Story of a really cool SSRF bug.

Hello all! My name is Vedant, also known as Vegeta(on twitter). I’m a cybersecurity enthusiast and a bug bounty hunter. This is my first write-up of 2021. This write-up is about a SSRF vulnerability that allowed me to access the AWS metadata of the target company. So let’s get started,

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The target web app was like a social media platform with lots of functionalities. Let’s assume it as

As the target had lots of functionalities I decided to test the main web app first rather than doing any recon. So I fired up burp suite and added the target to scope and started to spider the web app. While the spider was running I began to test different functionalities of the web app. I tried to find different vulnerabilities such as XSS, IDORs, SQLi, rate limit attacks, business logic errors etc. for about 2 hours but no luck :(

I was just about to give up on that target and then suddenly remembered that I started to spider the web app so I went to the target tab in burp, there were a lot of pages crawled and lots of new parameters. Then I started to search for interesting parameters and after about 5 minutes I got the following request:-

GET /proxy/proxy.php?url=some_URL

After seeing that request I immediately fired up the burp collaborator, generated a payload and entered it in the url= parameter and sent the request. And I got the callback request in the burp collaborator with both DNS and HTTP request. I was really happy at this point.

Then I tried to access the localhost( and /etc/passwd file but this time I got nothing in response. So I copied the IP which I got from the burp collaborator and used Whois and dig commands on it and got to know that the IP belonged to the target company’s AWS instance. So this time I tried to access the IP which is used in Amazon EC2 and other cloud computing platforms to distribute metadata to cloud instances. So I made following request:-

GET /proxy/proxy.php?url=

And got the following response:-

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After that I tried to access the AWS secret access key to show the impact of this SSRF and made the following request:-

GET /proxy/proxy.php?url=

And got the AWS secret access key in the response! And I was extremely happy with this finding!

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SSRF to AWS-metadata access.

Then I quickly wrote a good report and sent it to the company and they fixed this vulnerability within 2 days. Unfortunately I didn’t get any bounty for this as the target company had a responsible disclosure program, but anyways I learned a lot of new things from this vulnerability and I hope you learned some new things as well :)

If you have any doubts regarding this write-up , you can contact me here .

I hope you all enjoyed reading this write-up. Until next time, good bye and happy hacking!

I’m a self learner, New in bug bounty and Infosec community

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