5 most common application attacks to watch out for

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Over the past decade, cybercrime has grown exponentially, resulting in huge losses of financial and critical data in almost every area. From smartphones to computer systems, existing and new vulnerabilities have left gaping holes in device security. Most of these security vulnerabilities are caused by powerless coding practices, resulting in poor program code integrity. There are 5 main types of application attacks, in which hackers check application layer vulnerabilities to send their attacks to poorly coded systems.

The method of defending websites and online resources against many security attacks that target bugs in application code is called web application security. Content management systems (eg, WordPress), database administration solutions (eg, phpMyAdmin), and Software as a Service (SaaS) frameworks are typical targets for application attacks Web.

Types of app attacks

SQL injection attack

An SQL injection attack is essentially a method of code infusion that is used to attack web and data-based applications. The use of this attack methodology aims to gain access to sensitive / secure information. The SQL injection attack involves embedding malicious SQL scripts in a section field of a web application. Such attacks exploit open fields to infiltrate a database. The impact of an SQL injection attack takes into account the targeted database and the roles and privileges in the existing SQL policy. There are two types of SQL attacks, namely:

  • First-rate attacks: In this type of attack, a malicious string is inserted into the SQL script to modify the code for immediate execution.
  • Second-order attacks: In this form of attack, the SQL manipulation is performed by injecting a persistent storage module, for example a table row. The storage system is seen as a trusted source by the target machine, thus allowing the attacker to execute the attack through other activities.

Cross-site scripting attack (XSS)

Cross-site scripting, or more commonly known as XSS, is another powerful attack vector that exploits a vulnerability in network protection, thereby allowing an attacker to exploit compromised applications. The XSS attack allows the hacker to infiltrate the original policy which distinguishes multiple websites from each other. This type of attack masks the attacker as an ordinary user, thus giving access to a user’s data and space to perform activities that a typical user can use using their login credentials.

Parameter alteration

One of the most dangerous forms of application attacks is parameter tampering. Using this attack vector, a hacker can gain access to information shared between the client and the server, which usually consists of credentials and permissions, the cost and amount of the product, etc. Web Scarab and Paros Proxy are mainly used in a settings tampering attack.

Directory browsing

Directory traversal, also known as route traversal, allows a hacker to infiltrate a web server’s root directory using a vulnerability and then gain access to other locations in the file system of the server. The flaw depends on the type of web server and the operating system used.

For example: The web server process can be done to access files beyond the root of the web document, if a bug is present in the system. This can lead to a path traversal flaw which can be exploited to perform a directory traversal attack. The attacker can then access a multitude of arbitrary files, including application source code, device files, server logs, and other files containing sensitive information.

Denial of service (DoS) attack

A denial of service (DoS) attack is carried out to shut down a system or network, thereby rendering it unavailable to targeted users. DoS attacks overwhelm the target with traffic, giving them information that causes a crash. Either way, the DoS attack robs legal users of the facility or resource they expected. Victims of DoS attacks also threaten the web servers of leading organizations, spanning industries such as finance, commerce, media, and government. While DoS attacks typically do not result in fraud or destruction of valuable data or other assets, they will cost the victim a lot of time and resources.

Why applications become vulnerable to attacks

Web applications pose a series of security concerns resulting from improper coding, despite their advantages. In a web application attack, significant weaknesses or flaws allow hackers to gain direct and public access to databases.

Web applications are an easy target when programmers make mistakes that allow unauthorized persons to obtain confidential data or be given administrative access privileges to the web application itself or even to the server. Attacks typically exploit the fact that web applications recognize user comments and do not filter that entry for malicious content. Web applications are particularly vulnerable to design threats, and firewalls do not make them secure. If they are on the Internet, they must be open all the time. However, malicious hackers will attempt to access it quickly.

Many of these databases contain useful data that makes them a prime target for attacks. Although acts of vandalism such as the degradation of corporate websites are still prevalent, perpetrators now tend to access confidential data residing on the database server due to the tremendous benefits of selling the results of companies. data breaches.

Most common reasons for app attacks

  1. To provide the required support to consumers, staff, vendors, and other stakeholders, websites and associated software applications must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. No security against a web application attack is offered by firewalls and SSL just because the links to the website must be made public.
  3. All modern database systems can be easily accessed through specific ports. Anyone can attempt direct database connections, effectively bypassing operating system security mechanisms, and can access both the current database through particular ports. Anyone can easily try to bypass operating system protection protocols with direct database links. This allows contact with legal traffic, and therefore these ports remain open and constitute a significant weakness.
  4. Web applications also have direct access to key information such as customer databases, which have sensitive information and are much more difficult to protect. Some scripts facilitate the collection and dissemination of data and would be accessible to those who do not have access to them. They will easily divert unsuspecting traffic to another location and illegitimately conceal sensitive information if an intruder becomes aware of such write vulnerabilities.
  5. Many web applications are custom designed and therefore require a lower revision level than standard software. Custom programs, however, are more vulnerable to attack.

Therefore, web applications are a gateway to databases, especially custom applications that are not established in accordance with security best practices and are not subject to routine security audits.

If you are interested in a career in application security, EC-Council’s Certified Application Security Engineer course is one of the leading certifications devoted to this field. It was developed with application and software development experts from around the world to prepare you with out-of-the-box skills. In this application security training, you will acquire the essential security skills and knowledge necessary for a typical software development lifecycle (SDLC), with a focus on the importance of implementing standards, Secure software security templates and frameworks to secure your organization.

obtain the certification of the ec-conseil

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