Semalt: All You Need To Know About Recurrent Web Application Security Attacks And Ways To Avoid Them

An increase in malware written targeting windows rather than Mac operating system in the past left many technology gurus wondering on reasons for the trend. Many argued that this could be due to the strength of Mac while others saw it as a result of a large number of users of Windows thus making it a rewarding venture for website hackers. Unfortunately, the popularity of Mac has come with an increase in the number of Trojans and related malware with the potential to harm it.

Igor Gamanenko, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, focuses on a need to protect not only browsers but also web applications.

Sources of driving force for website hackers

When users give you information to store in your database, they have expectations that it would remain confidential. What is not known is that a website hacker somewhere is digging around your website looking for weak points to exploit. Either of the following could inspire their intentions.

  • Prove their prowess to the community.
  • Cause loss to your company through database destruction.
  • Pilfer user data.
  • Download critical information for sale in the black market. In this case, they don't leave any traces and continue doing harm for an extended period.

Reasons as to why website hackers target an application

1. Popularity is the principal reason. When you have built a successful internet site, there have to be competitors who feel outdone and have to do anything possible to remain relevant.

2. Political reasons. This is evidenced by such groups as Anonymous orchestrate whose motivations to attack governments and religious organizations are to make statements.

3. Angry employees also sometimes team up with outsiders as a result of dissatisfaction.

Most recurrent hacking attacks

1. SQL Injection Attacks

In this case, the purpose of an attack on the database is to steal, destroy or modify user information. For example, the website hacker can adjust financial results of a company and also steal crucial customer information like credit card numbers.

2. Cross-Site Scripting Attacks

This involves insertion of malicious code that executes on the victim's side.

3. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

This involves generation of a thousand IP addresses aimed at flooding a site with traffic. This makes a site slow or unavailable for a particular period.

4. Cross Site Request Forgery Attacks

A user is duped to download a link or image during an authenticated session which aids in the execution of malicious attacks.

Ways to protect your assets and users

With web applications being surrounded by all the above vulnerabilities, no developer would like to risk his efforts. This makes it necessary to incorporate prevention measures from the initial stages to the final ones. Some solutions are customized to specific tasks while others are done on an ongoing basis. Review of codes, their scanning, and bug hunt programs need to be performed throughout the application lifecycle. If looking for attack-specific solutions one can choose from implementing the use of CAPTCHAS, use of stored procedures with automatic parameters or the use of a Web Application Firewall that monitors and blocks potential attacks.