Sunday, November 2, 2008

Custom Error Pages in Struts 2


When attackers target a particular application, they typically spend some time gathering information about the application's components, framework, and architecture. One way attackers may gather this type of information is through error messages.

Error messages often disclose SQL queries, code fragments, file names, or other sensitive information. An example is shown below.

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008092417 Firefox/3.0.3 xx.xx.xx.xx 10/18/08 17:49:20 clientid=&id=

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Line 1: Incorrect syntax near '='.

SQL = "SELECT * FROM logins WHERE clientid ="

Data Source = "AFE2003"

The error occurred while processing an element with a general identifier of (CFQUERY), occupying document position (40:2) to (40:47) in the template file E:\inetpub\i\somesite\showinv\Application.cfm.

The disclosure of this information can be avoided using custom error pages. Applications, frameworks, or servers can be configured to redirect users to a custom error page that does not disclose stack traces, debugging information, or verbose error messages.

Struts 2 Custom Error Pages

Struts 2 includes an Exception Interceptor in its default stack. Developers can utilize this interceptor to catch errors and redirect users to a page containing a generic error message. One example is shown below.

Custom Error Page

(Click the image above to view the code)

(Click the image above to see the XML)

The code repository containing updated struts 2 modules can be found below:

Additionally, you can see discussion of these modules in my earlier blog posts:


vijay rajan said...


Anonymous said...

Very usefull ! Thanks !