Visible to the public Analysis of Field Data on Web Security Vulnerabilities

TitleAnalysis of Field Data on Web Security Vulnerabilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsFonseca, J., Seixas, N., Vieira, M., Madeira, H.
JournalDependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Transactions on
Date PublishedMarch
Keywordsattack injectors, Awards activities, Blogs, code inspectors, field data analysis, Internet, Internet applications, Intrusion Detection Systems, Java, languages, realistic vulnerability, review and evaluation, security, security mechanisms, security of data, security patches, Software, software fault tolerance, software faults, source code, source code (software), SQL, SQL Injection, static code analyzers, vulnerability scanners, Web application vulnerabilities, Web security vulnerabilities, XSS

Most web applications have critical bugs (faults) affecting their security, which makes them vulnerable to attacks by hackers and organized crime. To prevent these security problems from occurring it is of utmost importance to understand the typical software faults. This paper contributes to this body of knowledge by presenting a field study on two of the most widely spread and critical web application vulnerabilities: SQL Injection and XSS. It analyzes the source code of security patches of widely used web applications written in weak and strong typed languages. Results show that only a small subset of software fault types, affecting a restricted collection of statements, is related to security. To understand how these vulnerabilities are really exploited by hackers, this paper also presents an analysis of the source code of the scripts used to attack them. The outcomes of this study can be used to train software developers and code inspectors in the detection of such faults and are also the foundation for the research of realistic vulnerability and attack injectors that can be used to assess security mechanisms, such as intrusion detection systems, vulnerability scanners, and static code analyzers.

Citation Key6589556