Configuration Scanners Adding Java Specific Configuration Files

Published: 2024-06-24
Last Updated: 2024-06-24 08:37:24 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
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Hunting for configuration files is one of the favorite tricks we typically see used against our honeypots. Traditionally, standard and more generic configuration files like ".env" or ".config" are the target, with some cloud-specific configuration files sprinkled in.

Today, I noticed in our "First Seen URL" list a new variation that appears to target Java Spring configuration files. For example, the following files are now being hunted:

  • /src/main/resources/application-core.yml
  • /src/main/resources/appsettings.yml
  • /src/main/resources/config.yml

One particular active source of these scans is This IP address, associated with Tencent's cloud data centers, started scanning for configuration files a couple of days ago and uses a very exhaustive list. For example, see Sunday's data:

These lists should be included in vulnerability scanners to proactively scan for any of these URLs in case they are accidentally exposed.

More details about the Spring YAML configuration files can be found here. The file often includes the names of servers in different environments (development vs. production) and may sometimes include usernames and passwords. Oddly, for "application-core.yml", Google only finds one example exposed. But typically, Google would not find these files as they are not exposed via links. An accidentally exposed directory index is the most likely issue that would expose these files to search engines like Google.

Screen shot of three newly scanned Java specific configuration files.

Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D. , Dean of Research,

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