Schema of a JSON object has no properties defined

Description

The schema for a JSON payload does not have any properties defined.

For more details, see the OpenAPI Specification.

Example

The following is an example of how this type of risk could look in your API definition. The method defines the schema as the JSON payload NewPet. However, the actual content of that JSON object is not defined:

1post:
2  description: Creates a new pet in the store
3  operationId: addPet
4  parameters:
5    name: pet
6    in: body
7    description: pet to add to the system
8    required: true
9    schema:
10      $ref: "#/definitions/NewPet"
11# ...
12NewPet:
13  type: object
14  description: JSON defining a Pet object
15

Possible exploit scenario

If you do not clearly define the schema and you leave properties of a JSON payload empty, you effectively allow attackers to pass in any data. This means that you are opening your backend to various attacks, such as SQL injection.

This also lets attackers to try various unexpected inputs. Unexpected inputs may cause the backend server to crash or behave in an unexpected way. This in turn may cause the server to potentially leak stack trace that can be used for further attacks, or even data.

If no restrictions to the set of properties in the JSON payload are enforced, the API might also accept more fields than expected. The received payloads could be blindly transformed into an object and stored, overwriting sensitive internal data. For more details, see API6:2019 — Mass assignment in OWASP API Security Top 10.

Remediation

Make sure you define all properties of the accepted JSON payload to enforce limitations to what the schema accepts.

1post:
2  description: Creates a new pet in the store
3  operationId: addPet
4  parameters:
5    name: pet
6    in: body
7    description: pet to add to the system
8    required: true
9    schema:
10      $ref: "#/definitions/NewPet"
11# ...
12NewPet:
13  type: object
14  required:
15    - name
16  properties:
17    name:
18      type: string
19      description: Pet name
20    tag:
21      type: string
22      description: Pet tag
23

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