Multiple Host Header Attacks after bypassing protection with... a Header Attack

I was searching for bug bounty programmes by using google dorks, when I came across one by a company, let’s say, Example Inc. They had a ,relatively, big scope and I thought I’d give that a try.

After doing some recon and finding some interesting domains, I started playing with their API, Recently I learned more about Host Header Injections, so I thought maybe I’ll start with that.
The API was working that way, so that the user has to provide a X-API-KEY header with the value of a valid API key. If the user didn’t provide this header with a valid key, he would get a 403 response, i.e. Forbidden. I didn’t have a valid key so, as mentioned earlier, I played with the Host header.

To my surprise, setting the header to anything but the initial Host header value, would result to getting a 200 response, i.e. OK. Still, I couldn’t use the API, but I could enumerate directories and access the (previously inaccessible) robots.txt file, where I could partially see the structure of the website.

Before the injection

After the injection

Still, I was getting some 403 responses but the weird thing was that non existent directories would return a 200 response (I think the directory /vict0niIsTheBest doesn’t exist, but still got me a 200 response). That way, I couldn’t say if a directory that responded with a 200 really existed or not without looking at it’s content.

The directories with Content-Length greater than 0 wasn’t of any value. But I was getting some 301 responses too. Testing some directories with 301 response, I realized that, again, by changing the Host header I would get redirected to any website.

So my goal now was to find as many directories with 301 response as possible. I learned recently about a tool named ffuf so I gave that a try.

ffuf -w big.txt -u "" -H "Host: localhost" -o ~/Desktop/bugHunting/targets/example/ffuf_big_301.txt -mc 301

That way, I was able to find 10(!) Host header injection vulnerable endpoints after getting access to them, yet with another Host header injection!


This is really cool!

I wonder if we could write a cheeky tool that automates host header detection :wink:

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I was actually thinking about this, I bet we can

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Where did you learn about ffuf? I’ve just recently heard about it too, and it’s awesome so far


I’m not sure, I think in a twitter post or maybe a random Github search for fuzzers etc. Yeah it’s actually pretty nice!


It’s seems very interesting, gonna learn about headers injections too

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If you want to use them in bounty programs then you must have a pretty good PoC or show a crucial impact. Sadly, most programs won’t accept you report. My experience told me that simple redirections won’t be accepted. But seeing the structure of the server by changing the Host (first injection here) is something (in this case it was a “known issue” but, by observing the behaviour of the organization, I’m not so sure).


I’d like to get started to BugBounty, I think is a very good way to learn in real world. If this kind of attack isn’t accepted is not a real problem, my goal is to learn :smiley: