A web developer’s ultimate goal is to not only develop a website or an app that is aesthetically and functionally stunning but highly secure as well. Cybersecurity is inevitable and no end-user would want to have an app that could breach or compromise their data security and integrity (no matter how useful the app is). With hackers and middlemen working on creative ways to explore vulnerabilities, it is on developers like us to take charge and be a step ahead of them.
Let’s get started.
1. Cross-site Scripting Attacks
2. Cross-site Request Forgery
In this, malicious commands that often get rejected by websites trick them into believing that the user accessing the website is genuine and authorized. This forged authorization will offer hackers the chance to access modules and aspects that remain denied to them otherwise. This causes consequences such as impersonation, identity theft, triggering of targeted attacks, modification of data through a victim’s credentials, exploitation of DSL routers and more.
1) Source Code Security
One of the ideal ways to overcome concerns with source code is deploying airtight auditing tools.
2) Unintentional Script Execution
3) Filtering Out Input
In several cases, you can filter out dangerous characters from users’ input to protect them from data manipulation. While this solution is good, it is not advisable to rely on this technique alone to prevent data manipulation as hackers can easily evade such input filters.
4) Wrong Input Validation
Input or data that users provide on websites should be properly validated. For instance, phone number boxes should accept only numbers with exceptions to a few special characters like + and -. Email addresses should mandatorily have the symbol @ and end with .com. Such validation techniques could patch certain vulnerabilities to significant extents.
5) Encoding User Input
This can be easily prevented by using escape codes for the special characters whenever browser-supplied data is returned as part of a response.
6) Depend On Client-side Validation Only
The techniques we discussed so far ideally work on the client-side on browsers and web pages. However, hackers can often get creative and transmit data directly to servers, bypassing any and every client-side validation. This results in the uploading of malicious code or data onto the server. With no server-side validation protocol in place, the data that is stored could easily be corrupted, modified or completely replaced.
The most practical fix to this is to implement client and server-side validations.
7) Hacking Of Session Data
Malicious browser-side scripts are powerful and they can access all sorts of content returned to the browser by web applications. Cookies are part of such content that can be gained access to. Like you know, cookies contain some of our most confidential and private data and access to cookies means hackers can hijack our session IDs through the access of session ID tokens.
Besides, sessions and local storage data can be stolen in similar ways as well. That’s why it is recommended not to store confidential information such as tokens in the browser unless certain web development architecture dictates to do so.
8) Indicating Users To Perform Wrong Actions
Remember the Cross-site Request Forgery exploitation we discussed a little earlier? At this point, you need to understand that hackers gain access to unauthorized modules even when you are not online or in a session. This means that even if your website or application is not open, hackers could still be gaining access to authorized pages. This can happen to all cookie-based sessions through the request of authorization cookies.
Besides, it is also possible for hackers to publish their own web pages and force them to perform malicious activities or requests to other websites in the background (in stealth) when a user opens it. Through links posted on forums, social media platforms and suspicious websites, browsers can be made to call or access other websites with the help of cookies.
To prevent this, you could deploy a tokenization mechanism, where all client-server communications require an additional security token for data transmission. This token resides nowhere - not even in cookies. Every form should have a token generated for it and sent to the server for every single request as the user is still active on that particular website.