Community Blog Four Common Web Application Security Flaws and What You Can Do to Resolve Them

Four Common Web Application Security Flaws and What You Can Do to Resolve Them

This blog helps you understand the basics of application security and common network attacks.

By Alibaba Cloud Academy

Interested to learn more about Alibaba Cloud? Check out our course on how to Protect Your Web Application on Alibaba Cloud and get certified today!

When we talk about cyber security, the first thing that comes to mind is viruses and hackers. But when it comes to web application security, we usually focus on the following four categories.

  • Unauthorized server access
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
  • Injection attacks
  • Bots and crawlers

Unauthorized Server Access

"The server page has changed." This is something you don't ever want to see if you are running an online business. This means your pages have been changed or manipulated by someone else.

This is the first major concern when we talk about web application security. Someone may inject executable files into your web server to gain access to your server and make major changes to some of your pages. They could add some hidden links users can't see on the server page, among other things. The best way to prevent these kinds of attacks is with a web application firewall, such as Alibaba Cloud WAF. This web application firewall protects your website servers against intrusions, securing your core business data and preventing server malfunctions caused by malicious activities and attacks.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

When you are running an online business, you want to ensure your services are up 24/7. Another thing you don't want to happen is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. You can think of it as a flood of data that overwhelms servers. In the web application security area, there are generally two types of attacks: volume-based attacks and application layer attacks. Volume-based attacks are fairly common and are accomplished by sending an astronomical number of requests to a server. Application layer attacks, such as low-and-slow attacks and GET/POST floods, are more sophisticated and harder to detect. These attacks work through sending seemingly legitimate and innocent requests that take up a large number of resources. For example, an attacker can specify a large content length and send packets at an extremely low rate (one byte every one-to-ten seconds) to occupy resources in a server. It is difficult for network security software or a conventional firewall to defend against it.

Injection Attacks

Another type of attack is an injection attack. Some attackers are looking to gain valuable things like customer or business data. Injection attackers will insert small amounts of dangerous code into the input of their HTTP requests. After that, they can gain access and have privileges on the server-side or request side without you knowing.

Bots and Crawlers

The last two are bot and crawlers. Nowadays, there are many corporations or enterprise-level websites that have millions of online orders and business transactions every day. Most of these websites deal with order information, pricing, and who bought what. If someone had access to all of this information at once, it could be harmful. Bots and crawlers can burrow into every corner of your website, looking for any valuable information.

Bots have become a big problem with raffles, coupons, and other online discounts. Hackers can develop bots, an automated app that allows them to quickly register online or submit forms in seconds. After using the bot, the hacker now has all of the raffle tickets, coupons, or discount codes to themselves. When this happens, it damages the integrity of the brand and frustrates other users.

These are the four major concerns of Web Application Security.

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