What is Security?
In this fast paced environment where we all are into Digital Transactions, Mobility, Cloud and fast paced possibilities. Millions of application exist in the market to make our lives much easier and transactions are just a click away. We are actually in the world where everything is online. We can shop online, pay bills, chats, communicate with the people all around the world and we have BOTS like “SIRI” (IPHONE APP). These are the things for sure making us believe that everything exist on Web or on Cloud.
But Does our Information is secured? Is this true to say that all the activities online like Online Banking, Chatting, Online Shopping etc are secured or safe. Current state is like that Malicious Worm is always having bulls eye on us to look for a moment to Attack. At least we understands that Security of Data or Information is very important.
In this first chapter of Security Introduction, we will detailed out :
- Essential Elements of Information Security
- Introduction to security at all levels like Application, Network, Mobile and API’s
- Security VOCAB
What is Information Security (IS)?
But before jumping onto the Introduction of Security at different levels, it is important to understand that Information is the common part globally which we need to secure from TROJAN, VIRUS or WORMS. Security can be breached at any layer, and that layer can be Human Beings also. Due to which it is important to understand that Audits are also the integral part of Security.
Information security (IS) is designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer system data from those with malicious intentions. Confidentiality, integrity and availability are sometimes referred to as the CIA.
As we talk about Information above, let’s see What are all Essential Ingredients of Information Security?
Essential Elements of Information Security
- Non Repudiation
After looking into all these essential elements and expecting that each n every application should constitutes around this. We as a Security/Pentest testers will create loops and ways to exploit these essentials in order to extract Vulnerabilities. Exploiting application during testing using various attacks or methods, does not mean that we also stand in line of Hackers and if not then what are we?
There are classes of Hackers. One of these class is called as White Hats. Before moving onto in detail of Hackers classes. Let’s see the definition of Vulnerability.
NOTE: Hacker classes, we will cover in Introduction of Hacking
“A vulnerability, in information technology (IT), is a flaw in code or design that creates a potential point of security compromise for an endpoint or network. Vulnerabilities create possible attack vectors, through which an intruder could run code or access a target system’s.”
Information Security Levels – Web Application Security
Web Application Security is critical to protecting apps and our organization as well. These are the #1attack vector for malicious individuals seeking to breach security defenses just because of the fact that the availability of these are 24/7. These are the easiest targets for hackers seeking access to confidential back-end data.
The majority of web application attacks occur through Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL Injection attacks. These typically result from flawed coding, failure to sanitize input and output from the web application. These are ranked in the 2009 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors.
Phishing is another common threat to the Web application. The threats can come in many forms:
- Infecting a website with malware in order to spread to site visitors
- Stealing customer information like credit card or transaction information
- Adding the website to a botnet of infected sites, and even hijacking or crashing the site
As a result, industry is paying increased attention to the security of the web application. A single security breach could be a death-knell for any type of business. An unprotected website is a security risk to customers, other businesses, and public/government sites.
OWASP, provides detailed and thorough checklist on Web Application which everybody should obey who into the field of WEB. For thorough detailed information gathering on this subject, please refer https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Web_Application_Security_Testing_Cheat_Sheet
Web Application Security Checklist
The most important processes should be a part of any web application checklists are
- Information Gathering – Manually review the application, identifying entry points and client-side codes. Classify third-party hosted content.
- Authorization – Test the application for path traversals; vertical and horizontal access control issues; missing authorization and insecure, direct object references.
- Cryptography – Secure all data transmissions. Has specific data been encrypted? Have weak algorithms been used? Do randomness errors exist?
- Denial of Service – Improve an application’s resilience against denial of service threats by testing for anti-automation, account lockout, HTTP protocol DoS and SQL wildcard DoS. This doesn’t cover protection from high-volume DoS and DoS attacks, which are best countered by a combination of filtering solutions and scalable resources.
At high level what all this checklist covers detailed below: –
- Information Gathering
- Rendered Site Review
- Development Review
- Hosting and Platform Review
- Configuration Management
- Secure Transmission
- Protocols and Encryption
- Web Services and REST
- Application Password Functionality
- Additional Authentication Functionality
- Session Management
- Data Validation
- Specific Risk Functionality
- File Uploads
Web Application Vulnerabilities
During, Security Testing phase few of the common Web Application Vulnerabilities usually detect are listed below: –
- Buffer Overflow : Data to be handle is much more than it’s limit.
- CRLF Injection : Special character elements “Carriage Return” and “Line Feed.” Exploits occur when an attacker is able to inject a CRLF sequence into an HTTP stream.
- Cross-Site Request : The attacks that tricks the user’s web browser to perform undesired actions so that they appear as if an authorized user is performing those actions.
- Cross-Site Scripting : This performs at Client side.These are the scripts embedded in a page that are executed on the client-side (in the user’s web browser) rather than on the server-side.
- Directory Traversal : An HTTP exploit which is used by the attackers to gain an unauthorized access to restricted directories and files.
- Failure to Restrict URL Access : One of the most common vulnerabilities listed on the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) Top 10.
- Insecure Cryptographic Storage : Occurs when sensitive data is not stored securely from internal users.
- LDAP Injection : Technique of exploiting web applications that use client-supplied data in LDAP statements without first stripping potentially harmful characters from the request.
- SQL Injection : Usually, an attacker is able to submit a database SQL command, which is executed by a web application, exposing the back-end database.
Web security which is directly proportional to Mobile one as well Let’s discuss mobile security as well which will be the feature of next chapter into this series.