Authorization / Privilege Escalation

Web and API


Privilege Escalation is a type of vulnerability that occurs when an attacker is able to gain access to more system resources than what is authorized. This type of attack is often seen in web and API applications, where an attacker can use a vulnerability to access a user's account with more privileges than the user is supposed to have. According to the OWASP Testing Guide, privilege escalation attacks can be used to gain access to sensitive data, modify application or system settings, or gain access to other users' accounts.


Privilege escalation attacks can have serious consequences on an organization's network and data. An attacker can use the escalated privileges to bypass security measures, gain access to confidential data, or even install malicious software. In addition, the attacker could use the escalated privileges to disable security controls or manipulate system settings, making the vulnerability even harder to detect. As a result, companies can suffer serious financial, reputational, and legal damages.


The best way to protect against privilege escalation attacks is to properly configure access control policies and ensure that users are only given the privileges that they need to perform their job. Additionally, organizations should monitor user activities and periodically audit their systems to detect any attempts of privilege escalation. Finally, organizations should regularly update their software and patch any vulnerabilities, as attackers can take advantage of outdated software to gain access to system resources.

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