Lab: JWT authentication bypass via unverified signature


This lab uses a JWT-based mechanism for handling sessions. Due to implementation flaws, the server doesn't verify the signature of any JWTs that it receives.

To solve the lab, modify your session token to gain access to the admin panel at /admin, then delete the user carlos.

You can log in to your own account using the following credentials: wiener:peter


We recommend familiarizing yourself with how to work with JWTs in Burp Suite before attempting this lab.


  1. In the lab, log in to your own account.

  2. In Burp, go to the Proxy > HTTP history tab and look at the post-login GET /my-account request. Observe that your session cookie is a JWT.

  3. Double-click the payload part of the token to view its decoded JSON form in the Inspector panel. Notice that the sub claim contains your username. Send this request to Burp Repeater.

  4. In Burp Repeater, change the path to /admin and send the request. Observe that the admin panel is only accessible when logged in as the administrator user.

  5. Select the payload of the JWT again. In the Inspector panel, change the value of the sub claim from wiener to administrator, then click Apply changes.

  6. Send the request again. Observe that you have successfully accessed the admin panel.

  7. In the response, find the URL for deleting carlos (/admin/delete?username=carlos). Send the request to this endpoint to solve the lab.

Community solutions

Emanuele Picariello
Michael Sommer
nu11 secur1ty