In a recent critical incident, Strobes ASM, an attack surface management platform, played a key role in identifying and mitigating a severe threat in a custom-made WordPress application. The application was designed to require authentication for access, but due to a misconfiguration in the WordPress settings, it inadvertently allowed directory listing. This misconfiguration exposed sensitive directories and files on the client’s website, posing a significant risk of unauthorized data access.
The client’s WordPress application, intended to be secure and accessible only to authenticated users, suffered from a critical oversight in its configuration. While the application required user authentication for normal operations, the server settings mistakenly permitted directory listing, thus exposing sensitive information.
Discovery of the Threat
The vulnerability was discovered on a specific section of the client’s website (URL redacted for confidentiality). This directory was unintentionally exposed, allowing unauthorized access to confidential documents, including proprietary firmware downloads and sensitive installation manuals. The directory had been accumulating sensitive files since 2020, increasing the risk of a significant data breach.
Strobes ASM’s Role
Strobes ASM, with its advanced scanning and detection capabilities, quickly identified this critical exposure. The system’s automated processes were instrumental in:
Scanning and Identifying the Vulnerability
Strobes ASM efficiently scanned the client’s web infrastructure, detecting the unprotected directory and the sensitive documents it contained.
Alert Creation and Triage
Upon detection, Strobes ASM generated an immediate alert. The alert was triaged by Strobes security researchers who confirmed the severity and potential impact of the exposure.
The team rapidly escalated the issue to the client, ensuring that they were immediately aware of the vulnerability.
Client Response and Resolution
Upon notification, the client took swift action to address the vulnerability. The mitigation steps included:
- Updating Web Server Configuration: The client disabled directory listing on their web server, a crucial step in preventing unauthorized access.
- Implementation of Access Controls: For directories where listing was necessary, strict access controls were implemented to limit access to authorized personnel only.