Introduction to Web Application Attacks
Vulnerabilities or weaknesses in a web application can allow the hackers to compromise it and access its databases and confidential data.
Web apps have several benefits but poor coding and bugs can leave some doors open for cyberattacks. Commonly, web application attacks are launched to steal sensitive information that can be used for financial gains.
1. Footprinting Web Infrastructure
The first step in carrying out a web application attack is footprinting the web infrastructure. Here, the information about the infrastructure of the web app is collected using tools, technologies, and techniques. The hackers try to find as much information as they can in a less intrusive manner.
2. Analyze Web Application
Not all the web applications rely on similar technologies. Hackers perform an in-depth analysis of the web application, check all its URLs, understand its workflow, how it responds to specific inputs, and several other things. The aim here is to find the vulnerabilities or vulnerable aspects of the app.
3. Bypass Client Side Control
In this step, the hackers try to bypass or go past the client side using HTML forms, login pages, client-side scripts, or thick-client functionalities. It helps in finding admin privileges to the web application.
4. Attack Authentication and Mechanism
Once the footprinting and web app analysis are done, and the full structure of the app is understood, it is time to find how to attack it. The hackers figure out attack mechanisms to decide how and where to initiate the attack.
5. Attack Authorization Schemes
Several types of attacks can be carried out on a web application. Based on the attack authentication and mechanisms in the previous step, the right attack authorization schemes are used to exploit the vulnerabilities. Here, the attackers also see whether a particular attack can be launched or not.
6. Attack Access Control
After figuring out the type of attack to carry out to gain access to a user session, the attack is launched to take control and access the resources.
7. Attack Session Management Mechanism
Once a session has been hacked and the connection is successfully established, the hackers try to ensure that it doesn’t get disconnected. They manage the session as long as their purpose is not fulfilled. If the session breaks, they need to rework on attacking access control.
8. Perform Injection Attacks
Hackers try to inject malicious code and input, like SQL injection and HTML injection to make it expose or damage data.
Vulnerability Scanning with Acunetix
Acunetix is a renowned web vulnerability scanning tool. It provides vulnerability assessment and management solutions for websites and web applications.
Web applications and websites should use this tool to enhance the security of their assets, prevent most of the cyber threats, and keep the database safe. It is a premium tool that tests for around 7000 vulnerabilities and offers security against threats like SQL injections, cross site scripting, etc. Acunetix is also available for content management systems (CMS), including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.