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ID

CWE-13: ASP.NET Misconfiguration: Password in Configuration File

Weakness ID: 13
Abstraction: Variant
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description

Description Summary

Storing a plaintext password in a configuration file allows anyone who can read the file access to the password-protected resource making them an easy target for attackers.
+ Time of Introduction
  • Architecture and Design
  • Implementation
+ Common Consequences
ScopeEffect
Access Control

Technical Impact: Gain privileges / assume identity

+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

The following excerpt from an XML configuration file defines a connectionString for connecting to a database.

(Bad Code)
Example Language: XML 
<connectionStrings>
<add name="ud_DEV" connectionString="connectDB=uDB; uid=db2admin; pwd=password; dbalias=uDB;"
providerName="System.Data.Odbc" />
</connectionStrings>

The connectionString is in cleartext, allowing anyone who can read the file access to the database.

Example 2

The following example shows a portion of a configuration file for an ASP.Net application. This configuration file includes username and password information for a connection to a database but the pair is stored in plaintext.

(Bad Code)
Example Language: ASP.NET 
...
<connectionStrings>
<add name="ud_DEV" connectionString="connectDB=uDB; uid=db2admin; pwd=password; dbalias=uDB;" providerName="System.Data.Odbc" />
</connectionStrings>
...

Username and password information should not be included in a configuration file or a properties file in plaintext as this will allow anyone who can read the file access to the resource. If possible, encrypt this information.

+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Credentials stored in configuration files should be encrypted, Use standard APIs and industry accepted algorithms to encrypt the credentials stored in configuration files.

+ Relationships
NatureTypeIDNameView(s) this relationship pertains toView(s)
ChildOfCategoryCategory2Environment
Seven Pernicious Kingdoms (primary)700
ChildOfCategoryCategory10ASP.NET Environment Issues
Development Concepts (primary)699
ChildOfWeakness VariantWeakness Variant260Password in Configuration File
Research Concepts (primary)1000
ChildOfCategoryCategory963SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data
Software Fault Pattern (SFP) Clusters (primary)888
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsASP.NET Misconfiguration: Password in Configuration File
+ References
Microsoft Corporation. "How To: Encrypt Configuration Sections in ASP.NET 2.0 Using DPAPI". <http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms998280.aspx>.
Microsoft Corporation. "How To: Encrypt Configuration Sections in ASP.NET 2.0 Using RSA". <http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms998283.aspx>.
Microsoft Corporation. ".NET Framework Developer's Guide - Securing Connection Strings". <http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/89211k9b(VS.80).aspx>.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
7 Pernicious KingdomsExternally Mined
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigitalExternal
updated References, Demonstrative_Example, Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships, References, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITREInternal
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: May 05, 2017