Web Application Security Testing with Samurai
Although useful, penetration testing is only part of the picture. To truly address these risks, applications must be designed, implemented and deployed with security in mind. Code analysis tools are helpful in locating places where application code deals with user inputs, so the code can be audited for input validation, strong output encoding and safe quote handling. Careful deployment using the principle of least privilege and employing chroot jails can help minimize the damage attackers can do if they gain access to your application. Never allow your database or Web server process to run as the root user.
Hopefully, this article can serve as a jumping off point to help you approach Web application security from a more active point of view, but there are many exploits and aspects of these two specific exploits that aren't covered here. For further reading, see the OWASP Wiki at www.owasp.org.
Special thanks to Adrian Crenshaw from irongeek.com, the author of our example application, Mutillidae. Mutillidae is a Web application designed to be deliberately vulnerable to the OWASP top ten in an easy-to-understand form for education purposes. Check out his site for some excellent resources on Web application security.
Jes Fraser is an IT Consultant from Open Systems Specialists in New Zealand. She's passionate about promoting open source and Linux in the enterprise.
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