Skip to main content

Sensitive information in source code - API Key


The encryption key is stored in the source code in plain text and is not obtained from a secure source that guarantees its confidentiality.


  • Generate an elaborate brute-force attack on the applications encrypted messages.
  • Open easily information of a company, web and API security to sensitive data exposure.


It is recommended to load encryption keys from:

  • A key vault service.
  • A configuration file that is properly encrypted.
  • Administrative environment variables.


Unauthorized user obtaining the encryption key directly from the application repository or an application file.

Expected Remediation Time

⌚ 45 minutes.


Default score using CVSS 3.1. It may change depending on the context of the vulnerability.


  • Attack vector: N
  • Attack complexity: H
  • Privileges required: L
  • User interaction: N
  • Scope: U
  • Confidentiality: L
  • Integrity: N
  • Availability: N


  • Exploit code madurity: P
  • Remediation level: O
  • Report confidence: C


  • Vector string: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:H/PR:L/UI:N/S:U/C:L/I:N/A:N/E:P/RL:O/RC:C
  • Score:
    • Base: 3.1
    • Temporal: 2.8
  • Severity:
    • Base: Low
    • Temporal: Low

Code Examples

Compliant code

API Keys and sensitive information are stored as encrypted values

//Store API_KEY as a secret encrypted
const key = Buffer.from(keyString.substring(0, 8), "utf8");

function getInformation(userInput){
const info = fetch("url", key);
//Return information

Non compliant code

The API jeys are stored in plain text value inside the code

const API_KEY = "KEY_inplaneText";

function getInformation(userInput) {
const info = fetch("url", API_KEY);
//Return information


free trial

Search for vulnerabilities in your apps for free with our automated security testing! Start your 21-day free trial and discover the benefits of our Continuous Hacking Machine Plan. If you prefer a full service that includes the expertise of our ethical hackers, don't hesitate to contact us for our Continuous Hacking Squad Plan.