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  3. Password returned in URL query string

Password returned in URL query string

Description: Password returned in URL query string

The application responds to login submissions with a link containing the user's password within the URL query string. Sensitive information within URLs may be logged in various locations, including the user's browser, the web server, and any forward or reverse proxy servers between the two endpoints. URLs may also be displayed on-screen, bookmarked or emailed around by users. They may be disclosed to third parties via the Referer header when any off-site links are followed. Placing passwords into the URL increases the risk that they will be captured by an attacker.

Vulnerabilities that result in the disclosure of users' passwords can result in compromises that are extremely difficult to investigate due to obscured audit trails. Even if the application itself only handles non-sensitive information, exposing passwords puts users who have re-used their password elsewhere at risk.

Remediation: Password returned in URL query string

The application should never transmit any sensitive information within the URL query string. There is no good reason for a login mechanism to echo passwords back to the user, and the mechanism should be modified to remove this behavior.

Vulnerability classifications

Typical severity

Low

Type index

0x00400400

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