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Category:Web exploitation

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Web exploitation is the attacking and taking advantage of a vulnerability in a computer system through a web application. There are numerous ways to exploit vulnerabilities so only some of the basics will be covered here. The topics and tools covered in this series can be dangerous enough to compromise an HTTP server's database, source code, or allow a remote operating system level shell.

When testing a domain for security problems, it is different than penetration testing a network, and different than assessing the vulnerability of a server. However, compromising one of these layers may result in the other proximal layers being compromised in the future. Web application vulnerabilities are currently the amongst the most prominent vulnerabilities exploited by cybercriminals.

Special thanks to hatter for his contributions to this article.

The insecure accessing and saving of dynamic content is the chief source of most web exploitation problems.

Affected Languages

Many web sites run web applications for the purpose of dynamic content. Usually this would include an SQL database backend of some sort, and a web application (like forums, talkboards, content management systems, and blogs) to interface with the SQL database. Therefore the affected programming languages are anything that can be used as an interface over HTTP to dynamic content, but are usually one of many interpreted languages.

  • Any CGI interfaced language may also be vulnerable to web exploitation.

Types of Exploitation

Vanguard can be used to test for many of these vulnerabilities.

Cross Site Scripting

SQL Injection

File Inclusion

Command Injection

  • Command injection effectively hands a remote shell to an attacker by arbitrary bash, MS-DOS, or native command-line execution.

Cross Site Referral Forgery

  • CSRF allows an attacker to perform actions as any unsuspecting user that clicks a link or loads a page on a separate domain from the affected site; a user's vulnerability is limited to the time spent while logged into the affected site.

Cross Site Content Forgery

  • XSCF Sends different data to different hosts. This way, if a piece of malware is able to recognize the source machine as something analyzing it, the malware can return something innocent, while unsuspecting users are directed to something of the attacker's choosing. This could range from a prank to a web browser drive-by exploit, similar to XSS

XSRF(XSS mixed with CSRF)

  • XSRF is using XSS to produce a same-domain URL that will perform actions as the logged in user via a CSRF attack.

Mass Assignment Abuse

Attack Vectors

  • HTTP GET request parameters (Variables in the URL)

Rewritten or "clean" URL's can have GET parameters too! HTTP HEAD requests can also exploit poor input sanitizing in these parameters.

  • HTTP POST request parameters (Fields and fieldsets in web forms)

You can send post parameters to a URL that has GET parameters!

  • HTTP Header parameters (Variables passed by header information)

This includes cookies, user agents, connection type, and more


c3el4.png Kolkata is a useful tool for fingerprinting web applications.

Because web vulnerability identification sometimes requires that you identify the backbone of a particular web configuration, fingerprinting is commonly used as a medium to gain information about commonly used platforms in an attempt to identify them through common fingerprints.

These might include things such as common headers, footers, comments in code- or simply the existence of a very particular page. Fingerprinting is a key aspect in determining vulnerabilities in specific software packages, and might also be used in conjunction with a search engine in order to get large lists of vulnerable hosts through searching for a single commonality.

Web Exploitation Tools

In House

Third party

Web exploitation is part of a series on exploitation.



Pages in category "Web exploitation"

The following 100 pages are in this category, out of 100 total.