Feeds

Stay ahead of Web 2.0 worms

XSS marks the spot

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.