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Attack and Vulnerability Types

The Wallarm filter node can detect many attacks and vulnerabilities. These attacks and vulnerabilities are listed below.

Each entity in the list

  • is tagged with either “Attack,” “Vulnerability,” or both.

    The name of a particular attack can be the same as the name of the vulnerability this attack exploits. In this case, such an entity will be tagged with the combined “Vulnerability/Attack” tag.

  • has the Wallarm code that corresponds to this entity.

Most of the vulnerabilities and attacks on this list are also accompanied by one or more codes from the list of software weakness types, also known as the Common Weakness Enumeration or CWE.

Additionally, the Wallarm filter node employs several special attack and vulnerability types for the internal purpose of marking processed traffic. Such entities are not accompanied by CWE codes but are listed separately.

Watch video about how Wallarm protects against OWASP Top 10



The Main List of Attacks and Vulnerabilities

Attack on XML External Entity (XXE)

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-611

Wallarm code: xxe

Description:

The XXE vulnerability allows an attacker to inject an external entity in an XML document to be evaluated by an XML parser and then executed on the target web server.

As the result of a successful attack, an attacker will be able to

  • get access to the web application's confidential data

  • scan internal data networks

  • read the files located on the web server

  • perform an SSRF attack

  • perform a Denial of Service (DoS) attack

This vulnerability occurs due to a lack of restriction on the parsing of XML external entities in a web application.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Disable the parsing of XML external entities when working with the XML documents supplied by a user.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP XXE Prevention Cheat Sheet.

Brute‑Force Attack

Attack

CWE codes: CWE-307, CWE-521, CWE-799

Wallarm code: brute

Description:

A brute‑force attack occurs when a massive number of requests with a predefined payload are sent to the server. These payloads may be generated by some means or taken from a dictionary. The server's response is then analyzed to find the right combination of the data in the payload.

A successful brute‑force attack can potentially bypass authentication and authorization mechanisms and/or reveal a web application's hidden resources (such as directories, files, website parts, etc.), thus granting the ability to conduct other malicious actions.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Limit the number of requests per a certain time period for a web application.

  • Limit the number of authentication/authorization attempts per a certain time period for a web application.

  • Block new authentication/authorization attempts after a certain number of the failed attempts.

  • Restrict a web application from accessing any files or directories on the server it runs on, except those within the scope of the application.

How to configure Wallarm API Security to protect applications from brute force →

Watch Wallarm video about brute‑force attacks



Resource Scanning

Attack

CWE code: none

Wallarm code: scanner

Description:

The scanner code is assigned to an HTTP request if this request is believed to be part of third‑party scanner software activity that is targeted to attack or scan a protected resource. The Wallarm scanner's requests are not considered to be a resource scanning attack. This information may be used later to attack these services.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Limit the possibility of a network perimeter scan by employing IP address whitelisting and blacklisting along with authentication/authorization mechanisms.

  • Minimize the scan surface by placing the network perimeter behind a firewall.

  • Define a necessary and sufficient set of ports to be opened for your services to operate.

  • Restrict the usage of ICMP protocol on the network level.

  • Periodically update your IT infrastructure equipment. This includes

    • firmware of servers and other equipment
    • operating systems
    • other software

Server‑Side Template Injection (SSTI)

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE codes: CWE-94, CWE-159

Wallarm code: ssti

Description:

An intruder can inject an executable code into a user‑filled form on a web server vulnerable to SSTI attacks so that code will be parsed and executed by the web server.

A successful attack may render a vulnerable web server completely compromised, potentially allowing an intruder to execute arbitrary requests, explore the server's file systems, and, under certain conditions, remotely execute arbitrary code (see “RCE attack” for details), as well as many other things.

This vulnerability arises from the incorrect validation and parsing of user input.

Remediation:

You may follow the recommendation to sanitize and filter all user input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

Data Bomb

Attack

CWE code: CWE-409, CWE-776

Wallarm code: data_bomb

Description:

Wallarm marks a request as the Data Bomb attack if it contains the Zip or XML bomb:

  • Zip bomb is a malicious archive file designed to crash or render useless the program or system reading it. Zip bomb allows the program to work as intended, but the archive is crafted so that unpacking it requires inordinate amounts of time, disk space and/or memory.

  • XML bomb (billion laughs attack) is the DoS attack type that is aimed at parsers of XML documents. An attacker sends malicious payloads in XML entities.

Remediation:

Limit the size of incoming requests so it could not harm the system.

Cross‑site Scripting (XSS)

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-79

Wallarm code: xss

Description:

A cross‑site scripting attack allows an intruder to execute a prepared arbitrary code in a user's browser.

There are a few XSS attack types:

  • Stored XSS is when a malicious code is pre‑embedded in the web application's page.

    If the web application is vulnerable to the stored XSS attack, then it is possible for an attacker to inject a malicious code into the web application's HTML page; moreover, this code will persist and be executed by the browser of any user who requests the infected webpage.

  • Reflected XSS is when an intruder tricks a user into opening a specially crafted link.

  • DOM‑based XSS is when a JavaScript code snippet built into the web application's page parses the input and executes it as a JavaScript command due to errors in this code snippet.

Exploiting any of the vulnerabilities listed above leads to the execution of an arbitrary JavaScript code. Provided that the XSS attack was successful, an intruder may steal a user's session or credentials, make requests on behalf of the user, and perform other malicious actions.

This class of vulnerabilities occurs due to the incorrect validation and parsing of user input.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Sanitize and filter all parameters that a web application receives as input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

  • While forming the web application's pages, sanitize and escape any entities that are formed dynamically.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP XSS Prevention Cheat Sheet.

Insecure Direct Object References (IDOR)

Vulnerability

CWE code: CWE-639

Wallarm code: idor

Description:

With the IDOR vulnerability, the authentication and authorization mechanisms of a vulnerable web application do not prevent a user from accessing the data or resources of another user.

This vulnerability occurs due to the web application granting the ability to access an object (e.g., a file, a directory, a database entry) by changing part of the request string and not implementing proper access control mechanisms.

To exploit this vulnerability, an intruder manipulates the request string to gain unauthorized access to confidential information that belongs either to the vulnerable web application or to its users.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Implement proper access control mechanisms for the web application's resources.

  • Implement role‑based access control mechanisms to grant access to resources based on roles that are assigned to the users.

  • Use indirect object references.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP IDOR Prevention Cheat Sheet.

Open Redirect

Attack

CWE code: CWE-601

Wallarm code: redir

Description:

An intruder can use an open redirect attack to redirect a user to a malicious web page via a legitimate web application.

Vulnerability to this attack occurs due to incorrect filtering of URL inputs.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Sanitize and filter all parameters that a web application receives as input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

  • Notify users about all pending redirects, and ask for explicit permission.

Server‑Side Request Forgery (SSRF)

Vulnerability

CWE code: CWE-918

Wallarm code: ssrf

Description:

A successful SSRF attack may allow an intruder to make requests on behalf of the attacked web server; this potentially leads to revealing the web application's network ports in use, scanning the internal networks, and bypassing authorization.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Sanitize and filter all parameters that a web application receives as input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP SSRF Prevention Cheat Sheet.

Forced Browsing

Attack

CWE code: CWE-425

Wallarm code: dirbust

Description:

This attack belongs to the class of brute‑force attacks. The purpose of this attack is to detect a web application's hidden resources, namely directories and files. This is achieved by trying different file and directory names that are either generated based on some template or extracted from a prepared dictionary file.

A successful forced browsing attack potentially grants access to hidden resources that are not explicitly available from the web application interface but are exposed when accessed directly.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Restrict or limit users' acess to those resources they are not supposed to have direct access to (e.g., by employing some authentication or authorization mechanisms).

  • Limit the number of requests per a certain time period for the web application.

  • Limit the number of authentication/authorization attempts per a certain time period for the web application.

  • Block new authentication/authorization attempts after a certain number of failed attempts.

  • Set necessary and sufficient access rights for the web application's files and directories.

How to configure Wallarm API Security to protect applications from brute force →

Watch Wallarm video about brute‑force attacks



Information Exposure

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE codes: CWE-200 (see also: CWE-209, CWE-215, CWE-538, CWE-541, CWE-548)

Wallarm code: infoleak

Description:

The application either intentionally or unintentionally discloses sensitive information to a subject that is not authorized to access it.

The vulnerability of this type can be detected only by the method of passive detection. If the response to the request discloses sensitive information, Wallarm records an incident and an active vulnerability of the Information Exposure type. Some kinds of sensitive information that can be detected by Wallarm include:

  • System and environment status (for example: stack trace, warnings, fatal errors)

  • Network status and configuration

  • The application code or internal state

  • Metadata (for example, logging of connections or message headers)

Remediation:

You may follow the recommendation to prohibit a web application from having the ability to display any sensitive information.

Remote Code Execution (RCE)

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE codes: CWE-78, CWE-94 and others

Wallarm code: rce

Description:

An intruder can inject malicious code into a request to a web application, and the application will execute this code. Also, the intruder can try to execute certain commands for the operating system that the vulnerable web application runs on.

Provided that an RCE attack is successful, an intruder can perform a wide range of actions, including

  • Compromising the confidentiality, accessibility, and integrity of the vulnerable web application's data.

  • Taking control of the operating system and the server that the web application runs on.

  • Other possible actions.

This vulnerability occurs due to incorrect validation and parsing of user input.

Remediation:

You may follow the recommendation to sanitize and filter all user input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

Authentication Bypass

Vulnerability

CWE code: CWE-288

Wallarm code: auth

Description:

Despite having authentication mechanisms in place, a web application can have alternative authentication methods that allow either bypassing the main authentication mechanism or exploiting its weaknesses. This combination of factors may result in an attacker gaining access with user or administrator permissions.

A successful authentication bypass attack potentially leads to disclosing users' confidential data or taking control of the vulnerable application with administrator permissions.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Improve and strengthen existing authentication mechanisms.

  • Eliminate any alternative authentication methods that may allow attackers to access an application while bypassing the required authentication procedure via pre‑defined mechanisms.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP Authentication Cheat Sheet.

CRLF Injection

Attack

CWE code: CWE-93

Wallarm code: crlf

Description:

CRLF injections represent a class of attacks that allow an intruder to inject the Carriage Return (CR) and Line Feed (LF) characters into a request to a server (e.g., HTTP request).

Combined with other factors, such CR/LF character injection can help to exploit a variety of vulnerabilities (e.g., “HTTP Response Splitting” CWE-113, “HTTP Response Smuggling” CWE-444).

A successful CRLF injection attack may give an intruder the ability to bypass firewalls, perform cache poisoning, replace legitimate web pages with malicious ones, perform the an “Open Redirect” attack, and plenty of other actions.

This vulnerability occurs due to the incorrect validation and parsing of user input.

Remediation:

You may follow the recommendation to sanitize and filter all user input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

LDAP Injection

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-90

Wallarm code: ldapi

Description:

LDAP injections represent a class of attacks that allow an intruder to alter LDAP search filters by modifying requests to an LDAP server.

A successful LDAP injection attack potentially grants access to the read and write operations on confidential data about LDAP users and hosts.

This vulnerability occurs due to the incorrect validation and parsing of user input.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

NoSQL Injection

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-943

Wallarm code: nosqli

Description:

Vulnerability to this attack occurs due to insufficient filtering of user input. A NoSQL injection attack is performed by injecting a specially crafted query to a NoSQL database.

Remediation:

You may follow the recommendation to sanitize and filter all user input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

Path Traversal

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-22

Wallarm code: ptrav

Description:

A path traversal attack allows an intruder to access files and directories with confidential data stored in the file system where the vulnerable web application resides by altering existing paths via the web application's parameters.

Vulnerability to this attack occurs due to insufficient filtering of user input when a user requests a file or directory via the web application.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Sanitize and filter all parameters that a web application receives as input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

  • Additional recommendations for mitigating such attacks are available here.

SQL Injection

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-89

Wallarm code: sqli

Description:

Vulnerability to this attack occurs due to insufficient filtration of user input. An SQL injection attack is performed by injecting a specially crafted query to an SQL database.

An SQL injection attack allows an intruder to inject arbitrary SQL code into an SQL query. This potentially leads to the attacker being granted access to read and modify confidential data as well as to DBMS administrator rights.

Remediation:

You may follow these recommendations:

  • Sanitize and filter all parameters that a web application receives as input to prevent an entity in the input from being executed.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP SQL Injection Prevention Cheat Sheet.

Email Injection

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-20, CWE-150, CWE-88

Wallarm code: mail_injection

Description:

Email Injection is a malicious IMAP/SMTP expression usually sent via the web application contact form to change standard email server behavior.

Vulnerability to this attack occurs due to poor validation of the data inputted in the contact form. Email Injection allows bypassing email client restrictions, stealing user data and sending spam.

Remediation:

  • Sanitize and filter all user input to prevent malicious entities in the input from being executed.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP Input Validation Cheatsheet.

SSI Injection

Vulnerability/Attack

CWE code: CWE-96, CWE-97

Wallarm code: ssi

Description:

SSI (Server Side Includes) is a simple interpreted server-side scripting language most useful for including the contents of one or more files into a web page on a web server. It is supported by the web servers Apache and NGINX.

SSI Injection allows the exploitation of a web application by injecting malicious payloads in HTML pages or executing arbitrary codes remotely. It can be exploited through manipulation of SSI in use in the application or force its use through user input fields.

Remediation:

  • Sanitize and filter all user input to prevent malicious entities in the input from being executed.

  • Apply the recommendations from the OWASP Input Validation Cheatsheet.

The List of Special Attacks and Vulnerabilities

Virtual Patch

Attack

Wallarm code: vpatch

Description:

A request is marked as a vpatch if it is part of an attack that was mitigated by the virtual patch mechanism.

Unsafe XML Header

Attack

Wallarm code: invalid_xml

Description:

A request is marked as an invalid_xml if its body contains an XML document and the document encoding differs from the encoding stated in the XML header.

Overlimiting of Computational Resources

Attack

Wallarm code: overlimit_res

Description:

The filter node is configured in such a way that it should spend no more than N milliseconds on incoming request processing (default value: 1000). If the request is not processed during the specified timeframe, then the processing of the request will be stopped and the request marked as an overlimit_res attack.

You can specify the desired timeframe for the request to be processed by using the wallarm_process_time_limit Wallarm directive.