Unverified Password Change

When setting a new password for a user, the product does not require knowledge of the original password, or using another form of authentication.


Description

This could be used by an attacker to change passwords for another user, thus gaining the privileges associated with that user.

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

This code changes a user's password.

$user = $_GET['user'];
$pass = $_GET['pass'];
$checkpass = $_GET['checkpass'];
if ($pass == $checkpass) {
  SetUserPassword($user, $pass);
}

While the code confirms that the requesting user typed the same new password twice, it does not confirm that the user requesting the password change is the same user whose password will be changed. An attacker can request a change of another user's password and gain control of the victim's account.

See Also

OWASP Top Ten 2017 Category A2 - Broken Authentication

Weaknesses in this category are related to the A2 category in the OWASP Top Ten 2017.

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: Missing Authentication

This category identifies Software Fault Patterns (SFPs) within the Missing Authentication cluster.

Comprehensive CWE Dictionary

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

Weaknesses Introduced During Implementation

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

Weaknesses Introduced During Design

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


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