Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) Vulnerability – A 15 Point Checklist

IDOR Testing Checklist

Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) vulnerabilities pose a significant threat to web applications by allowing unauthorized access to sensitive data or resources. This testing checklist is designed to help security professionals and developers systematically identify and mitigate IDOR vulnerabilities in their applications.

By following these steps, organizations can enhance their access control mechanisms and fortify their systems against potential exploitation.

  1. Sequential IDs
  2. User-specific Data
  3. Enumerate Identifiers
  4. Test File Uploads
  5. Test API Endpoints
  6. Test Hidden Form Fields
  7. Test JSON or XML Responses
  8. Test Related Features
  9. Test with Different Roles
  10. Test with Unauthenticated Sessions
  11. Use Web Application Scanners
  12. Analyze Access Logs
  13. Manipulate Cookies
  14. Test Request Methods
  15. Test with URL-encoded or Base64-encoded Parameters

1. Sequential IDs

Examine sequential numeric IDs or predictable identifiers in URLs, API endpoints, or hidden form fields. Attempt to modify these identifiers to access unauthorized resources, revealing potential IDOR vulnerabilities.

2. User-specific Data

Ensure proper authorization checks for user-specific data, such as profiles or orders, by attempting to access another user’s data using your authenticated session. Confirm that the system prevents unauthorized access to sensitive information.

3. Enumerate Identifiers

Create accounts with different roles (e.g., admin, user) and analyze object identifiers. Look for patterns or correlations in the identifiers to detect potential vulnerabilities associated with enumeration.

4. Test File Uploads

Test file upload functionality and attempt to access uploaded files by guessing or modifying filenames. Verify that the system adequately protects against unauthorized access to sensitive files.

5. Test API Endpoints

Analyze API endpoints for exposed object references and attempt to access unauthorized resources by manipulating request parameters. Ensure that API endpoints enforce proper authorization controls.

6. Test Hidden Form Fields

Inspect hidden form fields for object references and modify their values to access unauthorized resources. This helps identify vulnerabilities associated with insufficient access controls in forms.

7. Test JSON or XML Responses

Analyze JSON or XML responses for exposed object references and attempt to access unauthorized resources by manipulating request parameters. Verify that the system protects against unauthorized data retrieval.

8. Test Related Features

Test related features or modules, such as password reset or email validation, for IDOR vulnerabilities by modifying request parameters. Ensure that object references are adequately protected across all functionalities.

9. Test with Different Roles

Create accounts with different roles (e.g., admin, user, guest) and attempt to access unauthorized resources using different user sessions. Verify that the system enforces role-based access controls consistently.

10. Test with Unauthenticated Sessions

Test if unauthenticated users can access resources by modifying object references in URLs or API endpoints. Confirm that the system effectively prevents unauthorized access, even for users without a valid session.

11. Use Web Application Scanners

Employ automated web application scanners, such as Burp Suite or OWASP ZAP, to identify potential IDOR vulnerabilities. These tools streamline the testing process and efficiently analyze the application for insecure direct object references.

12. Analyze Access Logs

Review server access logs for patterns indicating unauthorized access attempts. Analyzing access logs can provide valuable insights into potential IDOR vulnerabilities and aid in timely remediation.

13. Manipulate Cookies

Manipulate cookies or session tokens to impersonate other users and attempt to access unauthorized resources. This test helps assess the effectiveness of session management and access controls.

14. Test Request Methods

Test for IDOR vulnerabilities using different HTTP request methods, such as GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, or PATCH. Verify that the system enforces access controls consistently across various methods.

15. Test with URL-encoded or Base64-encoded Parameters

Try URL-encoded or base64-encoded parameters to bypass input validation or access control checks. This technique helps identify vulnerabilities where encoding is not adequately handled.

Conclusion

Incorporating the IDOR testing checklist into your security assessment practices is crucial for identifying and mitigating access control risks in web applications. By systematically testing and addressing potential IDOR vulnerabilities, organizations can enhance their access controls, safeguard sensitive data, and ensure the integrity of their applications. Regular testing, combined with secure coding practices and prompt remediation, is essential for maintaining robust security in the dynamic landscape of web application development.

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