Empty Password in Configuration File

Using an empty string as a password is insecure.


Demonstrations

The following examples help to illustrate the nature of this weakness and describe methods or techniques which can be used to mitigate the risk.

Note that the examples here are by no means exhaustive and any given weakness may have many subtle varieties, each of which may require different detection methods or runtime controls.

Example One

The following examples show a portion of properties and configuration files for Java and ASP.NET applications. The files include username and password information but the password is provided as an empty string.

This Java example shows a properties file with an empty password string.

# Java Web App ResourceBundle properties file
...
webapp.ldap.username=secretUsername
webapp.ldap.password=
...

The following example shows a portion of a configuration file for an ASP.Net application. This configuration file includes username and password information for a connection to a database and the password is provided as an empty string.

...
<connectionStrings>
<add name="ud_DEV" connectionString="connectDB=uDB; uid=db2admin; pwd=; dbalias=uDB;" providerName="System.Data.Odbc" />
</connectionStrings>
...

An empty string should never be used as a password as this can allow unauthorized access to the application. Username and password information should not be included in a configuration file or a properties file in clear text. If possible, encrypt this information and avoid CWE-260 and CWE-13.

See Also

Authenticate Actors

Weaknesses in this category are related to the design and architecture of authentication components of the system. Frequently these deal with verifying the entity is i...

SFP Secondary Cluster: Hardcoded Sensitive Data

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Hardcoded Sensitive Data cluster (SFP33).

7PK - Security Features

Software security is not security software. Here we're concerned with topics like authentication, access control, confidentiality, cryptography, and privilege management.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

This view (slice) covers all the elements in CWE.

Weaknesses without Software Fault Patterns

CWE identifiers in this view are weaknesses that do not have associated Software Fault Patterns (SFPs), as covered by the CWE-888 view. As such, they represent gaps in...

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

This view (slice) lists weaknesses that can be introduced during implementation.


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