Hyperledger Besu is an open-source, MainNet compatible, Ethereum client written in Java. In Besu before version 1.5.1 there is a denial-of-service vulnerability involving the HTTP JSON-RPC API service. If username and password authentication is enabled for the HTTP JSON-RPC API service, then prior to making any requests to an API endpoint the requestor must use the login endpoint to obtain a JSON web token (JWT) using their credentials. A single user can readily overload the login endpoint with invalid requests (incorrect password). As the supplied password is checked for validity on the main vertx event loop and takes a relatively long time this can cause the processing of other valid requests to fail. A valid username is required for this vulnerability to be exposed. This has been fixed in version 1.5.1.
The software does not properly control the allocation and maintenance of a limited resource, thereby enabling an actor to influence the amount of resources consumed, eventually leading to the exhaustion of available resources.
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Limited resources include memory, file system storage, database connection pool entries, and CPU. If an attacker can trigger the allocation of these limited resources, but the number or size of the resources is not controlled, then the attacker could cause a denial of service that consumes all available resources. This would prevent valid users from accessing the software, and it could potentially have an impact on the surrounding environment. For example, a memory exhaustion attack against an application could slow down the application as well as its host operating system. There are at least three distinct scenarios which can commonly lead to resource exhaustion:
Resource exhaustion problems are often result due to an incorrect implementation of the following situations:
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 is simply difficult to effectively institute – and even when properly done, it does not provide a full solution. It simply makes the attack require more resources on the part of the attacker.