Web Application Security Testing - Part 3

I hope that you have already read first two parts of this article and familiar with the concept of how web applications are different from traditional client-server applications and what kind of information can be collected from the client. If you have not, you might find it useful to read Part-1 and Part-2 as well.

In this part we will explore how user supplied data can attack your application. We will explore information related to SQL injection, Cross Site Scripting, Directory Traversing etc.

Cross-site Scripting ( XSS ) is a mechanism of presenting user with a fraudulent web site content. Web sites often echo the input data that is entered as some other places with in the application, for example users postings in forums. Sometime postings in forum can also include HTML as well. This HTML, along with the formatting information can also contain client side scripting, which can be dangerous since ...

Software Testing - Security Testing

Security Testing is very important in today's world, because of the way computer and internet has affected the individual and organization. Today, it is very difficult to imagine world without Internet and latest communication system. All these communication systems increases efficiency of individual and organization by multifold.

Since every one from individual to organization, uses Internet or communication system to pass information, to do business, to transfer money it becomes very critical for the service provider to make sure that information and network are secured from the intruders.

Primary purpose of security testing is to identify the vulnerabilities and subsequently repairing them. Typically, security testing is conducted after the system has been developed, installed and is operational. Unlike other types of testing, network security testing is performed on the system on the periodic basis to make sure that all the vulnerabilities of the system are identified.

Network security testing ...

Software Testing - Vulnerability Testing

Vulnerability scanners take the concept of a port scanner to the next level. Like a port scanner, a vulnerability scanner identifies hosts and open ports, but it also provides information on the associated vulnerabilities. Most vulnerability scanners also attempt to provide information on mitigating discovered vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability scanners can also help identify out-of-date software versions, applicable patches or system upgrades, and validate compliance with, or deviations from, the organization's security policy. To accomplish this, vulnerability scanners identify operating systems and major software applications running on hosts and match them with known exposures. Scanners employ large databases of vulnerabilities to identify flaws associated with commonly used operating systems and applications.

However, vulnerability scanners have some significant weaknesses. Generally, they only identify surface vulnerabilities and are unable to address the overall risk level of a scanned network.

Since vulnerability scanners require more information than port scanners to reliably identify the vulnerabilities ...

Web Application Security Testing - Part 2

I hope that you have already read first part of this article and familiar with the concept of how web applications are different from traditional client-server applications. If you have not, you might find it useful to read Part-1 as well.

In this part we will explore what kind of information is available to the client? What kind of information can be gathered from the pages which client can access? How validation is important to ensure proper security for the web application? What are cookies and how web applications use them?

It is very important in web application security testing to gather as much information about your application as you can. You need to find out how people outside your organization will access your web application and what kind of information they can access. Typical information that will be available to any person outside your organization could be categorized as ...

Web Application Security Testing - Part 1

Web application and Client-Server, are they same? This question is very common in software testing interviews, if you are part of some e-groups related to testing, you might have heard it many times from different people.There are numerous differences in Client-Server and Web application architecture. As a tester if you are testing Web applications, it is important to understand what Client-Server architecture is and how Web is different from traditional Client-Server architecture.

Web is a specialized version of client server network, but it has got noticeable differences. In client server network, computing resources are conserved by delegating complex and time consuming task to powerful, expensive computers called server. These server machines are much more powerful in terms of large storage and computing power. They do all the computing and delivers result back to the machines called client over a communication path. Thus client-server architecture comprises of server, client and ...

Application Security Testing

This article was written by Anamika Chowdhury from HCL India.

Application security issues are increasing threat now days. This is caused primarily by security bugs in an application's code. Application security vulnerabilities can allow a client to see another client's data. They can let hackers run queries on an application's back-end database, and possibly even take over the Web server itself.

Most organizations leave the discovery of Web application security issues to a dedicated security team, which tests the applications before they go live. Fixing the found issues then requires those teams to push the issues back to developers to perform a full iteration of late code changes, resulting in very high costs to fix what are often the simplest security bugs.

The primary reason for testing the security of an operational system is to identify potential vulnerabilities and subsequently repair them

This White Paper focuses on ...

Web Application Security Testing - Part 5

In the earlier articles of this series, we have concentrated on errors or mistakes that should be avoided at the code level and importance of data validation at client side and again on server side. If you have not read earlier articles in this series, you might find it interesting to read earlier articles covering many concepts related to web application security testing.

In this part we will establish the importance of securing our environment as well for providing complete security to web application. Web application is hosted in the environment, which is accessible from the out side world. Client interact with the server and database, if proper care is not taken vulnerabilities in the environment can be exploited and as a result security will be compromised. We will discuss, different vulnerabilities related to the environment on which web applications are hosted like stored procedures, command injection, fingerprinting and Denial ...

Web Application Security Testing - Part 4

This article is fourth article in the series of web application security testing. In the first three articles, we have built the base by making you familiar with the difference in web application and client server application, how gathering data about the application is important and popular attacks like SQL injection, Cross site scripting and directory traversing.

In this part we will explore how to attack server by exploiting the known limitations of language in which they are implemented. Broadly, we will cover buffer overflow, Canonicalization and Null strings related attacks.

Buffer Overflow

Buffer overflow is probably one of the most notorious and oldest attack. This vulnerability has been around for more than three decades. In the very simplistic term, A buffer overflow is the result of stuffing more data into a buffer than it can handle. This vulnerability is mostly exposed in situations where programs processing the input data ...

Web Application Security Testing - Part 6

This is the last article in the web application security testing series. In the earlier articles we have seen many interesting vulnerabilities like SQL injection, Cross site scripting, vulnerabilities related to the environment and so on. If you have not gone through these articles, you might find it interesting to read them in out article section.

In this part we will explore the security issues related to Authentication and Web Services. Authentication is the core of many web applications, since in the WWW world, we need to check connection from every client to make sure that it is not from a malicious user. Similarly Web services are common place these days, and most of the common applications that you use on daily basis, might be using web services. Threats associated with the web services are very much different from what we have already seen.

Authentication can become vulnerable because of ...