Configuration Management / Referer-Dependent Response

Web and API


Referer-dependent response is an IT vulnerability related to configuration management. It is listed in the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) directory under CWE-601: URL Redirection to Untrusted Site (‘Open Redirect’). It is a vulnerability that occurs in Web and API applications, where the server is configured to respond differently to requests based on the value of the Referer header. This vulnerability can be exploited by an attacker to redirect a user to a malicious website. As outlined in the OWASP Testing Guide, the Referer header can be modified to change the response of the application.


This vulnerability can be used to redirect users to malicious websites, allowing an attacker to obtain sensitive information such as usernames and passwords. It can also be used to spread malware by redirecting users to malicious websites with malware. It is a high-risk vulnerability with a CVSS score of 7.5.


The solution to this vulnerability is to configure the server to respond consistently to requests, regardless of the Referer header. This can be achieved by disabling the Referer header or by checking for a valid Referer header in the response.

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