Top 4 Common Web Application Vulnerabilities

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Web applications play a pivotal role in our digital lives, enabling online shopping, social networking, banking, and more. However, this convenience comes with significant security challenges. A web application vulnerability is a type of system flaw that is exploited by attackers to gain access to the sensitive information of the users. 

Understanding these vulnerabilities is critical for developers, administrators, and users to protect against cyber threats. Proper mobile app security and robust testing of web applications are necessary to protect user data. In this article, we will go through the four common web application vulnerabilities.

4 Common Vulnerabilities In Web Applications

Here are details on four common vulnerabilities in web applications.

1. Session Fixation

In a session fixation attack, the user’s session ID is forced to fix to a specified value. The attackers may use several techniques to fix the value depending on the functionality of the target web application. So, any web application that is authenticating the users with the help of sessions is vulnerable to this type of attack if it lacks proper security protocols. The application relies on session IDs that use cookies. These cookie-based user sessions are common targets for these attacks and are the easiest to compromise.

2. SQL Injection

There are several web applications that rely on SQL to communicate with the database. So, attackers inject malicious queries by exploiting the SQL vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access and modify the data of the database. Some hackers even gain root access to the web application and steal all the sensitive data

The common targets for this type of attack are web servers that hold critical data for the app. Unsanitized user input is one of the most common vulnerabilities that is exploited by hackers to gain access to sensitive data. So, it is essential to remove all the elements from the user input that can be executed as SQL code by the web server of the application.

3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

An XSS attack also injects malicious script into the web application like SQL injection attack. However, the major difference is that the malicious script runs on the browser when a user tries to access any compromised app or website. A hacker can inject code into the input fields of the target page or create a link on the page and persuade the users to click it to steal information. 

The major issue with this attack is that it can expose the user data without any indication. Hackers can steal the information of the users and nobody will know that they have fallen into the trap set by them.

4. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

CSRF is a security vulnerability where the attacker forces or tricks the target to perform unintended actions on another site where he/she is authenticated. This exploit can lead to unauthorized actions being executed without the user’s consent. For example, an attacker might send a user a seemingly innocent link that, when clicked, initiates actions like changing account settings, making transactions, or even deleting data. 

To mitigate CSRF attacks, web developers implement anti-CSRF tokens and checks to ensure that actions are only performed when legitimate requests are made, helping protect user accounts and sensitive data from unauthorized access.

The Bottom Line

Here are the most common vulnerabilities in web applications. Rigorous and effective testing is necessary to pinpoint the vulnerabilities in the web application so that you can take adequate steps to prevent hackers from stealing your private information. Moreover, WAFs (Web Application Firewalls) and security scanners can help identify and mitigate these vulnerabilities.

 

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