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Re: username and Password sent as clear text strings
From: "Matthew Zimmerman" <mzimmerman () gmail com>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 20:06:13 -0400

In my opinion, if you want to mitigate this, don't use passwords.  Use
true challenge-response.  Everything else proposed here is either
obfuscation or doesn't really work in a web application environment.
A VPN around a webserver only works if every user that needs access to
that webserver can also access the vpn.

This situation should NOT be described as a 'password in cleartext'.
If you call SSL encryption (when using a decent symmetric algorithm),
then this is not a cleartext issue...  You've committed a
man-in-the-middle attack by being the client AND the
man-in-the-middle...  That doesn't really get you anything.  If you
control the client, you control the connection.  In this case, you
told your client to trust a self-signed certificate with the name of
"WebScarab" when you went to "OtherSite.

Follow NIST SP 800-63 for more guidance --
http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsDrafts.html#SP-800-63--1

Matt Zimmerman

On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 6:39 AM,  <jfvanmeter () comcast net> wrote:
Hello everyone, and I know this might not be the most correct place to post this questions, but I was hoping to get 
some feedback on what you think the potential risk would be and how this this could be exploited.

I completed a security review of a web server, that creates a SSL connection between the cleint and the server. Using 
WebScarab, I could see that the username and password are sent as clear text strings. The log in to the server 
requires a administrative account.

Do you think there is a large amount of risk, in sending the username and password as a clear text string, since the 
pipe is encrypted? I was thinking that a man-in-the-middle or sometype of session hijacking attack  could allow the 
account to be compromised.

 I'm working on completing the report for my client and was hoping to get some feedback from everyone so I could pose 
this to them correcly.

Thank you in advance --John

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