(Sep 8, 2020)
The revival of HTTP request smuggling has led to devastating vulnerabilities in our modern application deployments. An HTTP request smuggled past the validation of an edge server can lead to serious consequences, including forged internal headers, access to internal management endpoints, and a variety of opportunities for privilege escalation.
HTTP/2 (or HTTP/3) is a promising solution to the issues we’ve faced with request smuggling, but support for HTTP/1.1 isn’t going away anytime soon. In the meantime, we’re still in for more surprises from our good friend HTTP/1.1.
In this post, I demonstrate how upgrading HTTP/1.1 connections to lesser-known HTTP/2 over cleartext (h2c) connections can allow a bypass of reverse proxy access controls, and lead to long-lived, unrestricted HTTP traffic directly to back-end servers.