AttackFlow Findings Dictionary

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Impersonation In Code

The attacker can force the application run in unwanted high privileged state



Fix Cost


Trust Level


Impersonation allows applications to run in another user privilege and if used correctly can reduce the attack surface of an application drastically by limiting the code that needs higher privilege than the current one to execute successfully.

As an example an application that uses windows authentication may want to execute certain parts of the code by using the privilege level of the current user as opposed to IIS application identity.

Here’s a code snippet, which needs a higher privilege than the current user to read a sensitive file, impersonating and then reverse the impersonation.

impersonatedUser = WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent().Impersonate();
catch(IOException e){
// logging

Here the problem is that if an exception occurs while reading the file (the file isn’t there, memory problems, etc.) the de-impersonation will not be executed and the process will be still running with the higher permissions.

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