Introduction: what are identification and authentication failures?
Vulnerabilities due to identification and authentication failures are determined by the flaws in applications’ authentication mechanisms, regardless of how robust or well-implemented they are. Prior to 2021, it was referred to in the OWASP Top Ten as “Broken Authentication,” but it now goes by its new moniker. Instead of only affecting authentication in the previous version, this vulnerability now affects both authentication and identity.
The CWE-297: Improper Validation of Certificate with Host Mismatch, the CWE-287: Improper Authentication, and the CWE-384: Session Fixation is notable CWEs present here.
Identification and Authentication Failures could result in the following sorts of attacks:
A database of login credentials that have been stolen or leaked is used in this attack to automatically try to log in and access a system or resource. Due to the widespread reuse of the same credential combinations across numerous websites, this attack is successful.
Brute Force Attacks
The term “brute force” refers to assaults that automatically try every conceivable password combination. This type of attack uses enormous amounts of processing power to guess the password. Dictionary terms, short passwords, and other characteristics that make them easy to crack are all excellent candidates for brute-force attacks.
Session Identifier Exposed in the URL
A request is sent to the web server when a user launches an internet browser (front). As a result, a Session ID—a special identifier—is generated. The communication between that particular user and the application is identified by this Session ID (webserver).Session IDs are often stored in cookies.
Attackers can hijack a legitimate user session by using session fixation. The attack investigates a flaw in the way the susceptible web application handles the session ID. It is feasible to use an existing session ID since when a user is authenticated, no new session ID is assigned.
Examples of Identification and Authentication Failures
No validation of weak passwords
Any hack always has a significant part played by weak passwords. Applications may not always require difficult passwords, which leads to users using easy passwords like password, password123, Password@123, 12345, etc.
Weak credential recovery and forgot-password processes
A method that enables a user to access their account in the event that they forget their password is typically present in applications.
The password recovery procedure is frequently unreliable, which increases the likelihood that someone other than the authorized system user could access that user’s account. A powerful password authentication mechanism is completely destroyed by weak password recovery techniques.
Using plaintext or weakly hashed passwords
Passwords must be kept secure so that they cannot be accessed by an attacker, even if the application or database is hacked. Most contemporary programming languages and frameworks have built-in features that can assist store passwords securely.
Ineffective multi-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is sometimes implemented incorrectly to the point that it can be completely disregarded.
The user is essentially in a “logged in” state before entering the verification code if they are first asked to input a password, followed by a request for a verification code on a different page.
In this instance, it would be worthwhile to test to see if you can proceed directly from the initial authentication step to “logged-in only” pages. On rare occasions, a website will load the page without really verifying that the second step was performed.
How to prevent identification and authentication failures:
Using Strong Passwords is a must
Although most websites are secure, there is always a little possibility that someone would attempt to access or steal your information.
This is referred to as hacking. A strong password is one of the best ways to protect your accounts and confidential information from hackers.
Password Data Store Security
It’s critical to store passwords in a method that makes them impossible for an attacker to access, even if the application or database is hacked. Most contemporary programming languages and frameworks have built-in features that can assist store passwords securely.
An attacker is always able to brute force hashes offline once they have obtained saved password hashes.
In order to access a resource like an application, an online account, or a VPN, the user must submit two or more verification factors, which is known as multi-factor authentication (MFA).
A challenge-response authentication is a form of security mechanism that is used to tell computers and humans apart. CAPTCHA is a public Turing test that is completely automated. CAPTCHA prevents spam and password decryption by requiring you to complete a short test proving you are human and not a computer.
Failures in identification and permission can have major effects on users and developers of web applications. Regular web application penetration testing is one of the best ways to guarantee that your applications and users stay secure. Protect your business from cyber threats with our expert penetration testing services. Contact ASPIA Infotech today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward securing your digital assets.