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Hou, Xin-Yu, Zhao, Xiao-Lin, Wu, Mei-Jing, Ma, Rui, Chen, Yu-Peng.  2018.  A Dynamic Detection Technique for XSS Vulnerabilities. 2018 4th Annual International Conference on Network and Information Systems for Computers (ICNISC). :34–43.

This paper studies the principle of vulnerability generation and mechanism of cross-site scripting attack, designs a dynamic cross-site scripting vulnerabilities detection technique based on existing theories of black box vulnerabilities detection. The dynamic detection process contains five steps: crawler, feature construct, attacks simulation, results detection and report generation. Crawling strategy in crawler module and constructing algorithm in feature construct module are key points of this detection process. Finally, according to the detection technique proposed in this paper, a detection tool is accomplished in Linux using python language to detect web applications. Experiments were launched to verify the results and compare with the test results of other existing tools, analyze the usability, advantages and disadvantages of the detection method above, confirm the feasibility of applying dynamic detection technique to cross-site scripting vulnerabilities detection.

Laverdière, M., Merlo, E..  2018.  Detection of protection-impacting changes during software evolution. 2018 IEEE 25th International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering (SANER). :434–444.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) is often used in web applications to restrict operations and protect security sensitive information and resources. Web applications regularly undergo maintenance and evolution and their security may be affected by source code changes between releases. To prevent security regression and vulnerabilities, developers have to take re-validation actions before deploying new releases. This may become a significant undertaking, especially when quick and repeated releases are sought. We define protection-impacting changes as those changed statements during evolution that alter privilege protection of some code. We propose an automated method that identifies protection-impacting changes within all changed statements between two versions. The proposed approach compares statically computed security protection models and repository information corresponding to different releases of a system to identify protection-impacting changes. Results of experiments present the occurrence of protection-impacting changes over 210 release pairs of WordPress, a PHP content management web application. First, we show that only 41% of the release pairs present protection-impacting changes. Second, for these affected release pairs, protection-impacting changes can be identified and represent a median of 47.00 lines of code, that is 27.41% of the total changed lines of code. Over all investigated releases in WordPress, protection-impacting changes amounted to 10.89% of changed lines of code. Conversely, an average of about 89% of changed source code have no impact on RBAC security and thus need no re-validation nor investigation. The proposed method reduces the amount of candidate causes of protection changes that developers need to investigate. This information could help developers re-validate application security, identify causes of negative security changes, and perform repairs in a more effective way.

Ojagbule, O., Wimmer, H., Haddad, R. J..  2018.  Vulnerability Analysis of Content Management Systems to SQL Injection Using SQLMAP. SoutheastCon 2018. :1–7.

There are over 1 billion websites today, and most of them are designed using content management systems. Cybersecurity is one of the most discussed topics when it comes to a web application and protecting the confidentiality, integrity of data has become paramount. SQLi is one of the most commonly used techniques that hackers use to exploit a security vulnerability in a web application. In this paper, we compared SQLi vulnerabilities found on the three most commonly used content management systems using a vulnerability scanner called Nikto, then SQLMAP for penetration testing. This was carried on default WordPress, Drupal and Joomla website pages installed on a LAMP server (Iocalhost). Results showed that each of the content management systems was not susceptible to SQLi attacks but gave warnings about other vulnerabilities that could be exploited. Also, we suggested practices that could be implemented to prevent SQL injections.

Katole, R. A., Sherekar, S. S., Thakare, V. M..  2018.  Detection of SQL injection attacks by removing the parameter values of SQL query. 2018 2nd International Conference on Inventive Systems and Control (ICISC). :736–741.

Internet users are increasing day by day. The web services and mobile web applications or desktop web application's demands are also increasing. The chances of a system being hacked are also increasing. All web applications maintain data at the backend database from which results are retrieved. As web applications can be accessed from anywhere all around the world which must be available to all the users of the web application. SQL injection attack is nowadays one of the topmost threats for security of web applications. By using SQL injection attackers can steal confidential information. In this paper, the SQL injection attack detection method by removing the parameter values of the SQL query is discussed and results are presented.

Ndichu, S., Ozawa, S., Misu, T., Okada, K..  2018.  A Machine Learning Approach to Malicious JavaScript Detection using Fixed Length Vector Representation. 2018 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN). :1–8.

To add more functionality and enhance usability of web applications, JavaScript (JS) is frequently used. Even with many advantages and usefulness of JS, an annoying fact is that many recent cyberattacks such as drive-by-download attacks exploit vulnerability of JS codes. In general, malicious JS codes are not easy to detect, because they sneakily exploit vulnerabilities of browsers and plugin software, and attack visitors of a web site unknowingly. To protect users from such threads, the development of an accurate detection system for malicious JS is soliciting. Conventional approaches often employ signature and heuristic-based methods, which are prone to suffer from zero-day attacks, i.e., causing many false negatives and/or false positives. For this problem, this paper adopts a machine-learning approach to feature learning called Doc2Vec, which is a neural network model that can learn context information of texts. The extracted features are given to a classifier model (e.g., SVM and neural networks) and it judges the maliciousness of a JS code. In the performance evaluation, we use the D3M Dataset (Drive-by-Download Data by Marionette) for malicious JS codes and JSUPACK for benign ones for both training and test purposes. We then compare the performance to other feature learning methods. Our experimental results show that the proposed Doc2Vec features provide better accuracy and fast classification in malicious JS code detection compared to conventional approaches.

Lekshmi, A. S. Sai, Devipriya, V. S..  2017.  An Emulation of Sql Injection Disclosure and Deterrence. 2017 International Conference on Networks Advances in Computational Technologies (NetACT). :314–316.

SQL Injection is one of the most critical security vulnerability in web applications. Most web applications use SQL as web applications. SQL injection mainly affects these websites and web applications. An attacker can easily bypass a web applications authentication and authorization and get access to the contents they want by SQL injection. This unauthorised access helps the attacker to retrieve confidential data's, trade secrets and can even delete or modify valuable documents. Even though, to an extend many preventive measures are found, till now there are no complete solution for this problem. Hence, from the surveys and analyses done, an enhanced methodology is proposed against SQL injection disclosure and deterrence by ensuring proper authentication using Heisenberg analysis and password security using Honey pot mechanism.

Ghafarian, A..  2017.  A hybrid method for detection and prevention of SQL injection attacks. 2017 Computing Conference. :833–838.

SQL injection attack (SQLIA) pose a serious security threat to the database driven web applications. This kind of attack gives attackers easily access to the application's underlying database and to the potentially sensitive information these databases contain. A hacker through specifically designed input, can access content of the database that cannot otherwise be able to do so. This is usually done by altering SQL statements that are used within web applications. Due to importance of security of web applications, researchers have studied SQLIA detection and prevention extensively and have developed various methods. In this research, after reviewing the existing research in this field, we present a new hybrid method to reduce the vulnerability of the web applications. Our method is specifically designed to detect and prevent SQLIA. Our proposed method is consists of three phases namely, the database design, implementation, and at the common gateway interface (CGI). Details of our approach along with its pros and cons are discussed in detail.

Maraj, A., Rogova, E., Jakupi, G., Grajqevci, X..  2017.  Testing Techniques and Analysis of SQL Injection Attacks. 2017 2nd International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Applications (ICKEA). :55–59.

It is a well-known fact that nowadays access to sensitive information is being performed through the use of a three-tier-architecture. Web applications have become a handy interface between users and data. As database-driven web applications are being used more and more every day, web applications are being seen as a good target for attackers with the aim of accessing sensitive data. If an organization fails to deploy effective data protection systems, they might be open to various attacks. Governmental organizations, in particular, should think beyond traditional security policies in order to achieve proper data protection. It is, therefore, imperative to perform security testing and make sure that there are no holes in the system, before an attack happens. One of the most commonly used web application attacks is by insertion of an SQL query from the client side of the application. This attack is called SQL Injection. Since an SQL Injection vulnerability could possibly affect any website or web application that makes use of an SQL-based database, the vulnerability is one of the oldest, most prevalent and most dangerous of web application vulnerabilities. To overcome the SQL injection problems, there is a need to use different security systems. In this paper, we will use 3 different scenarios for testing security systems. Using Penetration testing technique, we will try to find out which is the best solution for protecting sensitive data within the government network of Kosovo.

Boicea, A., Radulescu, F., Truica, C. O., Costea, C..  2017.  Database Encryption Using Asymmetric Keys: A Case Study. 2017 21st International Conference on Control Systems and Computer Science (CSCS). :317–323.

Data security has become an issue of increasing importance, especially for Web applications and distributed databases. One solution is using cryptographic algorithms whose improvement has become a constant concern. The increasing complexity of these algorithms involves higher execution times, leading to an application performance decrease. This paper presents a comparison of execution times for three algorithms using asymmetric keys, depending on the size of the encryption/decryption keys: RSA, ElGamal, and ECIES. For this algorithms comparison, a benchmark using Java APIs and an application for testing them on a test database was created.

Scully, Ziv, Chlipala, Adam.  2017.  A Program Optimization for Automatic Database Result Caching. Proceedings of the 44th ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages. :271–284.

Most popular Web applications rely on persistent databases based on languages like SQL for declarative specification of data models and the operations that read and modify them. As applications scale up in user base, they often face challenges responding quickly enough to the high volume of requests. A common aid is caching of database results in the application's memory space, taking advantage of program-specific knowledge of which caching schemes are sound and useful, embodied in handwritten modifications that make the program less maintainable. These modifications also require nontrivial reasoning about the read-write dependencies across operations. In this paper, we present a compiler optimization that automatically adds sound SQL caching to Web applications coded in the Ur/Web domain-specific functional language, with no modifications required to source code. We use a custom cache implementation that supports concurrent operations without compromising the transactional semantics of the database abstraction. Through experiments with microbenchmarks and production Ur/Web applications, we show that our optimization in many cases enables an easy doubling or more of an application's throughput, requiring nothing more than passing an extra command-line flag to the compiler.

Backes, M., Rieck, K., Skoruppa, M., Stock, B., Yamaguchi, F..  2017.  Efficient and Flexible Discovery of PHP Application Vulnerabilities. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :334–349.

The Web today is a growing universe of pages and applications teeming with interactive content. The security of such applications is of the utmost importance, as exploits can have a devastating impact on personal and economic levels. The number one programming language in Web applications is PHP, powering more than 80% of the top ten million websites. Yet it was not designed with security in mind and, today, bears a patchwork of fixes and inconsistently designed functions with often unexpected and hardly predictable behavior that typically yield a large attack surface. Consequently, it is prone to different types of vulnerabilities, such as SQL Injection or Cross-Site Scripting. In this paper, we present an interprocedural analysis technique for PHP applications based on code property graphs that scales well to large amounts of code and is highly adaptable in its nature. We implement our prototype using the latest features of PHP 7, leverage an efficient graph database to store code property graphs for PHP, and subsequently identify different types of Web application vulnerabilities by means of programmable graph traversals. We show the efficacy and the scalability of our approach by reporting on an analysis of 1,854 popular open-source projects, comprising almost 80 million lines of code.

Pan, J., Mao, X..  2017.  Detecting DOM-Sourced Cross-Site Scripting in Browser Extensions. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME). :24–34.

In recent years, with the advances in JavaScript engines and the adoption of HTML5 APIs, web applications begin to show a tendency to shift their functionality from the server side towards the client side, resulting in dense and complex interactions with HTML documents using the Document Object Model (DOM). As a consequence, client-side vulnerabilities become more and more prevalent. In this paper, we focus on DOM-sourced Cross-site Scripting (XSS), which is a kind of severe but not well-studied vulnerability appearing in browser extensions. Comparing with conventional DOM-based XSS, a new attack surface is introduced by DOM-sourced XSS where the DOM could become a vulnerable source as well besides common sources such as URLs and form inputs. To discover such vulnerability, we propose a detecting framework employing hybrid analysis with two phases. The first phase is the lightweight static analysis consisting of a text filter and an abstract syntax tree parser, which produces potential vulnerable candidates. The second phase is the dynamic symbolic execution with an additional component named shadow DOM, generating a document as a proof-of-concept exploit. In our large-scale real-world experiment, 58 previously unknown DOM-sourced XSS vulnerabilities were discovered in user scripts of the popular browser extension Greasemonkey.

Mehrpouyan, H., Azpiazu, I. M., Pera, M. S..  2017.  Measuring Personality for Automatic Elicitation of Privacy Preferences. 2017 IEEE Symposium on Privacy-Aware Computing (PAC). :84–95.

The increasing complexity and ubiquity in user connectivity, computing environments, information content, and software, mobile, and web applications transfers the responsibility of privacy management to the individuals. Hence, making it extremely difficult for users to maintain the intelligent and targeted level of privacy protection that they need and desire, while simultaneously maintaining their ability to optimally function. Thus, there is a critical need to develop intelligent, automated, and adaptable privacy management systems that can assist users in managing and protecting their sensitive data in the increasingly complex situations and environments that they find themselves in. This work is a first step in exploring the development of such a system, specifically how user personality traits and other characteristics can be used to help automate determination of user sharing preferences for a variety of user data and situations. The Big-Five personality traits of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism are examined and used as inputs into several popular machine learning algorithms in order to assess their ability to elicit and predict user privacy preferences. Our results show that the Big-Five personality traits can be used to significantly improve the prediction of user privacy preferences in a number of contexts and situations, and so using machine learning approaches to automate the setting of user privacy preferences has the potential to greatly reduce the burden on users while simultaneously improving the accuracy of their privacy preferences and security.

Ethelbert, O., Moghaddam, F. F., Wieder, P., Yahyapour, R..  2017.  A JSON Token-Based Authentication and Access Management Schema for Cloud SaaS Applications. 2017 IEEE 5th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud (FiCloud). :47–53.

Cloud computing is significantly reshaping the computing industry built around core concepts such as virtualization, processing power, connectivity and elasticity to store and share IT resources via a broad network. It has emerged as the key technology that unleashes the potency of Big Data, Internet of Things, Mobile and Web Applications, and other related technologies; but it also comes with its challenges - such as governance, security, and privacy. This paper is focused on the security and privacy challenges of cloud computing with specific reference to user authentication and access management for cloud SaaS applications. The suggested model uses a framework that harnesses the stateless and secure nature of JWT for client authentication and session management. Furthermore, authorized access to protected cloud SaaS resources have been efficiently managed. Accordingly, a Policy Match Gate (PMG) component and a Policy Activity Monitor (PAM) component have been introduced. In addition, other subcomponents such as a Policy Validation Unit (PVU) and a Policy Proxy DB (PPDB) have also been established for optimized service delivery. A theoretical analysis of the proposed model portrays a system that is secure, lightweight and highly scalable for improved cloud resource security and management.

Rouf, Y., Shtern, M., Fokaefs, M., Litoiu, M..  2017.  A Hierarchical Architecture for Distributed Security Control of Large Scale Systems. 2017 IEEE/ACM 39th International Conference on Software Engineering Companion (ICSE-C). :118–120.

In the era of Big Data, software systems can be affected by its growing complexity, both with respect to functional and non-functional requirements. As more and more people use software applications over the web, the ability to recognize if some of this traffic is malicious or legitimate is a challenge. The traffic load of security controllers, as well as the complexity of security rules to detect attacks can grow to levels where current solutions may not suffice. In this work, we propose a hierarchical distributed architecture for security control in order to partition responsibility and workload among many security controllers. In addition, our architecture proposes a more simplified way of defining security rules to allow security to be enforced on an operational level, rather than a development level.

Sudhodanan, A., Carbone, R., Compagna, L., Dolgin, N., Armando, A., Morelli, U..  2017.  Large-Scale Analysis Detection of Authentication Cross-Site Request Forgeries. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :350–365.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks are one of the critical threats to web applications. In this paper, we focus on CSRF attacks targeting web sites' authentication and identity management functionalities. We will refer to them collectively as Authentication CSRF (Auth-CSRF in short). We started by collecting several Auth-CSRF attacks reported in the literature, then analyzed their underlying strategies and identified 7 security testing strategies that can help a manual tester uncover vulnerabilities enabling Auth-CSRF. In order to check the effectiveness of our testing strategies and to estimate the incidence of Auth-CSRF, we conducted an experimental analysis considering 300 web sites belonging to 3 different rank ranges of the Alexa global top 1500. The results of our experiments are alarming: out of the 300 web sites we considered, 133 qualified for conducting our experiments and 90 of these suffered from at least one vulnerability enabling Auth-CSRF (i.e. 68%). We further generalized our testing strategies, enhanced them with the knowledge we acquired during our experiments and implemented them as an extension (namely CSRF-checker) to the open-source penetration testing tool OWASP ZAP. With the help of CSRFchecker, we tested 132 additional web sites (again from the Alexa global top 1500) and identified 95 vulnerable ones (i.e. 72%). Our findings include serious vulnerabilities among the web sites of Microsoft, Google, eBay etc. Finally, we responsibly disclosed our findings to the affected vendors.
Sun, F., Zhang, P., White, J., Schmidt, D., Staples, J., Krause, L..  2017.  A Feasibility Study of Autonomically Detecting In-Process Cyber-Attacks. 2017 3rd IEEE International Conference on Cybernetics (CYBCONF). :1–8.

A cyber-attack detection system issues alerts when an attacker attempts to coerce a trusted software application to perform unsafe actions on the attacker's behalf. One way of issuing such alerts is to create an application-agnostic cyber- attack detection system that responds to prevalent software vulnerabilities. The creation of such an autonomic alert system, however, is impeded by the disparity between implementation language, function, quality-of-service (QoS) requirements, and architectural patterns present in applications, all of which contribute to the rapidly changing threat landscape presented by modern heterogeneous software systems. This paper evaluates the feasibility of creating an autonomic cyber-attack detection system and applying it to several exemplar web-based applications using program transformation and machine learning techniques. Specifically, we examine whether it is possible to detect cyber-attacks (1) online, i.e., as they occur using lightweight structures derived from a call graph and (2) offline, i.e., using machine learning techniques trained with features extracted from a trace of application execution. In both cases, we first characterize normal application behavior using supervised training with the test suites created for an application as part of the software development process. We then intentionally perturb our test applications so they are vulnerable to common attack vectors and then evaluate the effectiveness of various feature extraction and learning strategies on the perturbed applications. Our results show that both lightweight on-line models based on control flow of execution path and application specific off-line models can successfully and efficiently detect in-process cyber-attacks against web applications.

Regainia, L., Salva, S., Ecuhcurs, C..  2016.  A classification methodology for security patterns to help fix software weaknesses. 2016 IEEE/ACS 13th International Conference of Computer Systems and Applications (AICCSA). :1–8.

Security patterns are generic solutions that can be applied since early stages of software life to overcome recurrent security weaknesses. Their generic nature and growing number make their choice difficult, even for experts in system design. To help them on the pattern choice, this paper proposes a semi-automatic methodology of classification and the classification itself, which exposes relationships among software weaknesses, security principles and security patterns. It expresses which patterns remove a given weakness with respect to the security principles that have to be addressed to fix the weakness. The methodology is based on seven steps, which anatomize patterns and weaknesses into set of more precise sub-properties that are associated through a hierarchical organization of security principles. These steps provide the detailed justifications of the resulting classification and allow its upgrade. Without loss of generality, this classification has been established for Web applications and covers 185 software weaknesses, 26 security patterns and 66 security principles. Research supported by the industrial chair on Digital Confidence (

Calvi, Alberto, Viganò, Luca.  2016.  An Automated Approach for Testing the Security of Web Applications Against Chained Attacks. Proceedings of the 31st Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing. :2095–2102.

We present the Chained Attacks approach, an automated model-based approach to test the security of web applications that does not require a background in formal methods. Starting from a set of HTTP conversations and a configuration file providing the testing surface and purpose, a model of the System Under Test (SUT) is generated and input, along with the web attacker model we defined, to a model checker acting as test oracle. The HTTP conversations, payload libraries, and a mapping created while generating the model aid the concretization of the test cases, allowing for their execution on the SUT's implementation. We applied our approach to a real-life case study and we were able to find a combination of different attacks representing the concrete chained attack performed by a bug bounty hunter.

Medeiros, Ibéria, Beatriz, Miguel, Neves, Nuno, Correia, Miguel.  2016.  Hacking the DBMS to Prevent Injection Attacks. Proceedings of the Sixth ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy. :295–306.

After more than a decade of research, web application security continues to be a challenge and the backend database the most appetizing target. The paper proposes preventing injection attacks against the database management system (DBMS) behind web applications by embedding protections in the DBMS itself. The motivation is twofold. First, the approach of embedding protections in operating systems and applications running on top of them has been effective to protect this software. Second, there is a semantic mismatch between how SQL queries are believed to be executed by the DBMS and how they are actually executed, leading to subtle vulnerabilities in prevention mechanisms. The approach – SEPTIC – was implemented in MySQL and evaluated experimentally with web applications written in PHP and Java/Spring. In the evaluation SEPTIC has shown neither false negatives nor false positives, on the contrary of alternative approaches, causing also a low performance overhead in the order of 2.2%.

Alvarez, E. D., Correa, B. D., Arango, I. F..  2016.  An analysis of XSS, CSRF and SQL injection in colombian software and web site development. 2016 8th Euro American Conference on Telematics and Information Systems (EATIS). :1–5.

Software development and web applications have become fundamental in our lives. Millions of users access these applications to communicate, obtain information and perform transactions. However, these users are exposed to many risks; commonly due to the developer's lack of experience in security protocols. Although there are many researches about web security and hacking protection, there are plenty of vulnerable websites. This article focuses in analyzing 3 main hacking techniques: XSS, CSRF, and SQL Injection over a representative group of Colombian websites. Our goal is to obtain information about how Colombian companies and organizations give (or not) relevance to security; and how the final user could be affected.

Masood, A., Java, J..  2015.  Static analysis for web service security - Tools amp; techniques for a secure development life cycle. 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST). :1–6.

In this ubiquitous IoT (Internet of Things) era, web services have become a vital part of today's critical national and public sector infrastructure. With the industry wide adaptation of service-oriented architecture (SOA), web services have become an integral component of enterprise software eco-system, resulting in new security challenges. Web services are strategic components used by wide variety of organizations for information exchange on the internet scale. The public deployments of mission critical APIs opens up possibility of software bugs to be maliciously exploited. Therefore, vulnerability identification in web services through static as well as dynamic analysis is a thriving and interesting area of research in academia, national security and industry. Using OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) web services guidelines, this paper discusses the challenges of existing standards, and reviews new techniques and tools to improve services security by detecting vulnerabilities. Recent vulnerabilities like Shellshock and Heartbleed has shifted the focus of risk assessment to the application layer, which for majority of organization means public facing web services and web/mobile applications. RESTFul services have now become the new service development paradigm normal; therefore SOAP centric standards such as XML Encryption, XML Signature, WS-Security, and WS-SecureConversation are nearly not as relevant. In this paper we provide an overview of the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities for web services, and discuss the potential static code analysis techniques to discover these vulnerabilities. The paper reviews the security issues targeting web services, software/program verification and security development lifecycle.

H. S. Jeon, H. Jung, W. Chun.  2015.  "ID Based Web Browser with P2P Property". 2015 9th International Conference on Future Generation Communication and Networking (FGCN). :41-44.

The main usage pattern of internet is shifting from traditional host-to-host central model to content dissemination model. It leads to the pretty prompt growth in Internet content. CDN and P2P are two mainstream techmologies to provide streaming content services in the current Internet. In recent years, some researchers have begun to focus on CDN-P2P-hybrid architecture and ISP-friendly P2P content delivery technology. Web applications have become one of the fundamental internet services. How to effectively support the popular browser-based web application is one of keys to success for future internet projects. This paper proposes ID based browser with caching in IDNet. IDNet consists of id/locator separation scheme and domain-insulated autonomous network architecture (DIANA) which redesign the future internet in the clean slate basis. Experiment shows that ID web browser with caching function can support how to disseminate content and how to find the closet network in IDNet having identical contents.

Goseva-Popstojanova, K., Dimitrijevikj, A..  2014.  Distinguishing between Web Attacks and Vulnerability Scans Based on Behavioral Characteristics. Advanced Information Networking and Applications Workshops (WAINA), 2014 28th International Conference on. :42-48.

The number of vulnerabilities and reported attacks on Web systems are showing increasing trends, which clearly illustrate the need for better understanding of malicious cyber activities. In this paper we use clustering to classify attacker activities aimed at Web systems. The empirical analysis is based on four datasets, each in duration of several months, collected by high-interaction honey pots. The results show that behavioral clustering analysis can be used to distinguish between attack sessions and vulnerability scan sessions. However, the performance heavily depends on the dataset. Furthermore, the results show that attacks differ from vulnerability scans in a small number of features (i.e., session characteristics). Specifically, for each dataset, the best feature selection method (in terms of the high probability of detection and low probability of false alarm) selects only three features and results into three to four clusters, significantly improving the performance of clustering compared to the case when all features are used. The best subset of features and the extent of the improvement, however, also depend on the dataset.

Coelho Martins da Fonseca, J.C., Amorim Vieira, M.P..  2014.  A Practical Experience on the Impact of Plugins in Web Security. Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS), 2014 IEEE 33rd International Symposium on. :21-30.

In an attempt to support customization, many web applications allow the integration of third-party server-side plugins that offer diverse functionality, but also open an additional door for security vulnerabilities. In this paper we study the use of static code analysis tools to detect vulnerabilities in the plugins of the web application. The goal is twofold: 1) to study the effectiveness of static analysis on the detection of web application plugin vulnerabilities, and 2) to understand the potential impact of those plugins in the security of the core web application. We use two static code analyzers to evaluate a large number of plugins for a widely used Content Manage-ment System. Results show that many plugins that are current-ly deployed worldwide have dangerous Cross Site Scripting and SQL Injection vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited, and that even widely used static analysis tools may present disappointing vulnerability coverage and false positive rates.