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
1
Cover
2
Title
3
Copyright
4
About the Authors
5
About the Technical Editor
6
MDSec: The Authors’ Company
7
Credits
8
Acknowledgments
31
Index
32
End User License Agreement

Chapter 6
Attacking Authentication

On the face of it, authentication is conceptually among the simplest of all the security mechanisms employed within web applications. In the typical case, a user supplies her username and password, and the application must verify that these items are correct. If so, it lets the user in. If not, it does not.

Authentication also lies at the heart of an application's protection against malicious attack. It is the front line of defense against unauthorized access. If an attacker can defeat those defenses, he will often gain full control of the application's functionality and unrestricted access to the data held within it. Without robust authentication to rely on, none of the other core security mechanisms (such as session management and access control) can be effective.

In fact, despite its apparent simplicity, devising a secure authentication function is a subtle business. In real-world web applications authentication often is the weakest link...