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V5601. OWASP. Storing credentials insid…
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Contents

V5601. OWASP. Storing credentials inside source code can lead to security issues.

Aug 16 2021

The analyzer has detected a block of code that contains what seems to be sensitive data, such as passwords.

Storing such data in the source code can lead to broken access control and providing the user with privileges not intended for public use. Any user who has access to the build can see all the string literals used in it. This can be done easily by studying the metadata or the IL code using the ildasm utility. With open-source projects, disclosing such information becomes even easier since the attacker can study the source code directly.

Thus, all sensitive data may become publicly available. Vulnerabilities resulting from insufficient protection of sensitive data make a separate category on OWASP Top 10 Application Security Risks 2017: A2:2017-Broken Authentication.

Consider the following example:

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

  return false;  
}

In this snippet, the password used to log in as Administrator is stored inside the code. By studying the build's metadata or the IL code, the attacker can easily get access to the authorization data and, therefore, all the administrative privileges.

Instead of storing sensitive data in the source code, use, for example, storages that store data in encrypted form and cannot be directly accessed by regular users. This is what code using such a storage may look like:

bool LoginAsAdmin(DataStorage secretStorage, 
                  string userName, 
                  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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