Web Application Defense

Attackers are relentlessly looking to find and exploit any vulnerabilities that exist within web applications. Every web application has value for some criminal element. Cyber Crime syndicates value established web, site’s customers’ credit card data which is often improperly stored in many e-commerce sites. The target of opportunity is typically sites with a large customer Shemale base.

They will use the site as a distribution platform, booby-trapping the sites with exploit kits, malware or malicious scripts. One of the most common modes of attack is to inject malicious code into legitimate JavaScript already present on the compromised websites. This perpetuates the spread of a large percentage of malware.

“The JavaScript is automatically loaded by the HTML webpages and inherits the reputation of the main site and the legitimate JavaScript. If the cheap jerseys illicit source code is detected by software, many times it is discarded as a false positive. If Administrators manually check their site’s source code, the malicious code is easily spotted.

It only takes a few moments as an Administrator to look over your web page and check for suspicious elements:

  1. Browser warnings – Does you’re built in web browser technology issue a warning when you visit your site. If your browser does alert you that you’re site isn’t to be trusted, take its advice seriously and manually check your source code.
  2. Something looks wrong – Scammers can create a perfect looking copy of your website. But often, through either incompetence or laziness, they’ll leave out graphics, features or links which you know should be there. Sometimes they will simply produce a basic password entry form or a pop-up window. Trust your instincts if doesn’t “feel” right, check your code.
  3. Wrong address – Phishers use tricks to disguise suspicious addresses. Sometimes the tricks are undetectable to the naked eye. So if your site’s login page appears to move from yoursite.com to yourste571-net.cn, alarm bells should be ringing (check your code).
  4. Insecure Connection – If your site has a secure connection “HTTPS” (which appears before the web cheap jerseys address), check your browser for this code. If you see only a regular “HTTP” connection, or nothing at all, you know the connection isn’t secure and your page is almost certainly compromised (check your code).
  5. Check the Certificate – If your site uses high security web certificates as a reputable online service, make sure the green bar in the web address field in your browser is present, confirming the name of your company (who owns the page).
  6. Wants Too Much Information – Check your web login (when applicable) to make sure intruders can’t learn the entirety of your users login information by watching a log in once.
  7. No SiteKey – If your web site uses SiteKey to confirm you’re logging into a trusted site (by showing you a place of information that only that site ought to have access to – typically a graphic and a phrase chosen by you) make sure it is showing every time your Strajk users log in. Make sure no process simply cheap jerseys skips over this step. If you do realize that your SiteKey information isn’t being shown at the response appropriate time, check your source code.

Hacktivists may want to knock your site offline with a denial of service attack. Diverse groups have diverse end goals but they all share the common methodology of relentlessly enumerating and exploiting weaknesses in target web infrastructures.

You’re most prudent course of action is finding and fixing all your vulnerabilities before the bad guys do. There are different methods and tools to identify web application vulnerabilities, each with varying degrees of accuracy and coverage. The first technique uses static analysis tools that inspect the applications source code, or you can use dynamic analysis tools that interact with the live, running web application in it’s normal environment. The ideal remediation strategy from an accuracy and coverage perspective would be for organizations to identify and correct vulnerabilities within the source code of the web application itself. Unfortunately, in several real-world business scenarios, modifying the source code of a web application is not easy, expeditious or cost effective. You can place web applications in two main development categories: internal and external (which includes both commercial and open source applications). These development categories directly impact the time-to-fix metrics for remediating vulnerabilities.

Here is a look at some of the most common roadblocks found in the two main categories for updating web Wem application source code.

Internally Developed Applications

The top challenge with remediating identified vulnerabilities for internally developed web applications is a simple lack of resources. Again, business owners must weigh the potential risk of an application compromise against the tangible cost of initiating Machinery. a new project to remediate the identified vulnerabilities. When weighing these two options against each other, many organizations choose to gamble and not fix code issues and hopes no one exploits the vulnerabilities.

Many organizations come to realize that the cost of identifying the vulnerabilities often pales in comparison to that of actually fixing issues. This is especially true when vulnerabilities are found (not early in the design or testing phases but rather) after an application is already in production. In these situations, an organization usually decides that it is just too expensive to recode the application.

Externally Developed Applications

If a vulnerability is identified within an externally developed web application (either commercial or open source), the user most likely will be unable to modify the source code. In this situation, the user is essentially at the mercy of vendors, because he or she must wait for official patches to be released. Vendors usually have rigid patch release dates, which means an officially supported patch may be unavailable for an extended period of time.

Even in a situation where an official patch is available, or a source code fix could be applied, the normal patching process of most organizations is extremely time-consuming. This is usually due to the extensive regression testing required after code changes. It is not uncommon for these testing gates to be measured in weeks and months.

Another common scenario is when an organization is using a commercial application and the vender has gone out of business, or it is using a version that the vender no longer supports. In these situations, legacy application code can’t be patched. A common reason for an organization to use outdated vendor code is that in-house custom-coded functionality has been added to the original vender code. This functionality is often tied to a mission-critical business application, and prior upgrade attempts may break functionality.

Virtual Patching

The term virtual patching was coined by intrusion prevention system (IPS) vendors a number of years ago. The term is not application specific and it can be applied to other protocols. It is generally used as a term for Web Application firewalls (WAF). Virtual patching is a security policy enforcement layer that prevents the exploitation of a known vulnerability.

The virtual patch works because the security enforcement layer analyzes transactions and intercepts attacks in transit, so malicious traffic never reaches the web application. The result is that the application’s source code is not modified, and the exploitation attempt does not succeed.

Virtual patching’s aim is to reduce the exposed attack surface of the vulnerability. Depending on the vulnerability type, it may or may not be possible to completely remediate the flaw. For more complicated flaws, the best that can be done with a virtual patch is to identify if or when someone attempts to exploit the flaw. The main advantage of using the virtual patch is the speed at risk reduction. It provides quick risk reduction until a more complete source code fix is pushed into production.

The use of virtual patching in your remediation strategy has many benefits but it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for fixing vulnerabilities in the source code. Virtual patching is an operational security process used as a temporary mitigation option.

It can be compared to military battlefield triage. When Marines, Soldiers, Sailors or Airmen are injured in combat, Corpsmen or Medics (and sometime their buddies) attend to them quickly. Their purpose is to treat the injury, stabilize the subject and keep the subject alive until the subject can be transported to a full medical facility for comprehensive care. In this analogy the Corpsman or Medic is the virtual patch. If your web application has a vulnerability, you need to take the application to the “hospital” and have the developers fix the root cause. You wouldn’t send your troops into battle without medical support. The medical staff serves an important purpose on the battle field and the virtual patch serves an important purpose in your web production environment.

2 responses to “Web Application Defense

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