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Table of contents

Both of these features are threaded throughout the. NET framework. CAS ensures that code does not perform actions or access resources it should not be able to, and provides an extra layer of safety on top of the operating system security functions. The environment in which your application runs can be configured to only allow a subset of the full.

NET framework functionality. Fail Gracefully Error handling is often the last thing developers add to their applications. Your customers want to see things working, not things failing. The error messages raised during the Microsoft hack shown earlier in this chapter gave away enough information to the attackers that they were able to inject arbitrary SQL commands. A combination of developer discipline, testing with unexpected, random, or invalid data, in combination with careful design, will ensure that all areas of your code including error conditions are securely constructed.

Watch for Attacks Even if you handle errors gracefully, you may not be logging what caused the error. Without a logging strategy, you will miss potential attacks against your application, a valuable source of information that you can use to strengthen the next version. Error logging and a regular auditing of the error logs is vital in knowing what is happening to your Web site. Use Least Privilege When I speak at user groups and conferences, I often ask how many people use an administrator account for development purposes. The majority of hands in the audience go up. However, when an attacker takes over an application, the attacker runs as the user the application runs under.

Even when you are developing with the built-in Web server provided with Visual Studio, it will run under your user account, with all the privileges you have, disguising any problems your application may have running in a locked-down environment. You should be developing for, and testing against, a leastprivilege account.

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On rare occasions, a part of your application may need more access. Firewalls protect infrastructure, hiding services from the outside world and reducing the exposed surface area of your network. Cryptography, on the other hand, can be an effective security mechanism, but alone it does not provide security. The security of the encryption keys, the algorithm used, the strength of passwords, and other factors impact the effectiveness of the cryptographic system.

If one of these factors is weak, then your encryption may be easily cracked. Some common applications come with default passwords for administrator accounts, something a careless administrator or a non-technical end user will never change. As the default passwords become widely known, attackers will test Web sites using these to see if they can authenticate with them — and often they can. If your application contains authentication functionality, then choose secure settings.

Randomly generate temporary passwords, rather than setting a default one.

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If your application contains optional functionality, then do not install or expose it unless requested or required, reducing the attack surface exposed to a hacker. This attitude should even extend down to things such as the humble if statement. Consider the code snippets shown in Listing and Valid return true; else return false; Which of these statements is more secure? Are they the same? If ValidationStatus was Unknown in Listing , then true would be returned. This would mean that the code will start to treat the object as valid. All the OWASP materials are available under an Open Source license, and their meetings with more than local chapters are free to attend.

The Top Ten Project has been used by the U. Following is the list the most current as of this writing , and the chapters in the book that address the each of the issues.

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The attack and mitigation techniques are covered in Chapter 3. This is covered in Chapter 8 and Chapter NET does not allow the inclusion of executable code from remote sources, but if you allow users to upload content, you may still be at risk. Securing uploads is covered in Chapter 9. Techniques for handling this problem are discussed in Chapter 4.

Authentication and authorization are covered in Chapter 7. This exploit and mitigations against it are covered in Chapter 4. Chapter 7 introduces ASP. Chapter 11 introduces authentication for Web services.

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Incorrect cryptography is often insecure. Chapter 6 deals with encryption of data and detecting changes to data. Applications can authenticate users, but fail to restrict access to sensitive areas. Authorization with ASP. NET is discussed in Chapter 7. By its very nature, it is exposed to the world at large. This book will arm you with knowledge to secure your application — but this is just the beginning. Chapter 2 takes a look at how the Web works, examining the protocol used when requesting and receiving Web pages, how forms submissions work, and how ASP.

NET uses these fundamentals to provide its framework for Web development. After the underpinnings of the Web are explored, future chapters will examine how Web applications can be exploited, and what you can do to prevent your application from being hacked. When Microsoft released ASP. While this abstraction has obvious productivity bonuses, understanding both the architecture of the Web and of ASP. NET is essential in understanding how your Web application can be attacked, and how you can defend it.

The client is typically a Web browser, a spidering robot such as search engines use to crawl the Web , or other piece of software. The server is a program that understands HTTP, listens for requests from a client also known as a User Agent , and responds appropriately. Each computer on the internet has an Internet Protocol IP address , similar in principle to a telephone number.

However, an IP address is not enough to make a connection. Multiple services may be running on the destination computer — a Web server, an FTP server, a mail server and so on. Each service on a computer listens on a port. If you think of an IP address as a telephone number, then the port is analogous to an extension number that supports direct dialing.

If you want to call a service directly, you use the IP address and the port number to connect. The Web server listens on this port for clients. Once a HTTP client connection is established, the server then listens for a request from the client. The server then transmits the rest of response message, which may contain HTML, an image, audio, an error message, or any other information it wishes to send. Unlike HTML, the standard has not changed much since its initial draft. This was followed in with HTTP version 1.

HTTP 1. An RFC Request for Comment is the standard mechanism used to document standards and propose new standards for communications on the Internet. In the example, each line has been numbered to aid in the explanation that follows. These numbers are not present in an actual request. Lines 2 through 6 contain optional information added by the client software in this case, Internet Explorer 7.

None of this information is necessarily needed by the Web server, but is used to inform the server about what the client is capable of. Line 6, theUser-Agent header indicates the client software in use. This header enables multiple Web sites on different domain names to share an IP address.

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Line 8, the Connection header, indicates that the connection to the Web server should be kept open after the response is sent, which is faster than dropping and re-creating a connection with every request and response. Some requests may send a message body after this blank line, such as a POST request that contains information submitted by a form. You will see these types of requests later in this chapter.

Responding to a Request Once the request has been sent, the server processes it and sends back a response message. Again, each line has been numbered to aid in explanation, but these numbers do not exist in the actual response.

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This is followed by the numeric status code and its textual representation in this case, OK, indicating that the request has been successful. If, for example, the resource requested could not be found, the response code would have been a Not Found. These can include bad request syntax, a request for a resource that does not exist, or a request for a resource that requires authentication, but authentication details were not sent.

The full list of standard status codes can be found in Section 6. The private value indicates that it is for a single user, and should not be cached by any proxies that sit between the user and Google. The max-age parameter indicates that the client software itself should not cache the response. Line 3 shows the date and time the response was generated. Lines 4 to 8 contain a mixture of entity and optional headers. Entity headers describe the resource being served.

Optional headers are just that— headers containing optional information about the server. This section introduces you to one such useful debugging tool, Fiddler, and how you can use it to hand craft HTTP requests. Like a lot of tools with legitimate uses, tools such as Fiddler can be used by an attacker to send fake requests to a Web site in an attempt to compromise it. Normally, a proxy server sits inside a corporation or Internet service provider acting as an intermediary between client machines and the wider Internet.

Search form

Proxy servers can be used to cache responses, serving them to multiple clients who request the same resource, thus reducing the amount of Internet bandwidth used. Proxy servers can also provide basic security functions, hiding the client machine from the Internet, and keeping details of the requesting host private. The Fiddler user interface allows you to examine the logged requests and responses, as well as to craft requests manually or from a logged request. It allows you to send requests to a server and view the response for your customized request.

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