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Web Applications (Hacking Exposed) 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-3254039933
ISBN-10: 007222438X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This book goes a long way in making the Web a safer place to do business." -- Mark Curphey, Chair of the Open Web Application Security Project

Unleash the hackers' arsenal to secure your Web applications

In today's world of pervasive Internet connectivity and rapidly evolving Web technology, online security is as critical as it is challenging. With the enhanced availability of information and services online and Web-based attacks and break-ins on the rise, security risks are at an all time high. Hacking Exposed Web Applications shows you, step-by-step, how to defend against the latest Web-based attacks by understanding the hacker's devious methods and thought processes. Discover how intruders gather information, acquire targets, identify weak spots, gain control, and cover their tracks. You'll get in-depth coverage of real-world hacks--both simple and sophisticated--and detailed countermeasures to protect against them.

What you'll learn:

  • The proven Hacking Exposed methodology to locate, exploit, and patch vulnerable platforms and applications
  • How attackers identify potential weaknesses in Web application components
  • What devastating vulnerabilities exist within Web server platforms such as Apache, Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), Netscape Enterprise Server, J2EE, ASP.NET, and more
  • How to survey Web applications for potential vulnerabilities --including checking directory structures, helper files, Java classes and applets, HTML comments, forms, and query strings
  • Attack methods against authentication and session management features such as cookies, hidden tags, and session identifiers
  • Most common input validation attacks--crafted input, command execution characters, and buffer overflows
  • Countermeasures for SQL injection attacks such as robust error handling, custom stored procedures, and proper database configuration
  • XML Web services vulnerabilities and best practices
  • Tools and techniques used to hack Web clients--including cross-site scripting, active content attacks and cookie manipulation
  • Valuable checklists and tips on hardening Web applications and clients based on the authors' consulting experiences

About the Author

Joel Scambray (Lafayette, CA) is a Manager in the Information Systems Audit and Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young. Joel has over five years experience working with a variety of computer and communications technologies from both an operational and strategic standpoint--ranging from Director of IS for a major commercial real estate firm to Technology Analyst for Info World Magazine.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hacking Exposed
  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 1 edition (June 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007222438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072224382
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,493,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Hacking Exposed Web Apps and was coming back to Amazon to fwd the recommendation to a friend who is a CSO at a Fortune 500 firm when I stumbled upon the review from hermie. I have to say that I disagree completely with hermie's assessment, and felt compelled enough to say so in print! First of all, the book does cover a number of web platforms besides IIS -- it's the only one I've seen that talks about web services in any detail (SOAP, UDDI, XML, etc.), and it also devotes entire chapters to both web app management and web client hacking as well (very salient but often overlooked topics in other books). Main author Scambray may be a Windows security expert, but the non-Windows expertise is very visible in the appendix on libwhisker and the chapters on surveying the app, attacking session state, and input validation, etc. This also calls into question the criticisms by hermie of the specific detail versus the depiction of broad concepts -- if you are after ancient security concepts, then you plainly shouldn't be reading the Hacking Exposed series! That's the point of each book in the series -- use fresh, relevant technical details on how to hack to illustrate cutting-edge *concepts* in computer and Internet security. I think hermie really missed the boat here. Finally, the straw that broke the camels back for me was the comparison to "Web Hacking" by McClure. McClure is an executive now running his own start-up, and the knock that I've heard on this book is that it is really non-technical and out-of-date in sections. McClure brought in strong contributors to drive the details, but apparently couldn't glue the right pieces together to make this book competitive. I have a borrowed copy on my shelf, but frankly could not get past the first three or so chapters. Sigh -- I guess that's the breaks when anyone can post their thoughts here in the review section :)
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Format: Paperback
I must admit, I was disappointed with Hacking Exposed Web Applications (HE:WA, as another reviewer called it). Overall, I thought it was basically mediocre.
My main fault with the book was that it was incomplete; equal and fair coverage was not given where it should be. For example, Chapter 9 "Attacking Web Datastores" should have been called "Attacking Microsoft SQL Server." While some of the general techniques (i.e. SQL injection attacks) in Chapter 9 could have been applied to any SQL RDBMS, much of it was very specific to a Windows/IIS/ASP/MSSQL setup. This doesn't help me much to write my bread-and-butter Unix/Apache/Perl/PostgreSQL or even
Java/Oracle apps any better.
It seems like the authors wrote their book to be "Hacking IIS Web Applications Exposed" and at the last minute decided to throw in some Apache and Unix here and there, with a sprinkling of Cold Fusion and Netscape Enterprise, to market the book more broadly. If they had just stuck within their expertise (Joel Scambray wrote for Microsoft TechNet's ironically-titled "Ask Us About... Security" column and wrote "Hacking Windows 2000 Exposed") and produced their original book, I think they'd of come up with a better product.
Another problem I have with HE:WA (and the whole HE series) is that they spend too much time on specific attacks and not enough time on the broader security concepts. For example, how useful is the first HE book today? How useful with HE:WA be in three years? I still recommend "Computer Security Basics" to anybody beginning in the security arena, and that book was published over a dozen years ago. CSB remains in print today because it teaches sound pragmatic security <i>concepts</i> that remain relevant today.
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Format: Paperback
There is an unofficial time cycle called an ohnosecond, which is the amount of time between when you realize you left your keys in the car, and when the car door locks. While its frustrating paying the locksmith $100.00 to open the car door, it is also exasperating to the person paying the $100.00 that a good locksmith can open the car door in under a minute.
While a car door is a entrance to one's automobile, web servers are portals to corporate intranets, e-commerce offerings, and much more. And while a locksmith or thief can open a car door in a minute, so too can adversaries often penetrate corporate web servers with similar ease.
For those that don't accept the comparison, reading Hacking Exposed Web Applications will clearly open one's eyes. Forgetting for a minute the myriad vulnerabilities that effect many software products (including Windows, Apache, ColdFusion, and more), both books show how poorly written software, and misconfigured web servers make the penetration of web servers child's play.
The book provides step-by-step instructions in a easy to read style for hardening web servers against attack. For those that have read previous and are comfortable with books in the Hacking Exposed serious, Hacking Exposed Web Applications uses the same easy to read and well organized style.
The book has a lot of value even for those who are not so security conscious. For those with an interest in security, one's eyes will be open to the myriad places where vulnerabilities lie, from software, to scripts, mark-up files, and more. Anyone concerned with web server security should definitely read this title, or at least ensure their system administrators do. If not, think of your web servers as being Gone in 60 Seconds.
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