By Marshall C. Yovits
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Additional resources for Advances in Computers, Vol. 25
Web applications: Web forms are still the most common attack vector. Almost 50% of all publicly reported vulnerabilities are related to various packaged or tailored web applications. Almost all of those vulnerabilities have been discovered using various forms of fuzzing. 2. , downloaded over the web or sent via email. There are both open source and commercial fuzzers available for almost any imaginable file format. Many fuzzers include simple web servers or other tools to automatically send the malicious payloads over the network, whereas other file fuzzers are completely local.
If an attack is possible through that network-enabled interface—for example, due to a vulnerability in message parsing code—an unprivileged remote user could gain access to the computer doing the parsing. As a result, the attacker will elevate its privileges into those of the compromised process. Privilege elevation can also happen from lower privileges into higher privileges on the same host without involving any network interfaces. An example of fuzzing remote network-enabled attack surfaces would be to send malformed web requests to a web server, or to create malformed video files for viewing in a media player application.
Security scanners cannot find any unknown issues, and they need regular updating of threats. Security scanners also rarely support scanning anything but very popular operating systems and selected network equipment. An additional recent problem that is becoming more and more challenging for reactive security solutions that depend on public disclosure is that they do not know the problems (vulnerabilities) anymore. This is because the “public disclosure movement” has finally died down. However, raising awareness about security mistakes can only be a good thing.