Denial of Service (DoS) Affecting activerecord package, versions < 3.2.13, >= 3.2 < 3.1.12, >= 3.1 < 3.0.0, >= 2.4 < 2.3.18

  • Attack Complexity


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  • snyk-id


  • published

    18 Mar 2013

  • disclosed

    18 Mar 2013

  • credit


How to fix?

Upgrade ActiveRecord to version 2.3.18, 3.0.0, 3.1.12, 3.2.13 or higher.


ActiveRecord is the Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) that comes out-of-the-box with Rails.

Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to Denial of Service attack. When a hash is provided as the find value for a query, the keys of the hash may be converted to symbols. Carefully crafted requests can coerce params[:name] to return a hash, and the keys to that hash may be converted to symbols. Ruby symbols are not garbage collected, so an attacker can initiate a denial of service attack by creating a large number of symbols.


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