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

Attacking ActiveX Controls

Chapter 5 described how applications can use various thick-client technologies to distribute some of the application's processing to the client side. ActiveX controls are of particular interest to an attacker who targets other users. When an application installs a control to invoke it from its own pages, the control must be registered as “safe for scripting.” After this occurs, any other website accessed by the user can use that control.

Browsers do not accept just any ActiveX control that a website asks them to install. By default, when a website seeks to install a control, the browser presents a security warning and asks the user for permission. The user can decide whether she trusts the website issuing the control and allow it to be installed accordingly. However, if she does so, and the control contains any vulnerabilities, these can be exploited by any malicious website the user visits.

Two main categories of vulnerability commonly found...