Managed WAF Start at $99

HTTP/2 Rapid Reset Attack Vulnerability

Posted DateOctober 17, 2023
Posted Time 2   min Read

Google, Amazon Web Services & others recently disclosed a vulnerability in HTTP/2 protocol, which is being tracked as “CVE-2023-44487”. The flaw lies in how the HTTP/2 protocol was implemented to increase the efficiency of transmitting various messages between endpoints by “Stream multiplexing”.

What is HTTP/2 Rapid Rest Attack Vulnerability (CVE-2023-44487)?

HTTP/2 protocol provides a mechanism for clients to request the cancellation of a previously initiated stream by transmitting an RST_STREAM frame to the server. This cancellation process assumes that the cancellation occurs immediately on the server side once RST_STREAM frames are received. However, the client can send a reset stream immediately after sending the request frame, which is received by the server, processed, and rapidly resets. The requests are canceled, but the connection remains open.

As the cancellation is immediate and not dependent on the server side, the client can initiate many such streams simultaneously, followed by streams containing HTTP/2 headers and/or data frames within the limit of concurrent allowed streams negotiated between the client and server. In a default HTTP/2 implementation, the server still needs to process the canceled requests, eventually causing resource exhaustion on the server.

HTTP/2 Rapid Reset Zero-Day Vulnerability Exploited

Image source: TechRepublic

It is now popular as a “Rapid Reset Attack,” and the vulnerability allows a remote, unauthenticated attacker to cause an increase in CPU usage that can lead to a denial-of-service (DoS). It is also known to be exploited in the wild from August through October 2023, and multiple exploits are available to the public.

Severity: HIGH

CVSSv3.1: Base Score: 7.5 HIGH

Vector: CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:N/I:N/A:H

CVSSv2: Base Score: 5 MEDIUM

Vector: CVSS2#AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:N/I:N/A:P

Exploit available in public: Yes.

Exploit complexity: Low

Active Exploitations

It is also known to be exploited in the wild from August through October 2023, and multiple exploits are available to the public.

In parallel, the CISA also issued an advisory regarding the vulnerability, incorporating it into their Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) list.

Prevention and Mitigation

  • Apply vendor-recommended patches/security updates.
  • Disable the HTTP/2 protocol on your web server if vendor updates are unavailable.
  • Restrict access to external/public to your web applications wherever possible.
  • For .NET and Kestrel, servers without HTTP/2 enabled are not affected. Include a protocol setting for each Kestrel endpoint to limit your application to HTTP1.1.

AppTrana WAAP Threat Coverage

AppTrana customers are protected from the vulnerabilities from Day 0.

Beyond the vendor-supplied patches, AppTrana WAAP provides additional protection patterns that can serve as an extra line of defense against potential exploits.


Stay tuned for more relevant and interesting security articles. Follow Indusface on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

AppTrana WAAP

Spread the love

Join 47000+ Security Leaders

Get weekly tips on blocking ransomware, DDoS and bot attacks and Zero-day threats.

We're committed to your privacy. indusface uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.