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Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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ID

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

Weakness ID: 13
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
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.
+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfVariantVariant260Password in Configuration File
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory519.NET Environment Issues
+ Modes Of Introduction

The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
Architecture and Design
Implementation
+ Common Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Access Control

Technical Impact: Gain Privileges or 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.
+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory27PK - Environment
MemberOfCategoryCategory963SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsASP.NET Misconfiguration: Password in Configuration File
+ References
[REF-103] Microsoft Corporation. "How To: Encrypt Configuration Sections in ASP.NET 2.0 Using DPAPI". <http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms998280.aspx>.
[REF-104] Microsoft Corporation. "How To: Encrypt Configuration Sections in ASP.NET 2.0 Using RSA". <http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms998283.aspx>.
[REF-105] 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 DateSubmitterOrganization
7 Pernicious Kingdoms
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganization
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated References, Demonstrative_Example, Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, References, Taxonomy_Mappings
2009-07-27CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2013-02-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples, Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships

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Page Last Updated: January 18, 2018