A vulnerability was discovered in GitLab versions before 13.1.10, 13.2.8 and 13.3.4. GitLab Webhook feature could be abused to perform denial of service attacks due to the lack of rate limitation.
The software allocates a reusable resource or group of resources on behalf of an actor without imposing any restrictions on the size or number of resources that can be allocated, in violation of the intended security policy for that actor.
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Code frequently has to work with limited resources, so programmers must be careful to ensure that resources are not consumed too quickly, or too easily. Without use of quotas, resource limits, or other protection mechanisms, it can be easy for an attacker to consume many resources by rapidly making many requests, or causing larger resources to be used than is needed. When too many resources are allocated, or if a single resource is too large, then it can prevent the code from working correctly, possibly leading to a denial of service.
Mitigation of resource exhaustion attacks requires that the target system either:
The first of these solutions is an issue in itself though, since it may allow attackers to prevent the use of the system by a particular valid user. If the attacker impersonates the valid user, they may be able to prevent the user from accessing the server in question.
The second solution can be difficult to effectively institute – and even when properly done, it does not provide a full solution. It simply requires more resources on the part of the attacker.
If the program must fail, ensure that it fails gracefully (fails closed). There may be a temptation to simply let the program fail poorly in cases such as low memory conditions, but an attacker may be able to assert control before the software has fully exited. Alternately, an uncontrolled failure could cause cascading problems with other downstream components; for example, the program could send a signal to a downstream process so the process immediately knows that a problem has occurred and has a better chance of recovery.
Ensure that all failures in resource allocation place the system into a safe posture.
Use resource-limiting settings provided by the operating system or environment. For example, when managing system resources in POSIX, setrlimit() can be used to set limits for certain types of resources, and getrlimit() can determine how many resources are available. However, these functions are not available on all operating systems.
When the current levels get close to the maximum that is defined for the application (see CWE-770), then limit the allocation of further resources to privileged users; alternately, begin releasing resources for less-privileged users. While this mitigation may protect the system from attack, it will not necessarily stop attackers from adversely impacting other users.
Ensure that the application performs the appropriate error checks and error handling in case resources become unavailable (CWE-703).