Privacy / Security

Web application vulnerabilities: what are they and how to prevent them?

In order to explain web application in the most uncomplicated way possible, we can say that any app that is found on the internet that is accessible through any browser is a web application. Or web app for short.

Websites like Facebook, Gmail and Netflix are some popular examples of the web app. But as always, there a dangers that come from using them.

What web apps are vulnerable to

The web apps that we use in our daily life to help ourselves is not very immune to all sorts of damages. In fact, they can be very vulnerable in many ways. Here’s how,

1. Buffering overrun

Buffering overrun, a.k.a buffer overflow, is a problem that occurs mostly in web apps. As the name suggests, this problem mainly occurs due to the excess of data or the overflow (overrun) of data on your web app. When the data exceeds the range prescribed for the buffer, i.e. the memory, then the data gets corrupted. We mostly experienced that our devices often hang. This leads to a series of problems such as database destruction and information loss.

For example,  Morris worm named after the student who created it. He used the worm to stay informed on the security requirements of the internet. While his intentions were innocent, the results were not as healthy as he expected. He was eventually arrested for cyber crime.

The main reason for why the Morris worm got corrupted and eventually failed at what it was created for was because it experienced a buffer overflow.

2. Structural Query Language (SQL) Injection

The structural query language or simply SQL injection is a web app vulnerability that takes place through attacking via code. The attacker looks for loopholes in a web app. When they find these loopholes, they plant a code that gives him full access to it. And now the hacker has complete control of the website/application.

One example of an SQL injection was orchestrated by an cybersecurity firm employee called Gonzalez. He used several blank debit and credit cards and stole the credit/debit card numbers from a different account through online card services. He then withdrew a significant amount of cash from each of them. He was able to get the relevant details through SQL injection.

3. Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

CSRF is technically hacking. The attacker breaks into private or personal accounts and tries to use it for their benefit. They can get access to passwords, online shopping lists and bank account details among other information. While this may seem like a long and complicated hacking process, it’s actually much easier to pull off than we imagined. And can have severe outcomes because the attacker can get complete access to a system, and take advantage of a unsuspecting victim’s information.

4. Credentials management

Credential management is another kind of web app vulnerability that deals with passwords and usernames of victims. This revolves around getting hold of passwords of any user and then using those accounts as their own. As the name suggests, it deals with the privacy of the credentials that we fill in our accounts. They can use it as wrongfully as they want, like sending messages on the victim’s name and may never get caught. And so it becomes a challenging task to find the people behind it.

  1. 5. Security Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration is a kind web app vulnerability which occurs because of not changing the default keys and passwords, having unnecessary services which are running on the system, or even any list enabled on the server which reveals essential information. Moreover, running outdated software like WordPress plugins, or timeworn PhpMyAdmin can also be a major contributing factor.

Security misconfiguration can occur at any level of application stack and requires thorough attention of developers and administrators to make sure that the stack is configured correctly. It is essential that you update your software regularly and must know proper and complete knowledge about its security.

Preventions of web apps ulnerabilities

As we have discussed briefly how many kinds of drawbacks we have in our web apps, it has become essential to find a way to prevent them.

1. Use of different language

The easiest way to cope up with a particular problem (e.g., a buffer overflow, SQL injection, etc.) is to use proper language. By doing so, we can prevent ourselves as it becomes harder for the attacker to get through your data if they cannot figure out the language.

2. Employee training

Another workable plan is to train the employees working at cybersecurity in a better way so that they can easily undo the act of mistakes or not make any mistakes in the first place. They can also prepare better ways to prevent web apps if they are more trained and educated.

3. Use updated equipment

The very first approach that should also be made is that we try to improve all the machinery that is used in cybercrime department crimes. Also, we should try to use better equipment ourselves that is more secure with our data and has a more excellent security system in them.

4. Safer Passwords

If possible, we should try and keep passwords that are harder to guess or passwords that are not too easy for an attacker to catch. We should avoid those passwords that are way too complicated or way to unchallenging.

5. Verify content

It is a significant precautionary step for civilians as they go to any content without even looking into it. It means that we should always first try to verify the kind of content we are using from the referrer header of the material.

It’s better to be wary than sorry

Hence, in a nutshell, we have lots of web app sensitivities to deal with, and we know the ways to deal with them so we should try our best to imply these precautions and prevention in real life and save ourselves from such hazards of web applications.

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