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Parameter Tempering : How Hacker Drop Price Using Price Tempering

Parameter Tempering : How Hacker Drop Price Using Price Tempering

Introduction:

In the realm of cybersecurity, parameter tampering stands as a potent technique used by both ethical hackers and malicious actors to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications. One such nefarious application of parameter tampering is price tempering, wherein hackers manipulate input parameters to modify product prices or alter transaction values. This article explores the concept of parameter tampering, delves into the realm of price tempering, and provides real-world examples along with request code snippets to demonstrate how hackers carry out these attacks.

Understanding Parameter Tampering:

Parameter tampering involves the manipulation of input parameters exchanged between clients and servers in web applications. These parameters can be found in URLs, form data, cookies, headers, or hidden fields. By tampering with these parameters, hackers can bypass security mechanisms and modify data to their advantage.

Price Tampering: An Exploitative Approach:

Price tempering, a subcategory of parameter tampering, is particularly appealing to hackers seeking financial gains. By modifying product prices or transaction values, attackers can deceive systems into processing transactions at incorrect or manipulated prices, leading to monetary losses for businesses and consumers alike.

Techniques Employed by Hackers:

  • Intercepting and Modifying Requests: Hackers use tools like Burp Suite or OWASP ZAP to intercept requests sent from clients to servers. They then manipulate the relevant parameters responsible for pricing, such as product IDs or price values.
Example Request Code Snippet:
POST /checkout HTTP/1.1
Host: www.example.com
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 32

product_id=12345&price=50.00
In this example, a hacker intercepts the request and modifies the price parameter to a lower value, such as 10.00, resulting in a reduced transaction value.
  • Modifying Hidden Form Fields: Hidden form fields are often used to store critical information, such as prices or transaction IDs. Hackers inspect the HTML source code and manipulate these hidden fields to modify prices during checkout processes.
Example Request Code Snippet:
<form action="/checkout" method="POST">
  <input type="hidden" name="product_id" value="12345">
  <input type="hidden" name="price" value="50.00">
  <input type="submit" value="Checkout">
</form>
The hacker modifies the price value in the HTML source code to a lower value, causing the transaction to be processed at the manipulated price.

Real-World Examples:

  • E-commerce Discount Codes: Hackers may tamper with discount codes, altering them to apply higher discounts than intended. By manipulating the discount parameter, they can achieve significantly reduced prices or even free products.
  • Hotel or Flight Booking Manipulation: Attackers can tamper with parameters responsible for the price calculation in online booking systems. By modifying parameters such as the number of guests or the duration of the stay, hackers can manipulate prices to their advantage.

Preventing Price Tampering Attacks:

To mitigate the risk of price tampering attacks, organizations should implement the following measures:
  • Input Validation: Employ robust input validation mechanisms to ensure the integrity and validity of parameters.
  • Server-Side Validation: Perform server-side validation to recheck prices and ensure consistency between client and server data.
  • Secure Session Management: Implement secure session management techniques to prevent unauthorized access or session hijacking.
  • Encryption and Integrity Checks: Utilize encryption techniques and integrity checks, such as digital signatures or hash algorithms, to safeguard critical data from tampering.

Conclusion:

Parameter tampering, particularly price tempering, poses a significant threat to web applications and their users. Hackers leverage various techniques to manipulate input parameters and exploit vulnerabilities for financial gains. By understanding the concepts behind parameter tampering and price tempering, organizations can proactively implement robust security measures to prevent these attacks and protect their users’ interests.
Remember, it is crucial to maintain up-to-date security practices, regularly patch vulnerabilities, and educate users about the risks associated with parameter tampering. By doing so, we can collectively fortify web applications against these insidious exploits and ensure a safer online environment.

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Written by Prapattimynk

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