Path traversal is a type of security vulnerability that can occur when a web application or service allows an attacker to access server files or directories that are outside the intended directory structure. This can lead to the unauthorized reading or modification of sensitive data. In the context of file uploads, a path traversal vulnerability can occur when an application fails to properly validate the file path specified by the user, which can allow the attacker to upload a malicious file with a filename that gives them access to restricted files on the server.
Preventing path traversal in file uploads is crucial for the security of Java applications, as it helps to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access to restricted files and directories. In this blog post, we'll explore path traversal in file uploads in more detail and show you how to prevent this vulnerability in Java applications with Snyk Code. Whether you're a developer or simply interested in learning more about security in Java, this post will provide you with information and insights to help keep your Java applications secure.
Imagine an application that allows users to upload profile pictures. The application stores the profile pictures in a directory on the server, such as /images/profiles/. If the application fails to validate the file name specified by the user properly, an attacker could upload a malicious file with a file name like ../../etc/passwd. This would allow the attacker to access sensitive system files outside the intended directory structure.