Automated black box detection of HTTP GET request-based access control vulnerabilities in web applications

Malte Kushnir, Olivier Favre, Marc Rennhard, Damiano Esposito, Valentin Zahnd
2021
Automated and reproducible security testing of web applications is getting more and more important, driven by short software development cycles and constraints with respect to time and budget. Some types of vulnerabilities can already be detected reasonably well by automated security scanners, e.g., SQL injection or cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. However, other types of vulnerabilities are much harder to uncover in an automated way. This includes access control vulnerabilities, which are
more » ... bilities, which are highly relevant in practice as they can grant unauthorized users access to security-critical data or functions in web applications. In this paper, a practical solution to automatically detect access control vulnerabilities in the context of HTTP GET requests is presented. The solution is based on previously proposed ideas, which are extended with novel approaches to enable completely automated access control testing with minimal configuration effort that enables frequent and reproducible testing. An evaluation using four web applications based on different technologies demonstrates the general applicability of the solution and that it can automatically uncover most access control vulnerabilities while keeping the number of false positives relatively low.
doi:10.21256/zhaw-21946 fatcat:ks7ckrsmz5ekfpxhfs66s4weum