Feeds

UK.biz lax on web app security

SQL injection problems getting worse

Security for virtualized datacentres

Web application security among UK corporates is getting worse, according to audits carried out by CESG-accredited security consultancy NTA Monitor.

NTA Monitor reports a ten percentage point increase in the total number of web applications found to have at least one high-risk security issue. A quarter (27 per cent) of all web applications tested by the penetration testing firm harboured at least one high risk issue, compared to 17 per cent in the previous year.

Incidents of high-risk security flaws vary widely across industry sectors, with utilities and legal firms doing particularly well at avoiding high-risk vulnerabilities. NTA’s service sector and not-for-profit clients, by contrast, fared badly.

The service sector had the highest number of high risks per test compared to all other sectors.

The latest edition of the annual Web Application Security report identified three types of high risk flaws, defined as vulnerabilities that might allow unauthorised external users to obtain system access, as listed below:

  • SQL injection attacks, which allow attackers to modify the database queries initiated from an application.
  • Cross-site scripting attacks, which creates a means for third-party websites to cause potentially malicious code to be run in a user's browser.
  • Cross-request forgery attacks, a class of flaw that can allow a hostile website to make arbitrary HTTP requests to applications.

Roy Hills, technical director at NTA Monitor, explained: "All user-supplied data should be properly sanitised before returning it to the browser or storing it in a database. This reduces the threat of SQL injection, which is a consistently prevalent high risk throughout 2008 and 2009.

"SQL injection enables attackers to modify the database queries initiated from an application so users can delete, create or update database records."

NTA recommends three key steps that organisations can take to reduce security risks: sanitising user data before returning it to the browser or storing it in a database, switching from a persistent authentication method to a transient authentication method to help prevent cross-request forgery attacks, and applying an account lockout mechanism (to frustrate brute force attacks). ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.