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V5013. OWASP. Storing credentials insid…
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Contents

V5013. OWASP. Storing credentials inside source code can lead to security issues.

Apr 20 2021

The analyzer has detected data that may be confidential. Credentials can be used as such data.

If you store credentials in the source code, an intruder might access and make use of the data not intended for public use. Having access to a build, an attacker can use a disassembler to see all the string literals used in it. In the case of open-source projects, everything is even easier - an attacker can view even the source code.

Thus, all secret data can become publicly available. Vulnerabilities associated with insufficient security of confidential data are identified as a separate risk category in the OWASP Top 10 Application Security Risks 2017: A3:2017-Sensitive Data Exposure.

Consider an example:

bool LoginAsAdmin(const std::string &userName, 
                  const std::string &password) 
{
  if (userName == "admin" && password == "sRbHG$a%")
  {  
    ....
    return true;
  }

  return false;  
}

In this example, the password used to log in as an administrator is stored in the code. An attacker can easily get the authorization data and perform actions as a system administrator.

Instead of storing secret data in code, it is better to use, for example, storage classes. This way, data will be stored in encrypted form. Ordinary users do not have direct access to it. In this case, the code may look, for example, like this:

bool LoginAsAdmin(const DataStorage &secretStorage, 
                  const std::string &userName, 
                  const std::string &password) 
{
  var adminData = secretStorage.GetAdminData();

  if (   userName == adminData.UserName 
      && password == adminData.Password)
  {  
    ....
    return true;
  }

  return false;  
}

This diagnostic is classified as:

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