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

Injecting into XML Interpreters

XML is used extensively in today's web applications, both in requests and responses between the browser and front-end application server and in messages between back-end application components such as SOAP services. Both of these locations are susceptible to attacks whereby crafted input is used to interfere with the operation of the application and normally perform some unauthorized action.

Injecting XML External Entities

In today's web applications, XML is often used to submit data from the client to the server. The server-side application then acts on this data and may return a response containing XML or data in any other format. This behavior is most commonly found in Ajax-based applications where asynchronous requests are used to communicate in the background. It can also appear in the context of browser extension components and other client-side technologies.

For example, consider a search function that, to provide a seamless user experience...