The Unusual Case of Status code- 301 Redirection to AWS Security Credentials Compromise

Hi All,

This is about my recent hack and I personally find it one of the most curious and unusual hacks of my bug bounty journey in which an open redirection leads me to access AWS EC2 credentials compromise in India’s leading fintech company. Below I’ll explain how I was able to access AWS credentials by first finding an unusual redirection then getting kind of Remote File Inclusion (RFI), escalating it to Server Side Request Forgery (SSRF) and finally getting hold of AWS EC2 Credentials.

Recently, I have been learning about How routing works in an application written in, how basically the URL are routed to the correct logic or functionality for which ASP.NET Core MVC uses the Routing middleware to match the URLs of incoming requests and map them to actions. Many a times due to bad routing logic and improper code architecture, the misconfigurd routing can leads to perform other unintented function. To further understand this, I would suggest reading this article.

MVC Architecture

So here it goes, while testing India’s largest Fin-tech company, I found that the application is written in and running on Windows IIS/10.0 which is easily gettable by simply checking the response headers -

Application is over Windows IIS server and written in

Now in order to understand how the routing rule might have written in the code, I appended the original URL which was with something garbish — and as expected it throws 404 not found. But the case was different when I visited “My account” page and did the same thing —, here I got 301 redirection to the route from where the request came i.e. Now, what if I append a random HTTP url — and same as happened above, it got redirected to but the URL remains same that means the page was loaded within the server, most likely sent to the upstream server as is. Probably the logic behind the code must be something —

For a URL path like /myaccount, the myaccountApi.MyProfile action will be executed, for the URL path having HTTP or HTTPs protocol, like /myaccount/^(http|https)://(.*),accept it and pass it to the upstream server and for anything not matching any other condition, executing the same action as myaccountApi.MyProfile.

The reason why the developer left the code like this seems to be a testing code which was meant to be on a staging environment but probably due to negligence it was pushed to the prod environment and misconfigured rules in upstream proxy.

Now in order to inspect and debug HTTP requests, I used Requestbin which serves almost the same purpose as Burp Collaborator. and so I made a request and here is the response header I got —

as you can see there were 2 IPs in the x-forwarded-for header which is something weird and when I performed whois lookup, I found that the first IP was my routers IP which is obvious but the second IPs belong to server IP of (i.e of the upstream proxy server). The redirection that I got in the first step was now becoming a Server Side Redirection, not just a client-side redirection. Now if its a server side redirection then there would definitely be a big chance of SSRF (Server Side Request Forgery) attack. Here how upstream proxy might have configured —

# server context, here the is the value which is passed #by MVC action.
location /myaccount/* {
proxy_set_header HOST $host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for, $client_ip ;


. . .

I went to test for SSRF and tried to check for the open ports by hitting the local host on different ports like and I got 200 status OK which meant the port is open (which is obvious as the application is running on it) and when I made the request on the different port like 21, it gave the below response —

Status code 000

Status code 000, not 200 which confirmed the port might be closed or filtered. So here I performed one of the simple and first test case for SSRF — internal server port scan.

Now further observing the response header (X-Amz-Cf-Id and cloudfront keyword), it confirmed that the application is over AWS —

X-Amz-Cf-Id and cloudfront keyword

so without consuming much time, I went on to make the call to read AWS instance metadata API (, the complete URL was — and here is the response I got —

AWS instance meta data

Further, I made the API call to access ssh public key access ( and I got access to it —

SSH Public key

So I have got the SSRF, and able to scan internal ports, able to access EC2 metadata, now to read AWS security credentials — The credentials that AWS uses to identify an instance to the rest of the Amazon EC2 infrastructure, I had to make the call to AWS instance metadata security credentials API and the final URL was ( and as I expected, I was able to get hold of it —

Access to AWS Security Credentials

But the IAM role attached to the ec2 instance seems to have very restricted permission hence the risk level attached to it was low. That’s it about this interesting finding where an unusual redirection leads to access AWS account credentials via SSRF. This is a pure case of how a weak and a not reviewed code and misconfigured rules can lead to a critical vulnerability. The learning for the developers, for the companies, is straightforward — Never commit code in the production environment without proper peer review. There are high chances of negligently pushing staging test code in the prod environment and always give a second look to the proxy/routing rules manually created.

Report details-

25-May-2019 — Bug reported to the concerned company.

26-May-2019 — Bug was marked fixed.

26-May-2019 — Re-tested and confirmed the fix.

30-May-2019 — Rewarded.

Thanks for reading!

~Logicbomb ( )



Security Engineer @Microsoft | DevSecOps | Speaker | Breaking stuff to learn | Featured in Forbes, BBC| Acknowledged by Google, NASA, Yahoo, UN etc

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Avinash Jain (@logicbomb)

Security Engineer @Microsoft | DevSecOps | Speaker | Breaking stuff to learn | Featured in Forbes, BBC| Acknowledged by Google, NASA, Yahoo, UN etc