Web Application Vulnerabilities

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Establishing a web presence is almost a requirement for organizations today, and users expect fancy web sites with dynamic pages that are easy to use. Although many applications make it easy to create web sites, they don’t always include security. This often results in many web sites being highly susceptible to attacks.

If you’re planning on taking the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of web application vulnerabilities. Here’s a a sample question:

Q. While creating a web application, a developer adds code to limit data provided by users. The code prevents users from entering special characters. Which of the following attacks will this code MOST likely prevent?

A. Sniffing

B. Spoofing

C. XSS

D. Pharming

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

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  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

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 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions Now Available


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

NoSQL Versus SQL Databases

Server-based SQL databases are traditional relational databases using tables that relate to each other in one way or another. They are very effective in many situations, but not all. A newer type of database has emerged known as not only SQL (NoSQL).

NoSQL databases typically hold one or more of the following types of data: documents, key-value pairs, or graphs. Documents are formatted in a specific way and each document represents an object. This is similar to how a table holds data in rows. However, the document-based NoSQL database gives developers much more flexibility in how they can store and query the data.

Both NoSQL and SQL databases are susceptible to command injection attacks if developers do not implement input validation techniques. SQL databases use SQL queries and are susceptible to SQL injection attacks. NoSQL databases use unstructured query language (UQL) queries. Although the format of UQL queries varies with different vendors, attackers can learn them and use them when developers do not implement input validation techniques.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide (SY0-401)

The 401 Version of the Study Guide is Now Available

SY0-401 Study GuideThe CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201 and SY0-301 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.

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Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

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Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is another web application vulnerability that can be prevented with input validation. Attackers embed malicious HTML or JavaScript code into an email or web site error message. If a user responds to the email or error message, it executes the code. Many times, this gives the attacker access to user cookies or other information about the user.

You may be wondering why the acronym isn’t CSS instead of XSS. The reason is the web sites use Cascading Style Sheets identified as CSS and CSS files are not malicious.

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HTML and JavaScript code use tags surrounded by the less-than (<) and greater-than (>) characters. For example, images are placed within a web page with the <img> tag. These tags support many additional options and commands, which developers use to create feature-rich web pages. However, attackers can manipulate these tags to run malicious code. Attackers often embed cross-scripting code into comments on blog pages or forums when the page allows users to include HTML tags.

As an example, a bug in Twitter’s web site resulted in a cross-site scripting problem in 2010. A malicious Twitter user discovered the bug and embedded JavaScript code into a tweet. When innocent users opened a web page that included the malicious tweet, the code ran on their systems. In this case, the malicious code used the onMouseOver event. When users hovered their mouse over the tweet, it did two things. It retweeted the tweet, sending it out to all of the user’s followers. It also launched a pop-up window displaying content from a hard-core Japanese pornography web site.

Web Application Vulnerabilities

Although this attack was more embarrassing to Twitter than harmful to end users, many other cross-site scripting attacks are malicious. They can allow attackers to redirect users to other web sites, steal cookies off a user’s system, read passwords from a web browser’s cache, and more. If a web site stored private data in a user’s cookie, such as a username and password, an attacker can use a cross-site scripting attack to retrieve this information.

The primary protection against cross-site scripting attacks is at the web application with input validation techniques to block the use of HTML tags and JavaScript tags. Tags are embedded within the < and > characters, so it’s possible to block these tags by rejecting any text that includes these characters. It’s also important to educate users about the dangers of clicking links. Some XSS attacks send emails with malicious links within them. The XSS attack fails if users do not click the link.

Remember this

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks allow attackers to capture user information such as cookies. Input validation techniques at the server help prevent XSS attacks.


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Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including types of questions and strategies for performance-based questions)
  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Basic Network Security (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
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  • Managing Risk (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Preparing for Business Continuity (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
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  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

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 Full Security+ Course Now Available


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
  • 280 Security+ acronyms flashcards to help you master the required acronyms
  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over three hours hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
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Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

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Q. While creating a web application, a developer adds code to limit data provided by users. The code prevents users from entering special characters. Which of the following attacks will this code MOST likely prevent?

A. Sniffing

B. Spoofing

C. XSS

D. Pharming

Answer is C. A cross-site scripting (XSS) attack can be blocked by using input validation techniques to filter special characters such as the < and > characters used in HTML code. None of the other attackers requires the use of special characters.

Sniffing captures data with a protocol analyzer.

Spoofing hides the identity of the original entity.

Pharming redirects a user from one web site to another web site.

See Chapter 7 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide for more information on application attacks.

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