Book Image

The Web Application Hacker's Handbook

By : Dafydd Stuttard, Marcus Pinto
Book Image

The Web Application Hacker's Handbook

By: Dafydd Stuttard, Marcus Pinto

Overview of this book

Web applications are the front door to most organizations, exposing them to attacks that may disclose personal information, execute fraudulent transactions, or compromise ordinary users. This practical book has been completely updated and revised to discuss the latest step-by-step techniques for attacking and defending the range of ever-evolving web applications. Youíll explore the various new technologies employed in web applications that have appeared since the first edition and review the new attack techniques that have been developed, particularly in relation to the client side. The book starts with the current state of web application security and the trends that indicate how it is likely to evolve soon. Youíll examine the core security problem affecting web applications and the defence mechanisms that applications implement to address this problem, and youíll also explore the key technologies used in todayís web application. Next, youíll carry out tasks for breaking into web applications and for executing a comprehensive attack. As you progress, youíll learn to find vulnerabilities in an application's source code and review the tools that can help when you hack web applications. Youíll also study a detailed methodology for performing a comprehensive and deep attack against a specific target. By the end of this book, youíll be able to discover security flaws in web applications and how to deal with them.
Table of Contents (32 chapters)
Free Chapter
About the Authors
About the Technical Editor
MDSec: The Authors’ Company
End User License Agreement

Handling User Input

Recall the fundamental security problem described in Chapter 1: All user input is untrusted. A huge variety of attacks against web applications involve submitting unexpected input, crafted to cause behavior that was not intended by the application's designers. Correspondingly, a key requirement for an application's security defenses is that the application must handle user input in a safe manner.

Input-based vulnerabilities can arise anywhere within an application's functionality, and in relation to practically every type of technology in common use. “Input validation” is often cited as the necessary defense against these attacks. However, no single protective mechanism can be employed everywhere, and defending against malicious input is often not as straightforward as it sounds.

Varieties of Input

A typical web application processes user-supplied data in many different forms. Some kinds of input validation may not be feasible or desirable...