Imran Parray
Imran Parray CEO | Founder @snapsec

Abusing Business Logic of an Application to create backdoor in a form APP

Abusing Business Logic of an Application to create backdoor in a form APP

Working with a target having various access roles and functionalities always gives us goosebumps. This time it was a design flaw in the application logic that we reformed to create a backdoor which revealed us all of the response details submitted on the form or survey created by the admin.


The target is a well known platform that was specialized in creating forms and surveys which could then be used anywhere. Since creating the form or survey involved different roles with specific permissions. Like, an admin can invite a form designer or a copywriter for the convenience of creating beautiful and reliable forms for his audience. As soon as the above roles provided the service they were removed from that particular form or survey and it was no longer collaborated with them. In general they had no access to the form or survey functionalities.

Abusing the logic and creating a backdoor

Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then we start the manifestation in reality.

Same was case with this, we brainstormed about the fact that the roles like form designer and copywriter have write access on the form or survey of the admin but once they are removed as collaborators they can no longer have access on any part of the form or survey.


The forms or the surveys were dynamic by nature as they can be used to get the responses and only admin and people invited to the workspace had the access to view the responses submitted on the form. The responses can vary from personal information to any other sensitive information with respect to the objective of form. Analysing the submitted responses we came to know that admin can generate an form Report which can be shared with any un-authenticated users and allow them to view all of the responses on the form. Browsing the specific url anyone can view the responses of the form or survey and sadly it only editors and admins of the form can generate the response urls.


As we knew that copywriters and designers and everyone else who previously has any access to the form have atleast read-access on the forms or surveys though for time being but it ticked our minds; whether or not can we generate form report url without any responses being filled on the form yet.

VOILA! we were able to generate the report url for a form as a designer or copywriter which otherwise should be not allowed for their respective roles.


Once a designer or the copywriter were removed from the form or survey , we checked the report url and it was alive. After the form was used and responses were filled on the form, we were able to see all of the information on this form via the previously generated url which a designer or copywriter can use as a backdoor to steal responses submitted on the form or surveys. This is how a backdoor via logical misconfiguration/poor logical implementation can lead to steal the form responses in a completely passive way.


Attack Scanerio

As we are already aware of the fact that admin can invite 5 different roles to his orginisation/worksapce.

1- Lets suppose Admin wanted to collect information from the employees in His company 2- Admin will invite Editor + Designer to the Workspace So they can create a nice and beautiful form for Admin. 3- Editor + Designer finishes Editing + Designing the form. At the same times they generated a report URL and kept it for later use. 4- Admin removes Editor + Designer from the workspace as he doesn’t want Editor + Designer to see the form responses. 5- The admin published the form and starts getting the responses on it. 6- But Editor + Designer uses the Report URL to get access to responses as new responses get automatically updated on the Report URL 7- So Editor + Designer Gets access to the form responses even though they are completely removed from the worskspace

Understanding the Design Flaws

On looking at the attack scanerio, It can be clearly noticed that there were two different design flaws which allowed any inivted users to Backdoor Forms and steal form responses

  • The first desing flaw was that all the people who were invited to the orginisation were allowed to generate/see report URI’s of the forms, Please note that the people accessing form responses via report URI wans’t the issue at all rather the real problem was Who has access to generate the report URIS?.

    The Editors and Designers should not be allowed to generate the URL and use it in future to see all responses without letting admin having any knowledge about this.

  • The 2nd problem was that the Report URI was able to display any newly added responses on the form via report accessed by any user, What i meant by that is that if the UserX generated a report URI at time 1 Dec , and new form responses was addede to form on 3 December the report URI would automatically allows everyone to access the form response added on 3 december.

Combing the above two logical flaws it allowed attacker to generate a report URI and wait till admins starts collecting responses and then Access newly added form responses via the Report-URI , which infact allowed users to turn Report URI into a completely backdoor on a form.

Possible Fixes to the Problem

We proposed the following Solutions to the customer which would have completely metigated the issue,

  • You shouldn’t allows Editor + Designer and other non-admin people to generate the Report URL
  • Try not to send the further updates (responses) to the Report URL generated by non admin user.


  • Have a firm understanding of the target app.
  • Know various roles against their permitted access.
  • Whatever any role is capable of accomplishing more than permitted access should be noted down.
  • Abuse that logic to increase the impact of the flaw.

If you’ve made so far, it should be clear to you that there was no technical part involved in this and yet it was maked P2 severity issue.

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