Cookies are ubiquitous in today’s modern web applications. If an attacker can acquire a user’s session cookie by exploiting a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability, by sniffing an unencrypted HTTP connection, or by some other means, then they can potentially hijack a user’s valid session. Obviously, this can have negative implications for an organization and its users, including theft of sensitive application data or unauthorized/harmful actions.
Qualys Web Application Scanning reports when it discovers a cookie delivered over an HTTPS channel without the “secure” attribute set. This detection is useful for verifying correct coding practices for individual web applications & developers, and across your entire organization. Cookies marked with the secure attribute will never be sent over an unencrypted (non-HTTPS) connection, which keeps them safe from prying eyes that may be sniffing network traffic.
A new remote code execution vulnerability in Apache Struts 2, CVE-2018-11776, was disclosed yesterday. While this vulnerability does not exist with a default configuration of Struts, it does exist in commonly seen configurations for some Struts plugins.
Update August 24, 2018: A dashboard for this vulnerability is now available to download.
Qualys offers a wide array of security and compliance solutions for your organization. All capabilities are delivered from Qualys Cloud Platform. Visit Qualys Cloud Platform Apps to learn more.
But let’s narrow the discussion to web application security. To have a complete webappsec program, it’s important that ALL of your web applications have some level of security testing. Automated scans using Qualys Web Application Scanning (WAS) are perfect to meet this need given its cloud-based architecture, accuracy, and ability to scale. However, performing manual penetration testing against your most business-critical applications is highly recommended to supplement automated scanning. Manual analysis complements scanning by identifying security holes such as flaws in business logic or authorization that an automated scanner would be incapable of detecting.
One of the most popular tools for manual testing of web apps is Burp Suite Professional. This month Qualys introduced a Burp extension for Qualys WAS to easily import Burp-discovered issues into Qualys WAS. With this integration, Burp issues and WAS findings can be viewed centrally, and webappsec teams can perform integrated analysis of data from manual penetration testing and automated web application scans. The combined data set may also be programmatically extracted via the Qualys API for external analysis.
In the world of application security, testing REST APIs for security flaws is important because APIs can have many of the same application-layer vulnerabilities as browser-based web applications. Examples are SQL injection, command injection, and remote code execution. With the recent release of Qualys Web Application Scanning (WAS) 6.0, testing your REST APIs is easier than ever thanks to support for Swagger.
Swagger is a widely-adopted specification that allows for programmatically describing REST APIs. This is accomplished via a Swagger file, which may be in either JSON or YAML format. The Swagger file provides all the details about the APIs and how to invoke them. This includes information like the HTTP verbs to use (GET, POST, PUT, etc.), the URL paths, allowable parameters and types, authentication mechanisms, and so on.
Web applications have become essential for business, as they simplify and automate key functions and processes for employees, customers and partners, making organizations more agile, innovative and efficient.
Unfortunately, many web applications are also unsafe due to latent vulnerabilities and insecure configurations. Web application attacks rank as the most likely to trigger a data breach, according to the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
Those findings are consistent with SANS Institute’s 2016 State of Application Security Report, which found that “public-facing web applications were the largest items involved in breaches and experienced the most widespread breaches.”
“Insecure web applications are a real problem today,” Dave Ferguson, Director of Product Management for Web Application Scanning at Qualys, said during a recent webcast. “Web apps are a foothold into your organization for potential attackers.”
“To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.”
That phrase was uttered by Confucius 2,500 years ago, but reflects the spirit behind a recent revamp of a Cisco web app development process that made it more effective and secure.
“This is important as we talk about the secure software development lifecycle, because we weren’t doing what we needed to do, even though we knew what was right,” said Robert Martin, security engineer in Cisco’s Government Trust and Technology Services group.
In a nutshell, the process had fallen into a vicious cycle that pleased no one: Little communication between developers and security pros, combined with late vulnerability scans, yielded buggy software that had to be belatedly fixed, leading to missed deployment deadlines.
“We were making the same mistakes over and over again, and we weren’t making any corrections,” Martin said.
Sound familiar? This is a scenario in which countless organizations have found themselves. After years of using a linear, siloed model for creating and releasing software, organizations discover that this approach doesn’t work well in the era of rapid, agile web development and deployment.
To the credit of Martin and his group, they did something about this, instead of simply plodding along and settling for the status quo.
The Joomla community recently patched a SQL injection vulnerability introduced in Joomla 3.7.0. The article reporting this vulnerability explains how to identify the vulnerability (which was discovered via static code analysis) and how to craft an attack, e.g.
After reviewing the description of the vulnerability, I wondered whether an automated web application scanner, known as a DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing) tool, could identify an instance of this vulnerability without digging into the source code.
Here’s a common scenario organizations increasingly face: Too many web apps with too many vulnerabilities and no chance for immediate remediation.
In the interim, the organization is left exposed to potentially devastating breaches, at a time when web apps have become one of cyber attackers’ favorite targets.