Ajax Security

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-12-06
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
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The hands-on, practical primer for professionals who want to prevent Ajax-related security vulnerabilities.

Author Biography

Billy Hoffman is the lead researcher for HP Security Labs of HP Software. At HP, Billy focuses on JavaScript source code analysis, automated discovery of Web application vulnerabilities, and Web crawling technologies. He has worked in the security space since 2001 after he wrote an article on cracking software for 2600, “The Hacker Quarterly,” and learned that people would pay him to be curious. Over the years Billy has worked a variety of projects including reverse engineering file formats, micro-controllers, JavaScript malware, and magstripes. He is the creator of Stripe Snoop, a suite of research tools that captures, modifies, validates, generates, analyzes, and shares data from magstripes. Billy’s work has been featured in Wired, Make magazine, Slashdot, G4TechTV, and in various other journals and Web sites. Billy is a regular presenter at hacker conferences including Toorcon, Shmoocon, Phreaknic, Summercon, and Outerz0ne and is active in the South East hacking scene. Occasionally the suits make him take off the black t-shirt and he speaks at more mainstream security events including RSA, Infosec, AJAXWorld, and Black Hat. Billy graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005 with a BS in Computer Science with specializations in networking and embedded systems. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two tubby and very spoiled cats.


Bryan Sullivan is a software development manager for the Application Security Center division of HP Software. He has been a professional software developer and development manager for over 12 years, with the last five years focused on the Internet security software industry. Prior to HP, Bryan was a security researcher for SPI Dynamics, a leading Web application security company acquired by HP in August 2007.While at SPI, he created the DevInspect product, which analyzes Web applications for security vulnerabilities during development. Bryan is a frequent speaker at industry events, most recently AjaxWorld, Black Hat, and RSA. He was involved in the creation of the Application Vulnerability Description Language (AVDL) and has three patents on security assessment and remediation methodologies pending review. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology

with a BS in Applied Mathematics. When he’s not trying to break the Internet, Bryan spends as much time as he can on the golf links. If any Augusta National members are reading this, Bryan would be exceedingly happy to tell you everything he knows about Ajax security over a round or two.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xvii
Preface (The Real One)p. xvix
Introduction to Ajax Securityp. 1
An Ajax Primerp. 2
What Is Ajax?p. 2
Asynchronousp. 3
JavaScriptp. 6
XMLp. 11
Dynamic HTML (DHTML)p. 11
The Ajax Architecture Shiftp. 11
Thick-Client Architecturep. 12
Thin-Client Architecturep. 13
Ajax: The Goldilocks of Architecturep. 15
A Security Perspective: Thick-Client Applicationsp. 16
A Security Perspective: Thin-Client Applicationsp. 17
A Security Perspective: Ajax Applicationsp. 18
A Perfect Storm of Vulnerabilitiesp. 19
Increased Complexity, Transparency, and Sizep. 19
Sociological Issuesp. 22
Ajax Applications: Attractive and Strategic Targetsp. 23
Conclusionsp. 24
The Heistp. 25
Evep. 25
Hacking HighTechVacations.netp. 26
Hacking the Coupon Systemp. 26
Attacking Client-Side Data Bindingp. 32
Attacking the Ajax APIp. 36
A Theft in the Nightp. 42
Web Attacksp. 45
The Basic Attack Categoriesp. 45
Resource Enumerationp. 46
Parameter Manipulationp. 50
Other Attacksp. 75
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)p. 75
Phishingp. 76
Denial-of-Service (DoS)p. 77
Protecting Web Applications from Resource Enumeration and Parameter
Manipulationp. 77
Secure Sockets Layerp. 78
Conclusionsp. 78
Ajax Attack Surfacep. 81
Understanding the Attack Surfacep. 81
Traditional Web Application Attack Surfacep. 83
Form Inputsp. 83
Cookiesp. 84
Headersp. 85
Hidden Form Inputsp. 86
Query Parametersp. 86
Uploaded Filesp. 89
Traditional Web Application Attacks: A Report Cardp. 90
Web Service Attack Surfacep. 92
Web Service Methodsp. 92
Web Service Definitionsp. 94
Ajax Application Attack Surfacep. 94
The Origin of the Ajax Application Attack Surfacep. 96
Best of Both Worlds-for the Hackerp. 98
Proper Input Validationp. 98
The Problem with Blacklisting and Other Specific Fixesp. 99
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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