A Security Audit is an extensive and formal overview of an organization’s security systems and processes. The audit is an all-encompassing, in-depth, review of not only physical attributes (networks, etc.) but other areas including policy and standard operating procedures.
The Security Assessment generally scans an organization’s infrastructure and identifies vulnerabilities (faulty firewall, lack of system updates, malware, etc.). With the assessment results, the technician can recommend steps to remedy the problems within the system.
A security test is a method of evaluating the security of a computer system or network by methodically validating and verifying the effectiveness of application security controls. A web application security test focuses only on evaluating the security of a web application.
Threat modeling is synonymous with the development of attack trees, which are descriptions of a set of computer security aspects. That is, when looking at a piece of software, one can define a threat model by defining a set of possible attacks to consider.
Injection flaws, such as SQL, OS, XPath, Unicode and LDAP injection occur when untrusted data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. The attacker’s hostile data can trick the interpreter into executing unintended commands or accessing data without proper authorization.
Application functions related to authentication and session management are often not implemented correctly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities.
XSS flaws occur whenever an application takes untrusted data and sends it to a web browser without proper validation or escaping. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the victim’s browser which can hijack user sessions, deface web sites, or redirect the user to malicious sites.
A direct object reference occurs when a developer exposes a reference to an internal implementation object, such as a file, directory, or database key. Without an access control check or other protection, attackers can manipulate these references to access unauthorized data.
Good security requires having a secure configuration defined and deployed for the application, frameworks, application server, web server, database server, and platform. Secure settings should be defined, implemented, and maintained, as defaults are often insecure. Additionally, software should be kept up to date.
Many web applications do not properly protect sensitive data, such as credit cards, tax IDs, and authentication credentials. Attackers may steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. Sensitive data deserves extra protection such as encryption at rest or in transit, as well as special precautions when exchanged with the browser.
Most web applications verify function level access rights before making that functionality visible in the UI. However, applications need to perform the same access control checks on the server when each function is accessed. If requests are not verified, attackers will be able to forge requests in order to access functionality without proper authorization.
A CSRF attack forces a logged-on victim’s browser to send a forged HTTP request, including the victim’s session cookie and any other automatically included authentication information, to a vulnerable web application. This allows the attacker to force the victim’s browser to generate requests the vulnerable application thinks are legitimate requests from the victim.
Components, such as libraries, frameworks, and other software modules, almost always run with full privileges. If a vulnerable component is exploited, such an attack can facilitate serious data loss or server takeover. Applications using components with known vulnerabilities may undermine application defenses and enable a range of possible attacks and impacts.
Web applications frequently redirect and forward users to other pages and websites, and use untrusted data to determine the destination pages. Without proper validation, attackers can redirect victims to phishing or malware sites, or use forwards to access unauthorized pages.
The File Inclusion vulnerability allows an attacker to include a file, usually exploiting a "dynamic file inclusion" mechanisms implemented in the target application. The vulnerability occurs due to the use of user-supplied input without proper validation.
Failure to enable validation when parsing XML gives an attacker the opportunity to supply malicious input. Most successful attacks begin with a violation of the programmer's assumptions. By accepting an XML document without validating it against a DTD or XML schema, the programmer leaves a door open for attackers to provide unexpected, unreasonable, or malicious input.
A Path Traversal attack aims to access files and directories that are stored outside the web root folder.
Clickjacking, also known as a "UI redress attack", is when an attacker uses multiple transparent or opaque layers to trick a user into clicking on a button or link on another page when they were intending to click on the the top level page.
The Denial of Service attack is focused on making a resource (site, application, server) unavailable for the purpose it was designed.
Malformed HTTP requests and responses are interpreted differently by proxies, web servers, or other systems which process HTTP along the request/response path. This can allow a request or response to bypass proxy filters or rules, poison caches, or cause the response from one request to be incorrectly matched with another.
The application allows CRLF characters to be injected into HTTP response headers, which allows an attacker to inject a malicious response body in place of the intended response or force a redirect to a malicious resource.