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Insecure authentication method - Basic


Implementation of secure authentication method


  • Usage of TypeScript for statically typed JavaScript development
  • Usage of Express for building web applications and APIs


Non compliant code

import express from 'express';

const app = express();


app.get('/login', (req, res) => {
const { username, password } = req.headers.authorization.split(' ')[1];
// Authenticate user using Basic authentication
// Insecure code, vulnerable to interception

app.listen(3000, () => {
console.log('Server is running on port 3000');

The vulnerability in the provided code is an insecure authentication method, specifically the use of Basic authentication over an insecure channel.

In the code, the server receives a GET request to the '/login' endpoint. The vulnerable part is the way it handles the Basic authentication credentials. The code attempts to extract the username and password from the Authorization header using the req.headers.authorization.split(' ')[1] line.

However, Basic authentication sends the credentials in base64-encoded format, which means that anyone who intercepts the request can easily decode the credentials. This makes it susceptible to interception and unauthorized access to sensitive information.

To fix this vulnerability, it is recommended to use stronger authentication mechanisms like Bearer and OAuth, which provide better security by encrypting the credentials and using secure channels for transmission.


  • Replace Basic authentication with a stronger authentication mechanism like Bearer or OAuth.
  • Ensure that the communication channel is secure (e.g., using HTTPS) to protect the credentials during transmission.
  • Implement proper authentication and authorization logic to validate the user's credentials securely.
  • Consider using a secure password hashing algorithm to store and compare passwords.
  • Regularly update and patch the authentication mechanism to address any security vulnerabilities.

Compliant code

import express from 'express';

const app = express();

app.use(express.json());'/login', (req, res) => {
const { username, password } = req.body;
// Authenticate user using Bearer or OAuth authentication
// Implement secure authentication logic here

app.listen(3000, () => {
console.log('Server is running on port 3000');

The fixed code is written in TypeScript and uses the Express framework to create a server.

First, the code imports the necessary dependencies, including the 'express' module.

Then, an instance of the Express application is created using the 'express()' function and assigned to the 'app' variable.

The code adds middleware to parse incoming JSON data using the 'express.json()' middleware. This allows the server to handle JSON data in request bodies.

Next, a route is defined for the '/login' endpoint using the '' method. This route handles POST requests to the '/login' URL.

Inside the route handler function, the code extracts the 'username' and 'password' from the request body using destructuring assignment.

The comment indicates that the code should implement secure authentication logic using stronger authentication mechanisms like Bearer or OAuth. This means that the actual implementation of the authentication logic is not provided in the code snippet.

Finally, the server starts listening on port 3000 using the 'app.listen()' method. A console log message is printed to indicate that the server is running.

Overall, the fixed code sets up an Express server, includes middleware to handle JSON data, defines a route for the '/login' endpoint, and leaves room for implementing secure authentication logic using stronger mechanisms like Bearer or OAuth.