Monday, March 16, 2009

Web Security Readers Digest

Over the last two weeks I visited 5 different cities across the U.S. As such I haven't had much time to blog, however did get a chance to get in some reading. Plane rides are good for that. There is a tremendous amount going on in Web security, far more than I could ever dig deeply enough into and blog adequately. So here is the abridged version of the things I found particularly interesting, in no particular order.

1) Robert Auger published “Socket Capable Browser Plugins Result In Transparent Proxy Abuse”, which appears to be a solid candidate 2009’s Top Web Hacking Techniques. Yet more Intranet hacking goodness, but this time with a CERT VU#435052. Serious style points.

"When certain transparent proxy architectures are in use an attacker can achieve a partial Same Origin Policy Bypass resulting in access to any host reachable by the proxy via the use of client plug-in technologies (such as Flash, Applets, etc) with socket capabilities."

2) The software security gods give unto the people a Building Security In Maturity Model (BSIMM). Nine world-class software security initiatives were studied that include Brad Arkin (Adobe), Eric Baize (EMC), Alex Gantman (QUALCOMM), Eric Grosse (Google), David Hahn (Wells Fargo), Steve Lipner (Microsoft), and Jim Routh (DTCC). Want to get some insight into the what the big boys are doing interally? This is the best way to compare your program to theirs.

3) Yes, Software-as-a-Service is all the rage. Yes, Software-as-a-Service in many cases is more superior and less expensive than enterprise software. Yes, as Software-as-a-Service vendor specliazing in Website vulnerability assessments, I'm more than biased. The things I like about Software-as-a-Service best though can be summarized by the following comment...

"In the traditional software sales model, the idea is to impress the customer in the beginning, make the sale and collect the big check. While the customer is certainly valued, this is really a model that benefits the software company. Conversely, SaaS is a recurring revenue model where vendors gain maximum value by retaining customers over the long term."

That is precisely how we approach our business and why our renewal rates are sky high. It is in our best interest to make sure customers are well taken care of. Coversely if you buy some security software brand X, then basically you are on your own.

4) Penetration testing is dead, long live penetration testing, and here I thought Brian Chess (Fortify Software) was calling for the death of my business. :) Brian does a good job refining comments he made earlier about how pen-testing must adapt or die.

"People are now spending more money on getting code right in the first place than they are on proving it's wrong. However, this doesn't signal the end of the road for penetration testing, nor should it, but it does change things."

This is hard to disagree with and he even takes time to share some nice words about us...

"If you'd like a sneak preview of what the future holds, check out the work White Hat Security has done to integrate their vulnerability measurement service with Web application firewalls. This is attack and defence working together in a creative new way."

5) Rich Mogull and Adrian Lane of Securosis release a monster! Building a Web Application Security Program. Amazing that is has taken this long for the Web security industry to produce a document of this kind and quality. If you a plan in place, don't know where to begin, or find the generic "sofware security" guidance just isn't going to get it done for your enterprise, this document is the one for you.

6) Isn't it fun the run a social network? Religious wars erupt on Facebook, in this case, it involves some Web Hacking. “A group named 'Christians on Facebook' has been taken over it seems by pro-Islam members.” Reminds me of the days back at Yahoo!

7) This quote by Pete Lindstrom I found particularly thought provoking...
“If finding vulnerabilities makes software more secure, why do we assert that software with the highest vulnerability count is less secure (than, e.g., a competitor)?”

8) Criminal uses Google Earth to perform reconn searching lead roof tiles, which he would steal and sell to scrap metal dealers.

9) If you care about such things, you already know about it and its old news. Heartland, RBS WorldPay no longer PCI compliant.

10) Software tools do NOT scale! Neil MacDonald of Garnet was in this case talking about static application security testing (SAST) tools, A tool alone cannot solve what fundamentally is a development process problem. Can I get an AMEN! The very same issue plaguing dynamic testing tools I blogged on a while back. Technology helps, but people matter most.

1 comment:

sunny said...

Must say,excellent articles on web security and especially on web application scanner..
Sir,im a student and developing a web application scanner as my college project covering attacks such as xss,SQL injection etc.
Would be thankful if you could provide some links to it...