AttackFlow Findings Dictionary

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Unsafe Trace Directive

Detailed trace debugging messages may allow attackers to deduce internal details of an application that will leverage further attacks



Fix Cost


Trust Level


Presenting detailed debugging messages through ASP.NET tracing is always advantageous for developers to understand the root reason of a development or a production bug.

However, the same is true for attackers. An attacker presented a detailed exception will abuse it for a huge range of vulnerabilities; all injection types of vulnerabilities, padding oracle, business logic problems, mass assignment etc.

ASP.NET has a configuration directive, trace, which displays troubleshoooting information (top n requests, server variables, etc.) about the current request and the page at the bottom of individual pages. When debugging a problem is not an option, such as in production, tracing might help pinpointing a pesky error.

Here’s an insecure Web.config tracing directive;

<trace enabled="true" requestLimit="40" localOnly="false" />

While it’s possible to disable/enable tracing for all the application through Web.config, however it’s also possible to enable/disable trace for individual pages and this page directive takes precedence over attributes set in Web.config;

<%@ Page Trace="true" %>

While page tracing is possible for ASP.NET WebForms application it is also possible to print out tracing information in ASP.NET MVC applications, too, with a few options. One of them is shown below using Web.config configuration file;

<compiler language="c#;cs;csharp" extension=".cs" type="..."
compilerOptions="/define:TRACE" warningLevel="1" />

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