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  • Writer's pictureNexix Security Labs

Web Application Attacks

Web Application Attack

Significant weaknesses or vulnerabilities let the crooks receive direct and public access to databases to bucket up sensitive data, this event is termed a web application attack. Fundamentally, web application security is more difficult in comparison to securing a network/System. The reason behind this is that the typical security devices cannot be used to secure web applications, as they ignore HTTP contents and headers.

How do Web Applications Works?

Basically, a web application is a client-server line up including a client-side and a server-side. They are present on many websites. The client-side shares the information while the server-side stores it, for example, a contact form or webmail. The apps which require server-side processing is “Dynamic”, on the other hand, which don’t are called “Static”.

Within a three-layered model, the first layer is a web browser or user interface, the second is the dynamic content generation technology tool like Java servlets (JSP) or Active Server Page (ASP), and finally third is a database containing content. Its working is initialized by a request from the user to a web server which passes the request to a web app server. The task gets executed by the web app server and the results are sent back to the user through the web server.

Web-Based Attacks Defined

In web application attacks, attackers mainly utilize the advantage of the inability to screen the user input for vindictive content. Then incapability of firewalls and SSL of safeguarding against attack for websites having public access, presence of direct access to backend data in web applications, a significant number of applications being custom-made, etc. also counts for the reasons why these web apps get attacked frequently.

Most Common Type Web Attacks

Majorly there are five types of web application attacks-

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): In this, malware is injected onto the server to target the visitors of that particular website. Site accepting user input without validating and as a response are some basic requirements for this attack. As cyberpunks use comments with underlying malicious scripts, blogging websites are prone to these attacks.

  • SQL Injection Attack: It’s a code injection technique used to attack data-driven applications. These attacks target the SQL servers (databases) by injecting malicious SQL commands.

  • Directory Transversal Attack: The use of professional tools to access the unauthorized directories of the Web server is a directory transversal attack. The most common tool used here is DotDotPwn.

  • Local File Inclusion: Through this attack, an attacker tricks the web application into exposing the running files on the server. It usually results in information disclosure, remote code execution plus XSS.

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack: DDoS attack is a vindictive attempt to interrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by engulfing the target or its enveloping infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic. Top DDoS tools include SolarWinds SEM Tool, HULK, Slowloris, LOIC, etc.

Now for defending your firm from these sorts of web application attacks below measures can be followed, like practicing scanning and security testing right through the triggering steps plus regular security audits. As they can propose and highlight various vulnerabilities present, their perilousness, and ways to overcome them. Also, Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) provides hefty safety by controlling access to web applications through rules intended to figure out and confine suspicious events such as SQLi, XSS, etc. Apart from these, even secure development training plays an important role by building awareness among the developers to develop and set up safer web applications.

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