Insecure data storage is when files can be identified and contain plain text or encoded credentials. These credentials include usernames, passwords, private encryption keys, and other potentially sensitive data that can be leveraged to obtain unauthorized application access. Depending on the nature of the embedded data, these secrets can be used to obtain access to various application resources, such as back-end database servers and/or administrative functionality.
Fixes for Insecure Data Storage
Remove all instances of plaintext or encoded credentials from within all files. Developers and administrators should always work with the assumption that a malicious attacker is likely to obtain access to application source code (via source code disclosure vulnerability, de-compilation, etc) or other files and scripts used for administration purposes. This assumption is especially critical when considering code that is deployed on externally accessible systems (resources located in web accessible directories, client-side code, etc). Usernames and passwords stored for access to other systems must always be encrypted when stored and should only be decrypted on-the-fly as needed by applications or other systems. Consider encrypting sensitive personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, to help protect it in the event of unauthorized access to the storage medium.