Feeds

JavaScript in web browsers is new security weak spot

Ajax fingered as main culprit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The growing use of JavaScript in web browsers is the new security weak spot, says Brian Chess, chief scientist and founder of US security software specialist Fortify Software.

Specifically, the use of Ajax techniques to build Web 2.0 applications makes enterprise applications more vulnerable.

"It is really hard to see the difference between what Ajax is supposed to do and what is an attack from hijacking JavaScript," Chess says. "Potentially it provides a bridge between external internet applications and internal intranet applications behind the firewall."

This week, Fortify announced the latest version of its Secure Coding Rulepacks aimed specifically at the JavaScript hijacking Chess refers to. Fortify's recent research into source code vulnerabilities highlights what Chess sees as the next major wave of hacking activity.

"We think the problem is being seriously underestimated because of the surge in Web 2.0 applications. People don't want to talk about it in case it spoils the party - in fact, some have criticised us and said we are ruining Ajax by highlighting its vulnerabilities. But there are some potentially dangerous scenarios that could spin off JavaScript hacks."

Fortify specialises in source code analysis tools which can help spot potential security problems. The latest release of its Secure Code Rulepacks incorporates technology it acquired from its recent takeover of Secure Software. The technology analyses JavaScript code frameworks searching for potential security loopholes.

Chess says the original plan for the release was to merge Secure Software's technology with Fortify's - but the dangers of JavaScript hijacking prompted a re-think. "The bulk of the work on this release was to port across the Secure Software technology. But the JavaScript hi-jacking problem came up a couple of months ago and we decided it could not wait." ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.