CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-836: Use of Password Hash Instead of Password for Authentication

Weakness ID: 836
Abstraction: Base
Structure: Simple
Status: Incomplete
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The software records password hashes in a data store, receives a hash of a password from a client, and compares the supplied hash to the hash obtained from the data store.
+ Extended Description

Some authentication mechanisms rely on the client to generate the hash for a password, possibly to reduce load on the server or avoid sending the password across the network. However, when the client is used to generate the hash, an attacker can bypass the authentication by obtaining a copy of the hash, e.g. by using SQL injection to compromise a database of authentication credentials, or by exploiting an information exposure. The attacker could then use a modified client to replay the stolen hash without having knowledge of the original password.

As a result, the server-side comparison against a client-side hash does not provide any more security than the use of passwords without hashing.

+ 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
ImplementationREALIZATION: This weakness is caused during implementation of an architectural security tactic.
+ Applicable Platforms
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.

Languages

(Language-Independent classes): (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ 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

An attacker could bypass the authentication routine without knowing the original password.
+ Observed Examples
ReferenceDescription
Product performs authentication with user-supplied password hashes that can be obtained from a separate SQL injection vulnerability (CVE-2009-1282).
Product allows attackers to bypass authentication by obtaining the password hash for another user and specifying the hash in the pwd argument.
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
2011-03-22CWE Content TeamMITRE
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Observed_Examples
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Modes_of_Introduction, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017