Denial of Service (DoS) Affecting ca.uhn.hapi.fhir:hapi-fhir-base package, versions [,5.4.0)

  • Attack Complexity


  • Availability


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  • snyk-id


  • published

    7 May 2021

  • disclosed

    6 May 2021

  • credit

    Zachary Minneker at Security Innovation

How to fix?

Upgrade ca.uhn.hapi.fhir:hapi-fhir-base to version 5.4.0 or higher.


ca.uhn.hapi.fhir:hapi-fhir-base is a Java API for HL7 FHIR Clients and Servers.

Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to Denial of Service (DoS). On a server with a very large number of resources, if the history operation is executed by many clients (e.g. 200) concurrently, the server becomes unresponsive and ultimately consumes a large amount of disk and becomes unstable.


Denial of Service (DoS) describes a family of attacks, all aimed at making a system inaccessible to its intended and legitimate users.

Unlike other vulnerabilities, DoS attacks usually do not aim at breaching security. Rather, they are focused on making websites and services unavailable to genuine users resulting in downtime.

One popular Denial of Service vulnerability is DDoS (a Distributed Denial of Service), an attack that attempts to clog network pipes to the system by generating a large volume of traffic from many machines.

When it comes to open source libraries, DoS vulnerabilities allow attackers to trigger such a crash or crippling of the service by using a flaw either in the application code or from the use of open source libraries.

Two common types of DoS vulnerabilities:

  • High CPU/Memory Consumption- An attacker sending crafted requests that could cause the system to take a disproportionate amount of time to process. For example, commons-fileupload:commons-fileupload.

  • Crash - An attacker sending crafted requests that could cause the system to crash. For Example, npm ws package