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Is following code vulnerable? If yes, how it can be exploited?

Boolean redirectToSomeSite = (Boolean)request.getAttribute("redirectToSomeSite");
String someSiteUrl = (String)request.getAttribute("someSiteUrl");

if(redirectToSomeSite != null && redirectToSomeSite.booleanValue()) {
<jsp:forward page="" />
<% } %>
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closed as too localized by Polynomial, Iszi, rook, Rory Alsop Sep 25 '12 at 23:53

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yep, obviously an owasp top 10 violation. – rook Sep 25 '12 at 16:19
Are you trying to develop a customizable redirect page where you can record someone using the link prior to performing the redirect? If yes, I wonder if adding validation checks in your code to the URL being redirected to might remove the cross-site vulnerability? – HeatfanJohn Sep 25 '12 at 16:40
@HeatfanJohn: Not exactly! I am just trying to exploit this piece of code using any proxy tool. I am wondering if we can tamper/modify request.getAttribute() as do request.getParamter()? – p_upadhyay Sep 25 '12 at 19:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

getParameter() returns http request parameters. Those passed from the client to the server. For example Can only return String

getAttribute() is for server-side usage only - you fill the request with attributes that you can use within the same request. For example - you set an attribute in a servlet, and read it from a JSP. Can be used for any object, not just string.

So the simple answer for your question is no, you cannot exploit request.getAttribute() with a proxy, since you don't have access to the server inner processes. This is of course true only if the rest of the program is secured and you can trust the attributes you're requesting.

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Looks like there might be a open-redirect vulnerability. This might mean an attacker could craft a link with your URL and make your web site redirect the user to a malicious page. The user, just seeing the 'trusted' website belonging to you, gets redirected to the malicious webpage, which might mount an attack such as a CSRF/XSS. So although this code does not have any vulnerability by itself, it can be used to launch other serious attacks.

Reference: CWE 601

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+1, Also an owasp top 10 violation. – rook Sep 25 '12 at 16:20
@asudhak: I am wondering if we can exploit request.getAttribute() as we do request.getParameter() using any proxy tool or firefox add on? – p_upadhyay Sep 25 '12 at 19:41
-1 Value from request.getAttribute can not be directly tempered by request data unless the developer sets any data from request directly to the named attribute being used for redirect URL. – Sachin Kumar Apr 5 '13 at 11:46
@SachinKumar Thats what the above code is actually doing – sudhacker Apr 9 '13 at 20:23
@asudhak request.getAttribute and request.getParameter do different things .. code above is reading attribute and not the parameter. – Sachin Kumar Apr 22 '13 at 11:42

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