Security rarely becomes a concern for businesses until after a breach has happened. A mistake or incorrect setting in the security framework of a website or web application is known as a web vulnerability or web security vulnerability. These flaws provide threat actors unjustified control over the website and the data it contains. These threat actors employ a variety of instruments and methods to look for flaws in a system or application. Once attackers find a vulnerability, they contaminate the web application by disseminating harmful material, stealing user passwords, or injecting a code that causes harm. This article mainly emphasizes common and severe web-related IT security hazards.
Check out our courses now if you want to start your career in Networking and Cybersecurity.
Common Web Security Vulnerabilities
Broken Access Control
User’s interactions with data and resources, including what they may read and change, are controlled by access controls. Access control is broken when a user gets the option to interact with data in an unnecessary way. For example, faulty access control would be if a user was only supposed to be able to see payment data but was able to alter them. Malicious actors use this vulnerability to obtain unauthorized access to software, networks, and systems. The user ID can then be granted more access inside the ecosystem, escalating the privileges, which could harm data availability, confidentiality, or integrity.
Vulnerabilities related to faulty authentication also target user access. But in this case, bad actors steal passwords, keys, or session tokens to compromise the data that verifies a user’s identity. Due to the business’s inadequately implemented identity and access management rules, the malicious actor acquires illegal access to the systems, networks, and software.
User credentials are made up of a password and user ID. Both information must be entered on the login page for the user to access an application. The application contrasts this information with the data kept in its database. If both portions are compatible, the user is given access. But databases frequently keep this data in plaintext or with little encryption. It is simple for attackers to steal credentials and use them to access online apps when credentials are not managed properly.
Various attack techniques depend on how an application reacts to unusual inputs or circumstances. Error messages offer useful information about how to resolve issues for the majority of enterprise apps and systems.
However, too much data returned in an error message for web apps can provide the same data to hostile actors. Attackers frequently send a query to the web application that they are aware will result in an error message. They typically do this during the reconnaissance phase, when they strive to gather as much data as possible to identify exploitable weaknesses.
Insecure Cryptographic Storage
A typical best practice for limiting unauthorized access to or using sensitive information is encrypting stored data. Encryption scrambles information stored in a readable format, such as PlainText, using mathematical formulas. The technology applying the algorithm that scrambles the data and makes it legible usually calls for an encryption key. However, the security is nullified if the encryption key is discovered.
Remote Code Execution (RCE)
RCE flaws are coding errors that let hackers enter code from anywhere in the world. They are present in web applications. RCEs are a more generalized subset of web application injection vulnerabilities where malicious actors introduce their code into a program that does not validate user inputs so that the server interprets it as authentic application code. Attackers typically use known vulnerabilities that have not been fixed to inject their code into the program.
The possibility of a security misconfiguration is one of the most common web application vulnerabilities. This vulnerability typically arises when a company leaves the default Security settings alone.
Session ID leakage
The distinct identifiers known as session IDs are used to authenticate users and monitor their activity when they use a web application.
Traditionally, malevolent code is defined as programming that intends to harm. For example, when people think of dangerous code, they typically think of viruses, malware, and ransomware.
It also refers to computer code that can open a backdoor into a program that enables remote access to a computer. Application backdoors could result from improper use of secure coding techniques. These unintentional programming mistakes expose the web application to risk. A mistake in one source can result in the same harmful code being utilized in several applications because current programs frequently copy and paste code from one location to another.
A well-known web security flaw called SQL injection allows threat actors to attack the back end of an application. Through user-provided data, the attackers try to modify the SQL statements. In this manner, the attacker tries to inject unauthorized commands and con the program into disclosing private information.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
CSRF attacks occur when phishing emails, malicious links, or websites trick the browser into carrying out actions planned by online criminals on a reliable website that the user has verified. A logged-in victim of a CSRF attack is forced to use their browser to transmit a created HTTP request and a session cookie.
The files stored on web servers are frequently listed in a single directory. Users typically provide the file name in the request when looking for a specific file in a web application. If that file is unavailable, the application will return a list of all indexed files, providing the user the option to select another file.
The directory traversal approach, also known as directory climbing, dot-dot-slash, and backtracking assault, takes advantage of how an application receives data from the web server.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-Site Scripting flaws, often known as XXS vulnerabilities, affect client-side scripts embedded on a page. These web security flaws appear when an untrusted piece of data is accepted by a web app and sent to the browser without the proper validation. The attacker creates dangerous programs that users unwittingly activate. These malicious scripts aid the threat actor in seizing control of the app or stealing confidential data from it.
Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) Policy
Every web-based application connects the user’s browser to its server via a URL. The Same Origin Policy is a popular type of protection. This means the URL must have the same protocol, top-level domain name, and path structure for the server to reply.
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Injection
Using the LDAP protocol, applications can communicate with directory services servers, which keep track of user IDs, passwords, and computer accounts. Attackers can take advantage of the LDAP server by making erroneous queries when apps accept and use user input.
Web security flaws can lead to the theft of user data, data loss, or possibly the attacker gaining total control of the web application. Companies must be aware of these flaws and take the required precautions to secure their web applications.