Tag : Application Security

What’s HOT in Application Security Vol #4

Mar 11, 2012 By Administrator | Where is NASA’s security?
5,408 successful eruptions since 2009, 48 stolen laptops and mobile devices,47 advanced persistent threats (APTs) and 13 that managed to jeopardize thousands of NASA’s computers causing serious damage and leaving NASA with an approximated $7 million bill. http://www.space.com/14750-stolen-nasa-laptop.html

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What’s HOT in Application Security Vol #3

Mar 07, 2012 By Administrator | Let’s understand the web application security dilemma! Organizations within the financial services industry track an average of 800 attacks, organizations out with the financial services industry track an average of 500 attacks- no wonder it’s so vital to understand application security. It’s said that the security challenge is due to the fact that most of these applications are web enabled. Companies which rely on SAAS and applications that are operating from portable devices are also at an increased risk as they are by definition, web enabled. Why even worry about application security?

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What’s HOT in Application Security Vol #1

Feb 20, 2012 By Administrator | Hackers in China accused of a long term breach of Nortel For almost ten years Chinese hackers gained complete access to the internal network of Nortel Networks, Ltd. Nortel was previously considered to be a telecommunications power house but has been struggling financially in recent years. The hackers stole several passwords from top Nortel executives (who were apparently working in China) sometime during the year
2000 and over the years downloaded a range of technical papers, business plans and employee information- this information is according to Brian Shields, who is now leading the internal investigation.

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Path Manipulation, Directory Traversal, and interesting JAVA code

Jan 10, 2012 By Administrator | Directory Traversal Attacks
Directory Traversal (CWE: 22) is usually considered a subset of Path Manipulation (CWE: 73). Directory Traversal, also referred to as Path Traversal,  attacks occur by manipulating variables with the ‘../’ (dot-dot-slash is another name this attack sometimes goes by) sequences, and attempt to access directories and files stored in a system. Path Directory traversal attacks are usually aimed at gaining access to application source code and critical system files and is placed at #13 on the SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors. Directory Traversal attacks can be aimed at the web server, or the application code, and attacks are successful when neither the root directory or the Access Control Lists correctly restrict user access. The difference between Directory Traversal and other security issues is that while many security issues are caused by coding flaws and holes in the code, Directory Traversal attacks are enabled by a lack of security.  
Path Manipulation Attacks
Very often, when I give lectures about application security, I start with a path manipulation example. Path manipulation vulnerabilities are possible when user-controlled data is put in a URL or file and is saved on the server. Once on the server, an attacker could modify the path and gain access to other files held on server.
I’ve found that while developers can easily understand the risk Directory Traversal and Path Manipulation attacks can pose,  it’s relatively complicated to avoid it correctly. This has taught me that discussing this attack gives a great background for discussions on more complicated attacks.

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