CVE Vulnerabilities


Generation of Error Message Containing Sensitive Information

Published: Aug 09, 2019 | Modified: Oct 27, 2022
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x

An issue was discovered in OpenStack Nova before 17.0.12, 18.x before 18.2.2, and 19.x before 19.0.2. If an API request from an authenticated user ends in a fault condition due to an external exception, details of the underlying environment may be leaked in the response, and could include sensitive configuration or other data.


The product generates an error message that includes sensitive information about its environment, users, or associated data.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Nova Openstack * 17.0.12 (excluding)
Nova Openstack 18.0.0 (including) 18.2.2 (excluding)
Nova Openstack 19.0.0 (including) 19.0.2 (excluding)
Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10.0 (Newton) RedHat openstack-nova-1:14.1.0-56.el7ost *
Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13.0 (Queens) RedHat openstack-nova-1:17.0.10-6.el7ost *
Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14.0 (Rocky) RedHat openstack-nova-1:18.2.1-0.20190509150817.8e130e2.el7ost *
Nova Ubuntu bionic *
Nova Ubuntu devel *
Nova Ubuntu disco *
Nova Ubuntu esm-infra/bionic *
Nova Ubuntu esm-infra/xenial *
Nova Ubuntu trusty *
Nova Ubuntu xenial *

Extended Description

The sensitive information may be valuable information on its own (such as a password), or it may be useful for launching other, more serious attacks. The error message may be created in different ways:

An attacker may use the contents of error messages to help launch another, more focused attack. For example, an attempt to exploit a path traversal weakness (CWE-22) might yield the full pathname of the installed application. In turn, this could be used to select the proper number of “..” sequences to navigate to the targeted file. An attack using SQL injection (CWE-89) might not initially succeed, but an error message could reveal the malformed query, which would expose query logic and possibly even passwords or other sensitive information used within the query.

Potential Mitigations

  • Ensure that error messages only contain minimal details that are useful to the intended audience and no one else. The messages need to strike the balance between being too cryptic (which can confuse users) or being too detailed (which may reveal more than intended). The messages should not reveal the methods that were used to determine the error. Attackers can use detailed information to refine or optimize their original attack, thereby increasing their chances of success.
  • If errors must be captured in some detail, record them in log messages, but consider what could occur if the log messages can be viewed by attackers. Highly sensitive information such as passwords should never be saved to log files.
  • Avoid inconsistent messaging that might accidentally tip off an attacker about internal state, such as whether a user account exists or not.