algorithm: This CWE refers to situations where a weak or broken cryptographic algorithm is used, which can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to resources.

• CWE-798: Use of Hard-coded Credentials: This CWE refers to situations where credentials are hard-coded in code, making it easier for attackers to gain unauthorized access to resources.

• CWE-434: Unrestricted Upload of File with Dangerous Type: This CWE refers to situations where files are uploaded without proper validation, allowing attackers to upload malicious files that can be executed on the server.

• CWE-276: Incorrect Default Permissions: This CWE refers to situations where default permissions are set too permissive, allowing unauthorized access to resources.

• CWE-611: Improper Restriction of XML External Entity Reference: This CWE refers to situations where XML external entities are not properly validated, allowing attackers to execute XML-related attacks such as XXE (XML External Entity) injection.

Top 10 CVES related to Insecure Resource Management

• CVE-2023-23689 – Dell PowerScale nodes A200, A2000, H400, H500, H600, H5600, F800, F810 integrated hardware management software contains an uncontrolled resource consumption vulnerability. This may allow an unauthenticated network host to impair built-in hardware management functionality and trigger OneFS data protection mechanism causing a denial of service.

• CVE-2023-21759 – Windows Smart Card Resource Management Server Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability.

• CVE-2022-45218 – Human Resource Management System v1.0.0 was discovered to contain a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability. This vulnerability is triggered via a crafted payload injected into an authentication error message.

• CVE-2022-43759 – A Improper Privilege Management vulnerability in SUSE Rancher, allows users with access to the escalate verb on PRTBs to escalate permissions for any -promoted resource in any cluster. This issue affects: SUSE Rancher Rancher versions prior to 2.5.17; Rancher versions prior to 2.6.10.

• CVE-2022-43318 – Human Resource Management System v1.0 was discovered to contain a SQL injection vulnerability via the stateedit parameter at /hrm/state.php.

• CVE-2022-43317 – A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in /hrm/index.php?msg of Human Resource Management System v1.0 allows attackers to execute arbitrary web scripts or HTML via a crafted payload.

• CVE-2022-43262 – Human Resource Management System v1.0 was discovered to contain a SQL injection vulnerability via the password parameter at /hrm/controller/login.php.

• CVE-2022-4279 – A vulnerability classified as problematic has been found in SourceCodester Human Resource Management System 1.0. Affected is an unknown function of the file /hrm/employeeview.php. The manipulation of the argument search leads to cross site scripting. It is possible to launch the attack remotely. The exploit has been disclosed to the public and may be used. The identifier of this vulnerability is VDB-214776.

• CVE-2022-4278 – A vulnerability was found in SourceCodester Human Resource Management System 1.0. It has been rated as critical. This issue affects some unknown processing of the file /hrm/employeeadd.php. The manipulation of the argument empid leads to sql injection. The attack may be initiated remotely. The exploit has been disclosed to the public and may be used. The associated identifier of this vulnerability is VDB-214775.

• CVE-2022-4273 – A vulnerability, which was classified as critical, has been found in SourceCodester Human Resource Management System 1.0. This issue affects some unknown processing of the file /hrm/controller/employee.php of the component Content-Type Handler. The manipulation of the argument pfimg leads to unrestricted upload. The attack may be initiated remotely. The exploit has been disclosed to the public and may be used. The identifier VDB-214769 was assigned to this vulnerability.

Insecure Resource Management exploits

  • Local File Inclusion (LFI): is a type of vulnerability where an attacker can include a local file into a server-side script, allowing them to read sensitive files or execute arbitrary code.

  • Remote File Inclusion (RFI): is a type of vulnerability where an attacker can include a remote file into a server-side script, allowing them to execute arbitrary code.

  • Path Traversal: is a type of vulnerability where an attacker can access files and directories outside of the intended directory, potentially allowing them to read sensitive files or execute arbitrary code.

  • Arbitrary File Upload: is a type of vulnerability where an attacker can upload a file to a server, potentially allowing them to execute arbitrary code or access sensitive files.

  • Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR): is a type of vulnerability where an attacker can access and manipulate objects or resources that should not be directly accessible, potentially allowing them to read or modify sensitive data.

  • Shellshock: is a vulnerability in the Bash shell that allows attackers to execute arbitrary code by injecting commands into environment variables.

  • Heartbleed: is a vulnerability in OpenSSL that allows attackers to read sensitive data from a server’s memory, potentially including usernames, passwords, and private keys.

  • Apache Struts Remote Code Execution: is a framework for building web applications. A vulnerability in Struts can allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on a server.

  • Drupalgeddon: is a vulnerability in Drupal, a popular content management system. The vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on a server.

  • ImageTragick: is a vulnerability in the ImageMagick image processing library that allows attackers to execute arbitrary code by manipulating image files.

Practicing in test for Insecure Resource Management

File Inclusion Testing: Test for Local File Inclusion (LFI) and Remote File Inclusion (RFI) vulnerabilities by attempting to include files on the server that should not be accessible, such as sensitive configuration files or password databases.

Path Traversal Testing: Test for Path Traversal vulnerabilities by attempting to access files and directories outside of the intended directory, such as system files or other sensitive files.

File Upload Testing: Test for Arbitrary File Upload vulnerabilities by attempting to upload files to the server that contain malicious code or executable files.

IDOR Testing: Test for Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) vulnerabilities by attempting to access and manipulate objects or resources that should not be directly accessible, such as user data or other sensitive information.

Environment Variable Testing: Test for vulnerabilities related to environment variables, such as the Shellshock vulnerability, by injecting commands into environment variables and attempting to execute arbitrary code.

OpenSSL Testing: Test for vulnerabilities related to OpenSSL, such as the Heartbleed vulnerability, by attempting to read sensitive data from the server’s memory.

Framework Testing: Test for vulnerabilities in popular frameworks such as Apache Struts or Drupal by attempting to execute arbitrary code or access sensitive data.

Image Processing Library Testing: Test for vulnerabilities in image processing libraries such as ImageMagick by manipulating image files to execute arbitrary code or access sensitive data.

Configuration Testing: Test for vulnerabilities related to insecure configuration, such as incorrect file permissions or incorrect access controls for critical resources.

Boundary Testing: Test for vulnerabilities related to boundary conditions, such as maximum file size limits or maximum input length limits, by attempting to exceed these limits and potentially cause a system crash or other security issue.

For study Insecure Resource Management

OWASP Top 10: Insecure Resource Management: The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources to help organizations improve their web application security. The OWASP Top 10 is a list of the most critical web application security risks, and Insecure Resource Management is one of the ten items on the list. The OWASP website provides detailed information on this topic.

Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE): CWE is a community-developed list of common software security weaknesses. Insecure Resource Management is one of the CWE entries, and the CWE website provides detailed information on this topic.

Vulnerability Scanning Tools: Vulnerability scanning tools such as Nessus or OpenVAS can help identify vulnerabilities related to Insecure Resource Management in your web applications or network.

Exploit Frameworks: Exploit frameworks such as Metasploit can be used to test for vulnerabilities related to Insecure Resource Management and develop proof-of-concept exploits.

Security Training Courses: There are many online and in-person security training courses available that cover topics related to Insecure Resource Management and web application security.

Online Communities: Online communities such as Reddit’s /r/netsec or OWASP’s community forums can be a valuable resource for discussing and learning about Insecure Resource Management and other security topics.

Books: There are many books available on web application security and Insecure Resource Management, such as “Web Application Security: A Beginner’s Guide” by Bryan Sullivan and Vincent Liu, or “The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto.

Books with review of Insecure Resource Management

“Web Application Security: A Beginner’s Guide” by Bryan Sullivan and Vincent Liu: This book provides an introduction to web application security, including Insecure Resource Management, and covers the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities.

“The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto: This book is a comprehensive guide to hacking web applications, including Insecure Resource Management and other vulnerabilities.

“Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook” by Allen Harper, Daniel Regalado, et al.: This book covers various hacking techniques, including Insecure Resource Management, from an ethical hacker’s perspective.

“OWASP Testing Guide v4” by OWASP Foundation: This guide provides a comprehensive approach to testing web applications for security vulnerabilities, including Insecure Resource Management.

“Hacking Exposed Web Applications” by Joel Scambray, Mike Shema, and Caleb Sima: This book covers various web application security vulnerabilities, including Insecure Resource Management, and provides practical guidance on how to defend against them.

“Web Application Security, A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Web Applications and Mobile Apps” by Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto: This book provides a comprehensive guide to securing web applications, including Insecure Resource Management, and covers popular security frameworks and tools.

“The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications” by Michal Zalewski: This book covers various web application security issues, including Insecure Resource Management, and provides practical advice on how to secure web applications.

“Web Application Defender’s Cookbook” by Ryan C. Barnett: This book provides a collection of recipes for defending web applications against various security threats, including Insecure Resource Management.

“Securing Web Applications with OAuth 2.0” by Philipp Jovanovic and Tilo Müller: This book covers how to secure web applications using OAuth 2.0, including protecting against Insecure Resource Management vulnerabilities.

“Web Security Testing Cookbook” by Paco Hope and Ben Walther: This book provides a collection of recipes for testing the security of web applications, including Insecure Resource Management vulnerabilities.

List of payloads Insecure Resource Management

  • Directory Traversal: Payloads for directory traversal attacks may include various characters that are used to bypass path validation, such as “../” or “../../”.

  • File Inclusion: Payloads for file inclusion attacks may include URLs or file paths that allow the attacker to include arbitrary files, such as “../etc/passwd”.

  • Path Manipulation: Payloads for path manipulation attacks may include various characters or strings that allow the attacker to manipulate file paths, such as “..%2f” or “%252e%252e/”.

  • Race Condition: Payloads for race condition attacks may include scripts or programs that can be executed in parallel to take advantage of the timing window created by the vulnerability.

  • Insufficient Access Controls: Payloads for insufficient access control vulnerabilities may include various user IDs, passwords, or tokens that allow the attacker to gain unauthorized access to restricted resources.

  • Resource Exhaustion: Payloads for resource exhaustion attacks may include scripts or programs that can create a large number of connections or requests to the target application, consuming its resources and causing it to crash or become unresponsive.

  • SQL Injection: Payloads for SQL injection attacks may include malicious SQL statements that allow the attacker to extract or modify data in the database.

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Payloads for XSS attacks may include malicious scripts or code that can be executed in the victim’s browser, allowing the attacker to steal sensitive data or perform unauthorized actions.

  • Code Injection: Payloads for code injection attacks may include malicious code or scripts that can be executed on the target system, allowing the attacker to gain control over the system or execute arbitrary commands.

  • Buffer Overflow: Payloads for buffer overflow attacks may include input strings that are longer than the target buffer size, causing the application to write outside the buffer and potentially allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code.

How to be protected from Insecure Resource Management

  1. Input Validation: Always validate user input before using it in any operations or accessing resources. This includes validating file paths, URLs, and other types of data. Use regular expressions or other methods to ensure that input is in the correct format and does not contain any unexpected characters or values.

  2. Proper File Permissions: Make sure that files and directories are protected with appropriate permissions to prevent unauthorized access. Use file system permissions to restrict access to sensitive files and directories, and make sure that users and applications can only access resources that they are authorized to access.

  3. Use Safe File Operations: Use safe file operations that do not allow directory traversal or other types of resource access beyond the intended scope. Always check that file operations are being performed on the correct file or directory, and use functions that limit the scope of file access.

  4. Avoid Hard-Coded Credentials: Avoid hard-coded passwords, API keys, or other sensitive credentials in your code or configuration files. Use secure storage mechanisms, such as environment variables or key stores, to store sensitive data.

  5. Monitor for Anomalies: Monitor your application and system logs for any suspicious activity, such as unexpected file operations or resource access. Use monitoring tools to detect and alert on any abnormal behavior or system usage.

  6. Keep Software Up-to-Date: Keep your software and applications up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. Many Insecure Resource Management vulnerabilities are discovered and patched regularly, so staying current with updates can help to prevent exploitation.

  7. Implement Access Controls: Implement access controls to restrict access to sensitive files and directories. Use mechanisms such as role-based access control (RBAC) or attribute-based access control (ABAC) to enforce restrictions on file and directory access.

  8. Educate Users: Educate users on safe file management practices and how to avoid inadvertently exposing sensitive data or resources. Train users to validate inputs, avoid using unsafe file operations, and follow best practices for managing and securing files and directories.

Conclusion

Insecure Resource Management is a critical vulnerability that can lead to unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure of sensitive data or resources. It occurs when an application or system does not properly manage its resources, such as files, directories, network connections, or system processes. This can be due to various factors, such as insufficient input validation, insecure file permissions, unsafe file operations, or hard-coded credentials.

Insecure Resource Management vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, execute arbitrary code, or escalate privileges. This can lead to serious consequences, such as data theft, system compromise, or even full-scale network breaches.

To mitigate the risk of Insecure Resource Management vulnerabilities, it is important to follow best practices for secure coding and system administration. This includes implementing proper input validation, file permissions, and file operations, avoiding hard-coded credentials, using security testing tools and techniques, keeping software up-to-date, and educating users on safe file management practices.

By taking these steps, organizations can reduce the likelihood of Insecure Resource Management vulnerabilities and minimize the impact of exploitation, helping to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their data and systems.

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