authentication bypass

6 Most feared web application attacks and how to beat them – Part 5 (Authentication Bypass)

authentication bypass

These days, application development is taking the form of the web application. It could be anything from an online photo editor to Google docs, as per the need of the hour. These applications need continuous internet connectivity, for most of them are linked with the cloud. They use the cloud to store pictures, login credentials, and other private information. And with the entry of the Internet of Things (IoT), even the home devices now connected to the world of Web. As the web application attacks are highly dependent on the vulnerabilities linked to the application layer, its security plays a significant role. Like the previous part of the series, this blog will help you learn about authentication bypass, a web app attack that exploits weak authentication mechanisms.

A Common Form of Web Application Attacks – Authentication Bypass

authentication bypass attack

Organizations that don’t have strong access policy and authentication controls offers an open field for cybercriminals to bypass authentication. For instance, there are many default applications and servers that fail to secure their default folders. Even sometimes, administrators miss protecting folders and servers with strong passwords. In short, cybercriminals look for unprotected files, folders, servers, and applications to gain unauthorized access through authentication bypass.

Which vulnerability can lead to an authentication bypass? To gain access to an application, the attacker usually uses SQL queries during authentication. They create a password that always possesses ‘true’ value, regardless of the user account. This offers a direct entry for cybercriminals to be able to exploit an application, in any which way they want.


How can you stop authentication bypass?

In order to keep web applications protected from authentication bypass attacks, integrate the following steps in the security strategies.

  • Keep all the systems, applications, software, and even operating system up to date.
  • Patch all the vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
  • Install an efficient antivirus program.
  • Draft a robust authentication policy.
  • Ensure that all the systems, folders, and applications are password protected.
  • Authentication protocol should stay hidden on the client-side web browser script.
  • Encrypt both user session IDs and cookies.
  • Input validation should be mandatory on the serverside.

What are the skills required to combat authentication bypass? To get rid of such kind of attacks, organizations require experts with rigorous penetration testing skills. They are capable of even finding out if the web application is facing any authentication issue. In such a way, organizations can save their applications from falling prey to authentication bypass.

The next blog will be about information disclosure. This is another very crucial attack that every organization should be looking for. Learn what it is, and which web application vulnerabilities are capable of information disclosure.

To deal with authentication bypass, enterprises should have well-thought-out strategies in place. For that, they need professionals with earlier mentioned skills. Holders of Licensed Penetration Tester (L|PT) Master credential has the knowledge of all the necessary skills. These professionals go through a rigorous hands-on exam to prove their worth as a penetration tester. To become an L|PT (Master), one needs to ace an 18-hour-long exam that evaluates a candidate on important detail, including web application penetration testing and even related report writing. The exam ensures that the candidate has everything that an organization needs to stay afloat.


What are web vulnerabilities?
A web vulnerability is a weakness in a website or web application that allows attackers to gain access to sensitive data.

Read more: Most Common Cyber Vulnerabilities Part 1 (Injection Flaws)

What port is most likely to be used in a web-based attack?
There are many commonly hacked ports. A few of them incudes TCP port 21 (File Transfer Protocol), TCP Port 22 (Secure Shell), TCP Port 23 (Telnet), TCP and UDP port 53 — DNS (Domain Name System), and many others.

Read more: Most Common Web Application Attacks and How to Defend Against Them

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