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Last updated 2017-08-10

Username Enumeration

Learn more about unsername enumeration attack

Often, web applications reveal when a username exists on system, either as a consequence of mis-configuration or as a design decision. For example, sometimes, when we submit wrong credentials, we receive a message that states that either the username is present on the system or the provided password is wrong. The information obtained can be used by an attacker to gain a list of users on system. This information can be used to attack the web application, for example, through a brute force or default username and password attack.


The tester should interact with the authentication mechanism of the application to understand if sending particular requests causes the application to answer in different manners. This issue exists because the information released from web application or web server when the user provide a valid username is different than when they use an invalid one.


In some cases, a message is received that reveals if the provided credentials are wrong because an invalid username or an invalid password was used. Sometimes, testers can enumerate the existing users by sending a username and an empty password.

Learn more on https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Testing_for_Account_Enumeration_and_Guessable_User_Account_(OTG-IDENT-004)