tssci security

VBAAC Security and You

My good friend Arshan Dabirsiaghi at Aspect Security released an interesting paper today on Bypassing VBAAC with HTTP Verb Tampering. For those who don't know what VBAAC is, it stands for "Verb-Based Authentication Access Control." Unfortunately, most vendors have screwed up the implementation by taking a default allow approach, and as a result developers are likely to have [unintentionally] exposed their applications.

How's the attack work? Well, in applications that utilize VBAAC, a developer, as an example, can specificy security constraints that allows only GETs and POSTs to the /admin/* directory for the "admin" user. The constraint would like so in web.xml file in a Java EE web application:


The interesting part about this, is that this constraint limits POST and GET access to /admin/* for the admin user. Anyone can submit a HTTP HEAD request for the resource or an arbitrary HTTP verb, if allowed (the paper uses JEFF method as an example), and the resource can be accessed.

The end result of this is that resources are less restricted than expected. The caveat being that responses will not always be seen by an attacker, though damage can still be done. Take a moment to read the paper now -- it's concise, gets straight to the point, and gives solutions. This likely affects application(s) you are responsible for, so take the time to understand the risk and take action.

Posted by Marcin on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 in News and Security.

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