Inclusion of Sensitive Information in an Include File

If an include file source is accessible, the file can contain usernames and passwords, as well as sensitive information pertaining to the application and system.


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 code uses an include file to store database credentials:

database.inc

<?php
$dbName = 'usersDB';
$dbPassword = 'skjdh#67nkjd3$3$';
?>

login.php

<?php
include('database.inc');
$db = connectToDB($dbName, $dbPassword);
$db.authenticateUser($username, $password);
?>

If the server does not have an explicit handler set for .inc files it may send the contents of database.inc to an attacker without pre-processing, if the attacker requests the file directly. This will expose the database name and password. Note this is also an example of CWE-433.

See Also

SFP Secondary Cluster: Exposed Data

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Exposed Data cluster (SFP23).

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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