Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Cross-Scripting Errors Cause Most Web App Vulnerabilities

Despite being easy to spot and fix, XSS bugs now account for more than half of all Web application vulnerabilities, reports Veracode.

How Firesheep Can Hijack Web Sessions
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: How Firesheep Can Hijack Web Sessions

According to static application security testing vendor Veracode, cross-site scripting (XSS) errors are now responsible for more than half of all Web application vulnerabilities. Where present, such errors can be exploited by attackers to bypass many security controls and execute malicious scripts via a user's browser.

Many XSS errors could have been prevented, however, by ensuring that developers practice secure coding techniques. "We strongly believe that many XSS errors are straightforward and easy to fix, and that much can be done to greatly reduce their occurrence," said Matt Moynahan, CEO of Veracode, in a statement. "Developer and product security teams must accept greater accountability for writing better code."

Not introducing XSS errors in the first place is a relatively straightforward process, though it requires more upfront work by developers. According to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), "XSS flaws occur whenever an application takes untrusted data and sends it to a Web browser without proper validation and escaping," with escaping referring to removing or blocking characters that might be used to launch an attack.

Numerous software vendors now sell security testing tools to help ensure that developers properly validate and escape their code, among other essentials. According to Gartner Group, such vendors include HP, IBM, Veracode, Armorize Technologies, Checkmarx, Coverity, GrammaTech, Koicwork, and Parasoft.

Many software-developing organizations, however, seemingly prioritize time-to-market over secure coding. As a result, even easy-to-prevent errors, such as not blocking injection attacks or XSS bugs, have become endemic. That's in spite of numerous studies which have found that remediating software bugs costs far less in the early stages of the software development lifecycle, and especially prior to code going into production.

When done early enough in the software development lifecycle, many code fixes are also relatively easy. According to Chris Eng, senior director of security research at Veracode, "We see thousands -- sometimes tens of thousands -- of XSS vulnerabilities a week. Many are those we describe as 'trivial' and can be fixed with a single line of code,"

Veracode said that the average time required to remediate an XSS bug, based on companies that used its service to scan code before and after remediating it, was 16 days.

But if required, fixes can be made in almost no time at all, as has happened in the wake of XSS exploits against Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter. "Sometimes those companies push XSS fixes to production in a matter of hours. Are their developers really that much better? Of course not. The difference is how seriously the business takes it. When they believe it's important, you can bet it gets fixed," said Eng.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Cyberattacks Are Tailored to Employees ... Why Isn't Security Training?
Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of Tessian,  6/17/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Powerful Cybersecurity Skills the Energy Sector Needs Most
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer,  6/22/2021
News
Microsoft Disrupts Large-Scale BEC Campaign Across Web Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/15/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-35210
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Contao 4.5.x through 4.9.x before 4.9.16, and 4.10.x through 4.11.x before 4.11.5, allows XSS. It is possible to inject code into the tl_log table that will be executed in the browser when the system log is called in the back end.
CVE-2021-27649
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Use after free vulnerability in file transfer protocol component in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-3 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-29084
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Improper neutralization of special elements in output used by a downstream component ('Injection') vulnerability in Security Advisor report management component in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-3 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-29085
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Improper neutralization of special elements in output used by a downstream component ('Injection') vulnerability in file sharing management component in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-3 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-29086
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-23
Exposure of sensitive information to an unauthorized actor vulnerability in webapi component in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-3 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.