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Seven Detection Tools to Enhance Security of your Web Application

Published on 20 May 15
Now a days, it is extremely essential to have your web app scanned for security issues and flaws, given the sophistication of hackers and other individuals with malicious intent who prowl on the internet. This article is about various tools that you can use to enhance the security of your web application and remain secure on the Internet.

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If your company is using web applications to promote its business on the Internet, then there are chances that the web app is flawed and is vulnerable to security threats. As an upcoming or mature company with several stakes in business, you possibly cannot afford from allowing your most important web apps to get hacked. It’s high time that you become serious about securing your apps on the Internet and understand that there are people who could be waiting to get you there.

Many studies have indicated one fact - the preferred way of attacking or hacking business online is through their online assets, especially their web applications. The usual security flaws found in web applications include SQL injection errors and cross site scripting vulnerability.

So, enterprising hackers simply search for these common flaws, which they already know about. Furthermore, even if their success ratio might be less when dealing with the more sophisticated web apps, they still might be able to gain a hit even one time out of a hundred or thousand times. Furthermore, sophisticated attack tools might be used by hackers to give life to their nefarious designs. Especially with the rise in open source web apps, this problem seems to have compounded to a great extent.

Fortunately, there exist several tools that help you to analyze the security vulnerabilities that can be easily used to implement security protocols relevant to your web business. Let us examine some of these tools here:

1. Grabber :

This is a brilliant web application scanner that is capable of detecting many security vulnerabilities that exist in web applications. The Grabber web application scanner is capable of performing a scan and informs you where the vulnerability exists. Some of the vulnerabilities that it is capable of detecting are cross site scripting, SQL injection, and file inclusion. It can also analyze JS source code and do backup file checks and can also be used for AJAX testing. Although this tool is slower compared to other security scanners, it is simple and portable.

At the same time, Grabber is recommended to test small web applications as it takes longer to scan larger web applications. The cons of this tool are that it does not offer any GUI and is incapable of creating any PDF report as this tool was designed for personal use. Developed in Python, this tool’s source code is also available, in case you would like to modify it for your needs.

Also known as ZAP, this tool is open source that is developed by OWASP, is available for Windows, Unix/Linux, and Macintosh Platforms. Capable of detecting a wide variety of finding a wide variety of vulnerabilities in the web applications, this tool is very simple to use and has a small learning curve. This tool can even be used for penetration testing of web applications. Some of the key functionalities of ZAP are:

• Automatic Scanning
• Intercepting Proxy
• Powerful Spider
• Fuzzer
• Web Socket and Plug & Hack Support
• REST based API
• Dynamic SSL certificates

This tool can be used either as a scanner or as an intercepting proxy for manual testing.

Ratproxy is yet another open source web application security audit tool. This tool can be used in an easy way to detect security vulnerabilities in web applications. Supporting various Operating Systems, such as Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X, and Windows (CYGwin) environments, this tool is designed to overcome problems usually faced while utilizing other proxy tools for the purpose of security audits. This tool is also capable of supporting the SSL ‘Man in the Middle Attack’, which means that data can be seen passing through the SSL.

More like an active web application security reconnaissance tool, Skipfish (by Google) prepares an interactive sitemap for the targeted site by carrying out a recursive crawl as well as dictionary-based probes. The final report contains a detailed security assessment as well as security vulnerabilities of your website. Some of the key features of this tool are:

• Pure C code, which results in highly optimized HTTP handling with minimal CPU footprint.
• Ease of use with heuristics that supports a variety of quirky web frameworks as well as mixed technology sites.
• Low false positives along with high quality and differential security checks. Can also spot subtle flaws, including blind injection vectors.

This is a free Cross-Site Scripting as well as SQL Injection Scanner. This is an intuitive and free edition of the web application security scanner for the community, so that people can start securing their websites right away. Besides, the developers behind this scanner claim that it is always fast positive free, also sharing many features with the professional edition.

6. Vega :

It is a free and open source scanner and testing platform that tests the security of web applications. With its capabilities to help users find as well as validate SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and other vulnerabilities including inadvertently disclosed information. Written in Java, Vega is GUI based and runs of Linux, OS X, and Windows.

An automatic scanner is also included so that users get quick test results. Facility also has been provided in the form of an intercepting proxy for tactical inspection. Various vulnerabilities that it is also capable of finding are XSS (cross site scripting), SQL injection, and others. It can also be extended using a powerful API in JavaScript.

7. Watcher :

Watcher is not a separate tool, but an add-on of Fiddler. Hence, you will need to install Fiddler and then install Watcher as a passive web-security scanner. This scanner does not crawl the target website and does not load with a lot of requests. What it actually does is to analyze the request and response from the user-interaction and then make a report on the application. This passive scanner does not affect the hosting of the website or even the cloud infrastructure.
This blog is listed under Open Source , Development & Implementations and IT Security & Architecture Community

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