Web Exploitation: A Developer’s Doom

WEB EXPLOITATION METHODS

It’s difficult to deploy and manage web apps in a safe manner, given their complexity. There is no such thing as a flawless application. Hackers are constantly on the hunt for weaknesses to exploit. This blog covers online exploitation and provides advice on how to make web applications more secure.

VULNERABILITY: AN OVERVIEW

An attack might be as easy as flooding the server with HTTP requests to slow it down. Installing a virus on the server or stealing important data would be more serious threats. Defacing the site by changing its content or removing code or data is just as bad, but it is more prominent. Another method is to use server infrastructure to operate bitcoin miners.

HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and other protocols are used to communicate between web clients/browsers and servers. Vulnerabilities in the implementation of these protocols might be exploited. The protocol stack is divided into layers, each with its own set of protocols. Although web exploits occur at the application layer, packet flooding (data link layer) or SYN flooding might have an influence on other layers (network layer). On the other hand, web exploits at the application layer are becoming more widespread than webserver network layer assaults. We’ll discuss the concerning web exploitation techniques but first, let’s take a brief look at a few generally employed vulnerabilities that expose a web server to exploits.

TYPES OF WEB EXPLOITATION VULNERABILITIES

  • Injection: Accepting untrusted input without adequate validation leads to injection. SQL injection, LDAP injection, and HTTP header injection are just a few examples.
  • Misconfiguration: Misconfiguration occurs when manual methods are used, and settings are not kept up to date.
  • Cross-Site Scripting: The server receives untrusted JavaScript code via user input. When the server responds with this, the browser executes it.
  • Obsolete Software: Maintaining open-source and third-party software packages up to date is critical, especially as their use grows. Vulnerabilities in out-of-date software can be exploited, especially if the flaws are public.
  • Authorisation & Authentication: It’s possible that the URL will reveal the session ID. Unencrypted passwords are possible. Session hijacking is possible if timeouts are not enforced appropriately. Even if the UI does not show them, unauthorised resources can be accessed.

TYPES OF WEB EXPLOITATION METHODS

WEB HIJACKING

DoS & SNIFFING

HTTP DoS ATTACK

The Web server begins to consume resources in order to fulfil each request. It finally gives up and stops responding when its resource constraints are reached. To carry off this attack, attackers are known to utilise simple scripts to generate a flood of HTTP GET requests. If the website contains only simple static HTML pages, this attack does not work very well. However, this attack can wreak considerable damage if dynamic pages pull data from a backend database server.

ACCESS CONTROL EXPLOITATIONS

COOKIE POISONING

While tampering with a cookie is difficult, a skilled attacker may take control of it and modify its contents. Poisoning is carried out by a Trojan or a virus that runs in the background and forges cookies in order to collect and transfer a user’s personal information to the attacker.

CROSS-SITE SCRIPTING

As we all know, a client browser maintains its own security by preventing others from accessing website contents and cookies except the users themselves. Crackers were able to inject client-side code into the page due to weaknesses in a Web application. JavaScript is commonly used to write this code.

SQL INJECTIONS

SQL injection attacks can happen if client input isn’t properly filtered before being delivered to the database in a query form. This can lead to the potential of tampering with SQL statements in order to execute erroneous database actions.

An SQL server that is accessed by a Web application and where the SQL queries are not filtered by middleware or validation code components is a frequent example of this attack. This allows the attacker to write and execute his own SQL queries on the backend database server, which may be as basic as SELECT statements to retrieve and steal data or as serious as dumping an entire data table.

PREVENTING WEB EXPLOITATION

Securing Web portals isn’t only about the Web server; it also includes database servers, Web services, and other components. Allowing IP access to the database solely via front-end Web servers is a smart approach from a network security standpoint. To avoid hacking efforts, rootkit detectors, anti-virus software, and log analysers must be run on a regular basis.

A better authentication method should be in place between the middleware and the Web server for increased security. Stronger encryption techniques should be used to encrypt cookies, and SSL should be used.

As we learned previously, it is critical to employ safe programming approaches and to follow best security practices, such as code reviews and penetration testing, when it comes to coding. Additional processes such as input code validation and server and database-side validation are recommended too.

CONCLUSION

Prevention and detection are the two techniques essential in eliminating the risk of such vulnerabilities and helping to secure a working web server. It is necessary to practice safe coding techniques while diagnosing your own web application to prevent any future risks.

What is BugBase?

Through BugBase registering and setting up your organisation’s bug bounty program is no less than a breeze. We also provide hackers and security professionals with the platform to directly get connected with organizations that have set up their bug bounty programs and get rewarded for the risks and vulnerabilities they find.

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Cheers,

BugBase Team

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BugBase - The BugGyaan Blog

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India’s first consolidated Bug Bounty Platform’s technical blog by Aditya Arun Iyer