One day, my friend noticed that when you get a account, intentionally or not, username and password are the same - at least at the place we got our accounts from. Also, account's username is a number that goes up gradually - again, at least at the place we got our accounts from. We wondered how many people did not change their default passwords (being same as given username). This tool is a proof of concept .... or .... This is what happens when I get bored on saturdays .... ba dum tss (I am 100% aware that was a really lame joke)


(if the video glitches, refresh the page or view it in a new tab or download it)

What's the problem?

New/Existing accounts from a specific canteen (I don't have data on other canteens) have default and predictable username + password. Change is not enforced upon users, so some users may leave it like that. We can then send login requests using these predictable credentials and obtain access to these accounts.

How big of a problem is this?

It's hard to tell without having internal data/statistics, but I believe that this specific "vulnerability" (arguable if it even is a vulnerability) is not affecting a large chunk of users. I don't even know whether to call this a vulnerability, because it's no different than running a script that goes through a rainbow table. However, I believe that the chunk of users that it affects could have a bad time :D. After some digging, I found some interesting functionalities, that the potential attacker could use to cause some damage to the company's reputation, presuming that the attacker has obtained a list of all vulnerable accounts using this "vulnerability", after running the code provided for like a month.

  1. Fun fact, if you want to reset e-mail or password, you can do that with 1 request (after obtaining authentication). NO need to login once again, or confirm the reset through email, it just resets it. This means that the potential attacker could take the list of people with default login and then massively reset everybody's email and password (causing irl Denial of Service).
  2. If this potential attacker has a list of all vulnerable accounts, they could theoretically cancel everybody's lunches at the same time, causing supply chain problems (if the number of vulnerable accounts is big enough).
  3. As an attacker you could also use this "vulnerability" on a smaller scale, attacking individuals by changing their lunches or seeing part of their schedule without "stalking them" in real-world (on the spot).

The severity of all of these potential attacks depends on the number of vulnerable accounts, which I don't have, legally cannot find out and won't take a guess.

Also, a bonus fun fact I came across while playing around with the website: You don't need a valid email address for registering new accounts (or confirming the ownership of said email address). You can even have multiple accounts linked to one email address. How much of an issue is this? I don't know ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, because I didn't decide to dig deeper as it's outside of the scope of this blog post.

How hard is this to 'exploit'?

First of all, I have only a basic level of understanding when it comes to black box penetration testing (atm). This whole program could have been a simple bash for-loop. As a matter of fact, this is something that can be done by every average script-kiddie :/ (meaning, no fancy/cool hacking techniques were used :D). Somebody could theoretically make this run as multiple tasks on multiple cores and scale somewhat well, at a real-time of

([r * k] / [t * c])
  r => number_of_requests 
  k => request response time 
  t => tasks spawned 
  c => cores used

however since this project is for educational purposes only, I am NOT going to implement that. Nevertheless, that approach should be currently possible to implement, because AFAIK strava does not rate limit requests.

Possible fixes

  1. The obvious one is to not allow the same username and password (After first login show users page prompting them to change their password or something...)
  2. Implement two factor authentication
  3. Instruct administrators of canteens to use randomly generated usernames and passwords
  4. Place already existing bot/spam prevention solution in front of the website (eg. Cloudflare's WAF)
  5. Rate limit login attempts using fingerprinting - although this could be penetrated by randomly changing values used for said fingerprinting.

The code provided is for educational purposes only and should not be used for any malicious or illegal activities. Any unauthorized use of this code is strictly prohibited and violators will be held liable for their actions. The code is intended to be used solely for the purpose of learning and understanding vulnerabilities and should not be executed on any systems without proper authorization and oversight. The author of this code takes no responsibility for any actions taken by any party using this code and is not liable for any damages or harm caused as a result of its use.

I hope you enjoyed this article/blog post!

If you have any questions, problems or want to start a discussion, don't hesitate and write me an email!

Disclaimer: The opinions, views and values expressed in this post are solely my own and do not reflect the opinions, views and values of my current or past employer, any open source groups I am or have been involved with, or any other groups/organizations I am or have been associated with.