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Archive for August, 2012

Web Application Security

How do you handle your web application testing, vulnerability scans, test data and related security assessment reports? I’ve found that this is something that doesn’t get a lot of attention in web application security circles but is still impactful to the business. It’s actually kind of ironic that those of us working in IT and security often forget about what’s at stake if web vulnerability information were to fall into the wrong hands. I should know – I used to take it too lightly and many others still do.

The thing is, everything from passwords to SQL injection requests to hard-coded encryption keys – practically anything imaginable related to web security flaws – is contained in the following files, screenshots and reports:

  • Web vulnerability scan files (the raw data such as .wvs files in Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner)
  • Web vulnerability scanner reports (i.e. PDF and HTML files)
  • Screenshots of exploits
  • Proxy log files
  • Username and password dictionaries
  • Final web application testing reports containing specific findings and methods of exploitation

The risk is increased when all of this information is scattered about on multiple systems – especially once it makes its way to unencrypted laptops and data backups, third-party email systems and under-protected mobile devices (and trust me, it will). Even hard copies of web application testing reports can create business risks. I see those being tossed around to third parties quite often like it’s no big deal at all.

In the end, you’re not going to have complete control of the information resulted from your web application testing. You’ll have to trust people to do the right things. Unfortunately, that’s where businesses often get themselves into trouble. Thus the cycle of information security and managing risks continues.

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PTMFOG0000001190

Advantages of using AcuSensor Technology

  • Ability to provide more information about the vulnerability, such as source code line number, stack trace, affected SQL query.
  • Allows you to locate and fix the vulnerability faster because of the ability to provide more information about the vulnerability, such as source code line number, stack trace, affected SQL query, etc.
  • Significantly reduces false positives when scanning a website because it understands the behavior of the web application better.
  • Can alert you of web application configuration problems which could result in a vulnerable application or expose sensitive information. E.g. If ‘custom errors’ are enabled in .NET, this could expose sensitive application details to a malicious user.
  • It can advise you how to better secure your web application and web server settings, e.g. if write access is enabled on the web server.
  • Detects many more SQL injection vulnerabilities. Previously SQL injection vulnerabilities could only be found if database errors were reported or via other common techniques.
  • Ability to detect SQL Injection vulnerabilities in all SQL statements, including in SQL INSERT statements. With a black box scanner such SQL injection vulnerabilities cannot be found.
  • Ability to know about all the files present and accessible through the web server. If an attacker will gain access to the website and create a backdoor file in the application directory, the file will be found and scanned when using the AcuSensor Technology and you will be alerted.
  • AcuSensor Technology is able to intercept all web application inputs and build a comprehensive list with all possible inputs in the website and test them.
  • No need to write URL rewrite rules when scanning web applications which use search engine friendly URL’s! Using the AcuSensor Technology the scanner is able to rewrite SEO URL’s on the fly.
  • Ability to test for arbitrary file creation and deletion vulnerabilities. E.g. Through a vulnerable script a malicious user can create a file in the web application directory and execute it to have privileged access, or delete sensitive web application files.
  • Ability to test for email injection. E.g. A malicious user may append additional information such as a list or recipients or additional information to the message body to a vulnerable web form, to spam a large number of recipients anonymously.
  • Ability to test for file upload forms vulnerabilities. E.g. A malicious user can bypass file upload form validation checks and upload a malicious file and execute it.
  • Unlike other vulnerabilities reported in typical scans, a vulnerability reported by the AcuSensor Technology contains much more detailed information. It can contain details such as source code line number, POST variable value, stack trace, affected SQL query etc. A vulnerability reported by the AcuSensor Technology, will be marked with ‘(AS)’ in the title.

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Ensure-your-Website-Security

Is the exploitation of web vulnerabilities worth the trouble? Does it create unnecessary risks that should be avoided? Why exploit flaws anyway? This is not a black and white circumstance. Every situation is unique. But here’s what I know. The exploitation of web security flaws such as Cross-Site Scripting, SQL injection and Cross-Site request forgery is arguably the most valuable part of my assessments. Web exploitation can provide actual data, screenshots and other evidence which are great for getting management, developer and user buy-in on the issues. Otherwise, you may simply be running scans and making dangerous assumptions about what can or cannot be taken advantage of.

In many situations, all it takes is exploiting one missing web server patch, one SQL injection flaw or cracking a set of web passwords to show that problems exist in the respective areas. You may not need to exploit every flaw on every system to demonstrate what’s weak and what can happen. For certain projects, exploiting every single flaw on every single page could take too long and cost too much.

You have to ask yourself what’s really needed? What’s the ultimate goal of your security assessment? Is it to find some basic issues running basic scans or is it to completely vet a website or application and show exactly what can happen when things go awry? There is a ton of value in web exploitation…if it meshes with the overall project goals.

Vulnerability “exploitation” seems like a bad word that’s going to leak data, crash servers and cause business continuity problems but it really doesn’t have to. I’ve found that exploitation of web flaws is actually less risky than running the actual scans themselves. Interestingly, I’ve never had a problem running web exploits but automated scans have certainly created issues. Then again, unless the specific requirements call for it, I only run exploits that are not designed to create denial of service conditions. Your situation may be different.

In the end, if a web exploit (or even a scan) knocks over an application or its associated server(s), that may be a good indicator that you need to look even deeper. In the interest of minimizing problems, some people will just pretend the server or application doesn’t exist and leave it be. Sure, the problems are minimized but the security flaws are still there! Two wrongs don’t make a right.

For some people – especially IT auditors or compliance managers – exploitation of web flaws may be new territory. That’s fine. I just encourage people to really think things through when scoping web security assessments projects. Know all the facts and the possible outcomes and then dig in as deeply as possible. That’s the only way you’re going to find the flaws that matter and get people on your side to do something about them.

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As many as 70% of web sites have vulnerabilities that could lead to the theft of sensitive corporate data such as credit card information and customer lists.
Hackers are concentrating their efforts on web-based applications – shopping carts, forms, login pages, dynamic content, etc. Accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world, insecure web applications provide easy access to backend corporate databases.
Firewalls, SSL and locked-down servers are futile against web application hacking!
Web application attacks, launched on port 80/443, go straight through the firewall, past operating system and network level security, and right into the heart of your application and corporate data. Tailor-made web applications are often insufficiently tested, have undiscovered vulnerabilities and are therefore easy prey for hackers.

acunetix-overview
Acunetix – a worldwide leader in web application security
Acunetix has pioneered the web application security scanning technology: Its engineers have focused on web security as early as 1997 and developed an engineering lead in website analysis and vulnerability detection.
Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner includes many innovative features:

AcuSensor Technology

  • An automatic client script analyser allowing for security testing of Ajax and Web 2.0 applications
  • Industries’ most advanced and in-depth SQL injection and Cross site scripting testing
  • Advanced penetration testing tools, such as the HTTP Editor and the HTTP Fuzzer
  • Visual macro recorder makes testing web forms and password protected areas easy
  • Support for pages with CAPTHCA, single sign-on and Two Factor authentication mechanisms
  • Extensive reporting facilities including VISA PCI compliance reports
  • Multi-threaded and lightning fast scanner crawls hundreds of thousands of pages with ease
  • Intelligent crawler detects web server type and application language
  • Acunetix crawls and analyzes websites including flash content, SOAP and AJAX
  • Port scans a web server and runs security checks against network services running on the server

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Scalability, made easy.

LogInspect 5 can scale into any organization – big or small, locally based or operating globally.
And while all organizations have a similar need to invest in a SIEM solution, each has a unique set of operational conditions with specific requirements that dictate the scope of implementation.
A network might be highly segmented due to security policies or geographic distribution, mandating specific collection capabilities. Budget and staffing limitations can also require an incremental approach.

SIEM
LogInspect 5 is dynamic, adaptable and scalable to the specific needs of your organisation.

  • Accommodates today – and tomorrow.

IT executives can be assured that the solution they invest in today can adapt to accommodate their future organizational needs.
LogInspect 5’s dynamic enterprise architecture is flexible enough to meet multiple and changing requirements – from the easily scalable to broader collection capabilities.

  • Centralized Threat Analysis System.

Thanks to the Centralized Threat Analysis System (CTAS), LogInspect 5 can deploy any combination of hardware and software appliances on a multitude of servers.
Searching, alarming, and incident managing and reporting are consolidated on one single interface. Just apply the search or report to the suitable LogInspect 5 repositories.

  • Truly designed for Big Data.

•Based on NoSQL technologies – for ultimate performance.
•Lowered overhead thanks to tagged data rather than the indexed data of the traditional, expensive   performance of an SQL database.
•A “Document” database structure.
•Digests billions of logs on a daily basis.
•Log data is stored and normalized in one single and fast process.

  • Built-in scaling.

•Supports hardware appliances based on standard servers.
•Supports VMware and Hyper V.
•Dynamic repository architecture ensures easy scalability for multiple sites and optimised   performance.

  • Fully supports on existing infrastructures.

•SAN storage architectures.
•Existing load balancers.
•Co-exists with existing backup solutions.
•Full redundancy architecture for highest availability.

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SIEM

Fast and precise remediation

LogInspect 5 (product now called Logpoint) collects, analyzes and monitors all events in an infrastructure – around the clock.
This means you can enjoy full transparency across the board, optimizing your IT operations while increasing availability and reducing operational costs.
Quick and accurate.
Should your IT operation still experience an interruption, LogInspect 5 allows you to quickly and more accurately find the exact cause of the problem – launching the necessary remediation while at the same time monitoring the components in question.
The cause… and the solution.
Errors, irregularities and poor performance can be a result of misconfigured systems, a lack of patches and software updates, system changes and irregularities in the infrastructure. LogInspect 5 helps you get an accurate overview of the true source thanks to several unique features:
Secure, centralized log archive. Automatically analyze log messages in real time.
• Safe and secure (signed) log repositories.
• Agent-based and agent-free log collection.
• Play-back for historic data and/or off-line data.
Customised Dashboards. Enjoy powerful visibility and clarity.
• Out-of-the box Dashboards for the most common alerts and security monitoring.
• Easy to create, personalized widgets within multiple Dashboards.
• Perma-linking for easily integrating into existing monitoring applications.
• Dashboard designs can easily be shared internally.
Advanced database monitoring.
• Performance and availability metrics from any database log.
• Trigger alerts based on commands and activities.
• Policy violation detection.
• Inspect application traffic content.

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Scalability, made easy.

LogInspect 5 (now called Logpoint) can scale into any organization – big or small, locally based or operating globally.
And while all organizations have a similar need to invest in a SIEM solution, each has a unique set of operational conditions with specific requirements that dictate the scope of implementation.
A network might be highly segmented due to security policies or geographic distribution, mandating specific collection capabilities. Budget and staffing limitations can also require an incremental approach.

screen_dump_appl
LogInspect 5 is dynamic, adaptable and scalable to the specific needs of your organisation.

  • Accommodates today – and tomorrow.

IT executives can be assured that the solution they invest in today can adapt to accommodate their future organizational needs.
LogInspect 5’s dynamic enterprise architecture is flexible enough to meet multiple and changing requirements – from the easily scalable to broader collection capabilities.

  • Centralized Threat Analysis System.

Thanks to the Centralized Threat Analysis System (CTAS), LogInspect 5 can deploy any combination of hardware and software appliances on a multitude of servers.
Searching, alarming, and incident managing and reporting are consolidated on one single interface. Just apply the search or report to the suitable LogInspect 5 repositories.

  • Truly designed for Big Data.

•Based on NoSQL technologies – for ultimate performance.
•Lowered overhead thanks to tagged data rather than the indexed data of the traditional, expensive   performance of an SQL database.
•A “Document” database structure.
•Digests billions of logs on a daily basis.
•Log data is stored and normalized in one single and fast process.

  • Built-in scaling.

•Supports hardware appliances based on standard servers.
•Supports VMware and Hyper V.
•Dynamic repository architecture ensures easy scalability for multiple sites and optimised   performance.

  • Fully supports on existing infrastructures.

•SAN storage architectures.
•Existing load balancers.
•Co-exists with existing backup solutions.
•Full redundancy architecture for highest availability.

Read Full Post »

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