How to avoid users hacking your reset password page on

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Wesley Wasielewski


Feb 22, 2024


🇬🇧 English

Did you knew that the “Assign a Temporary Password” can represent a huge security vulnerability on your Bubble app?
I’ll tell you about the day I got access to an admin dashboard without being authorized to.

⚠️ This post is not made to teach you how to hack Bubble apps. Quite the opposite, it’s here so that everyone knows about it and avoid doing the same mistake on their apps.

One day, I visited a website of a company that was selling courses (quite ironic).
The problem was on their “reset_pw” page.

If you wanted to reset your password, they would ask for your email and then, use the “Assign a temporary password” action and send the generated random password via email.
Exactly like this:

But this company has done a big mistake configuring it like that. 🚨

Why? Because everything is happening in the front-end.
And everything happening in the front-end is visible to any user.

🤔 But I don’t know what you mean Wes. How could you log into the admins accounts?

Here it is.
When looking at the Network Tab in your Chrome DevTools, you can see that every action triggered by this workflow results in an API Call to Bubble’s servers.

Here I have 2 steps in my workflow:

  • Assign a temporary password (the red box)
  • Send an email (the blue box)

Result of both steps are returned by Bubble in the result of the “start” request, which starts the chain of actions.

And if we look at the result of step n°1 (which is the “Assign a temporary password” one), we can see here, in plain-text, the new assigned password.

Which means… and I know you see it coming…

💡 What if I fill the email of an admin user when I want to reset the password, instead of putting my own email?!

If in the “What’s your email?” input I type “”, it WILL reset its password… and I’ll be able to see it in plain-text in the Network Tab of my Chrome DevTools.

Now, I just need to go to the login page and fill the following credentials to be logged in as an admin:

But what's the solution to this?

I couldn’t just come up with a security issue without also coming with the associated fix. So there you go ✅

It’s actually quite easy (thanks Bubble).

If you know that everything happening in the front-end can be seen by anyone…
Just perform this action in the back-end side of your app.

Let’s go step-by-step through this.

1 - Creating the API Workflow

We’ll go to the back-end section of the app, and create a new API Workflow that we will call “assign-temporary-password”.
It will take a parameter:

  • user-email of type ‘text’

Then, we’ll simply reproduce the exact same behavior than what our initial workflow was doing.
Here’s a screenshot:

2 - Modifying our initial workflow

Now, let’s go back to our previous workflow - the one on the ‘reset_pw’ page.
Let’s delete all the actions inside of it, and make it just trigger our freshly created API workflow and fill in the associated parameter.

And… there we go! ✅

The security issue is now fixed and we’re all set 🔐

🔗 Here is the link to the demo app if you’d like to know how to implement it.

But that’s not the safest way to work with passwords

As mentioned in Bubble’s official documentation, the most secure way to work with passwords is to use the “Reset Password” action.

Important: This workflow action is meant to be used in a situation where an admin is resetting the password for a user - the admin can see the new password. We do not recommend building this into an end-user-facing flow on a page because it is not a secure way to work with passwords.

If you can implement this logic, that’s the best you can do.
But if you need to use the “Assign a temporary password” in your flow for your specific use-case, you know how to do it in a secure way.

PS: if you’ve got any question or if there’s anything you don’t understand, feel free to reply to this thread. I’m always happy to help ☀️

(PS2: please do remember that the website I found this issue on… was selling courses 😂)