Exploitation of Authorization
Attack Pattern ID: 122 (Standard Attack Pattern Completeness: Stub)Typical Severity: MediumStatus: Draft
+ Description


An attacker is able to exploit features of the target that should be reserved for privileged users or administrators but are exposed to use by lower or non-privileged accounts. Access to sensitive information and functionality must be controlled to ensure that only authorized users are able to access these resources. If access control mechanisms are absent or misconfigured, a user may be able to access resources that are intended only for higher level users. An attacker may be able to exploit this to utilize a less trusted account to gain information and perform activities reserved for more trusted accounts. This attack differs from privilege escalation and other privilege stealing attacks in that the attacker never actually escalates their privileges but instead is able to use a lesser degree of privilege to access resources that should be (but are not) reserved for higher privilege accounts. Likewise, the attacker does not exploit trust or subvert systems - all control functionality is working as configured but the configuration does not adequately protect sensitive resources at an appropriate level.

+ Attack Prerequisites

The target must have mis-configured their access control mechanisms such that sensitive information, which should only be accessible to more trusted users, remains accessible to less trusted users.

The attacker must have access to the target, albeit with an account that is less privileged than would be appropriate for the targeted resources.

+ Resources Required

No special resources are required for this attack beyond the ability to access the target.

+ Related Weaknesses
CWE-IDWeakness NameWeakness Relationship Type
732Incorrect Permission Assignment for Critical ResourceTargeted
602Client-Side Enforcement of Server-Side SecurityTargeted
434Unrestricted Upload of File with Dangerous TypeTargeted
+ Related Attack Patterns
NatureTypeIDNameDescriptionView(s) this relationship pertains toView\(s\)
ChildOfCategoryCategory232Exploitation of Privilege/Trust 
Mechanism of Attack (primary)1000
ParentOfAttack PatternAttack Pattern1Accessing Functionality Not Properly Constrained by ACLs 
Mechanism of Attack (primary)1000
ParentOfAttack PatternAttack Pattern180Exploiting Incorrectly Configured Access Control Security Levels 
Mechanism of Attack (primary)1000