CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

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ID

CWE-603: Use of Client-Side Authentication

Weakness ID: 603
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
A client/server product performs authentication within client code but not in server code, allowing server-side authentication to be bypassed via a modified client that omits the authentication check.
+ Extended Description
Client-side authentication is extremely weak and may be breached easily. Any attacker may read the source code and reverse-engineer the authentication mechanism to access parts of the application which would otherwise be protected.
+ 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)
+ Relevant to the view "Architectural Concepts" (CWE-1008)
NatureTypeIDName
MemberOfCategoryCategory1010Authenticate Actors
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass287Improper Authentication
+ 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 DesignCOMMISSION: This weakness refers to an incorrect design related to an architectural security tactic.
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: Bypass Protection Mechanism; Gain Privileges or Assume Identity

+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Client-side check for a password allows access to a server using crafted XML requests from a modified client.
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Architecture and Design

Do not rely on client side data. Always perform server side authentication.
+ 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
MemberOfCategoryCategory947SFP Secondary Cluster: Authentication Bypass
+ Notes

Maintenance

Note that there is a close relationship between this weakness and CWE-656 (Reliance on Security through Obscurity). If developers do not believe that a user can reverse engineer a client, then they are more likely to choose client-side authentication in the belief that it is safe.
+ References
[REF-62] Mark Dowd, John McDonald and Justin Schuh. "The Art of Software Security Assessment". Chapter 2, "Untrustworthy Credentials", Page 37.. 1st Edition. Addison Wesley. 2006.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
Anonymous Tool Vendor (under NDA)
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Relationships, Observed_Example, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Maintenance_Notes, Other_Notes
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated References, Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-05-03CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
Previous Entry Names
Change DatePrevious Entry Name
2008-04-11Client-Side Authentication

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017