Feeds

Stay ahead of Web 2.0 worms

XSS marks the spot

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

As you can see from my examples you can - if you're careful - think through all the inputs to your application and prevent code from getting mixed into your data. But for real protection, you'll need to get organized and put a strategy in place.

You'll need to define some organization-wide security standards that cover XSS. You'll also need to make sure all developers know how to recognize XSS problems and implement protections. Don't reinvent your controls in every application. You'll want to adopt standard controls for canonicalization, validation, and encoding across your organization. The Enterprise Security API from the organization I work with, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), is one attempt to define a set of interfaces and a reference implementation.

You'll also need a good testing program, with both automated scanning and manual reviews. Automated tools can find simple XSS problems, but only manual code review and penetration testing will be able to diagnose the complex problems. Only manual review can verify that the standard controls work as intended and that developers are using them properly.

XSS isn't going to go away anytime soon - in fact the problem's going to become worse thanks to AJAX, web services and Web 2.0. The key to containing the problem, though, is to act tactically and strategically whilst building web applications.®

Jeff Williams is chair of the OWASP and chief executive of AspectSecurity.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
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

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.