IDOR: A Basic Overview (2021)

Ajay Ohri


This term IDOR  was made popular when it was mentioned in OWASP top ten in 2007. In the growing era of the internet, Some Apps are helping us in making our life easy and comfortable, But the data we give to the app to access it can be used for unlawful activities. No doubt apps are useful for us in many ways, but there are certain obligations which we should know before filling up the necessary detail to gain access. Some hackers always have a keen eye on the activities we are performing on our mobile phone, and we should be very alert in using them.

  1. Definition
  2. IDOR in Action
  3. Detecting IDORS
  4. Preventing IDOR vulnerability

1. Definition

One of the most common application-based activity is IDOR which is an Insecure Direct Object Reference vulnerability. It is the access granted to control vulnerability that arises when an application uses a user’s data to access him or her sensitive data directly. Users can be directed to links which they do not intend to be without having the slightest clue about it.

IDOR may not be a direct security threat but can allow some hackers to access some unauthorized data.

2. IDOR in Action

An IDOR vulnerability  an occur:

1.When the application offers a direct link to an internal source.

2. When The user is able to manipulate the URL.

3.When an application grants access without taking permission of the user to authorize the given information.

3. Detecting IDORS

This very much happens when we all are being granted the free coupon codes which we can use for shopping and many more such thing. Many times, the promo code you receive while filling the form changes after you get the coupon. For eg-promo, code=123 can be changed to 127 while actually gaining that coupon. In this way, we all just exploit the IODR vulnerabilities.

This also happens when you visit a site, and the site allows you to see the user ID of the clients, which is exposing the confidential data and also when you give your account information to a website that may get hacked, and the attacker may use that to meet his personal needs which can prove very lethal to you personally and financially as well.

IODR vulnerabilities often occur when sensitive data are located in files that are used less because they are easy to manipulate and do such activities. 

IODR can have serious consequences for cybersecurity and can be very hard to find the culprit. Ironically, The attacker is hard to find but doing it is as simple as manually changing an URL of a website.

4. Preventing IDOR vulnerability

For any security researcher, seeing an exposed internal source is an immediate alert to test IODR vulnerabilities. To identify a potential source of such vulnerability, we must have basic knowledge of how an application or a website works and how it processes HTTP requests and what kind of information it should reveal and the kind of information it should not reveal to the requests made by the source.

There are certain ways to mitigate the risks, such as replacing the indirect object, which is indirectly linked with the internal source, which can be done by using secure hashes than the actual object, which can make it harder for the attackers to disrupt the user’s sensitive information. We can also refer to the IDOR prevention sheet for detailed recommendations on replacing direct identifiers with secure hashes.


The ever-growing Internet is no doubt is of great use to use, but some people are using it the wrong way. So, we should be aware of them and be responsible for all the sensitive information we are giving to any other external source. We should be very selective in the kind of information we are giving to gain access to anything.

We should also spread knowledge of such things to more and more people because every day, many people are being trapped by this kind of attacks which are leading them into deep trouble. So that they also become aware of such things going on in society and live their life more safely.

We as a responsible citizen should spread this to as many people as we can so that we all live in a society which is less prone to cybercrime and eliminate this kind of unlawful activities.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Cyber Security Courses for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.



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