Your Web-Site Is Not Secure Anymore


Cyber-Invasion is a growing menace for every business, whether it’s stealing private data, taking control of your digital system, or shutting down your Web-Site. The Cyber-Criminals can seriously impact any business, at any time. VBK Technologies have been running analysis since its existence on different possible Cyber-Invading techniques and hence has been proven a record in securing Web-Based-Applications. As a company, we always desire to improve our service and deliver the best result to our customers. Hence, our development team works every-day to save our customers from every kind of Cyber-Invasion. To the amazement, VBK Technologies has not only stood up for their customers in the past but now it has been providing ground-breaking research for all their customers with special deliverables given services from VBK Technologies. But there is a side, which VBK Technologies has chosen to opt for the betterment of the web world, and it’s White Ethical Cyber-Invasion which makes its way through the corporate business world and provides in-depth security services for an overall web security protection to their valued customers. Apart from that, we have maintained a wise standard, when it comes to Infection Hunting and hence proven excellence for its quality and Security Excellence. Our team has taken the responsibility to represent our company and earned much gratitude. Whether it is on spreading information security concerns, attending a conference related to Cyber-security, educating industries regarding recent Cyber-Threats and how to deal with those strikes. This has vastly resulted in extreme awareness among various business owners and they have to take matters seriously or else it can bring great losses for their business. Cyber-Criminals can infiltrate your security in so many ways; however, in this article, we have mentioned some of the techniques Employed in most popular Cyber-Invasions.

A Remote Code Execution Cyber-Invasion is a result of either server-side or client-side security weaknesses. The libraries, frameworks, remote directories on a server that haven’t been monitored and other programing modules that run on the basis of authenticated Client access can be extremely vulnerable components and the Web-Applications that Employs these components are always invaded by things like scripts, virus, and small command lines that extract information. By failing to provide an identity token, Cyber-Criminal could invoke any web service with full permission.

A Cross Web-Site Request Forgery Cyber-Invasion happens when a Client is logged into a session (or account) and a Cyber-CriminalsEmploys this opportunity to send them a forged HTTP request to collect their cookie information. In most cases, the cookie remains valid as long as the Client or the Cyber-Criminal stay logged into the account.  This is why Web-Siteasks you to log out of your account when you’re finished – it will expire the session immediately. In some cases, The Cyber-Criminals can generate requests to the application, once the Client’s browser session is compromised and the worst part is that the application won’t be able to differentiate between a valid Client and a Cyber-Criminal. In this case, the Cyber-Criminals creates a request that will transfer money from a Client’s account and then embeds this strike in an image request or iframe stored on various Web-Sites under the Cyber-Criminal’s control.

Packet editing Cyber-Invasions are silent infiltration. Cyber-Criminalsstrike in the midst of data being exchanged, but both the Client and Web-Site administrators do not know that the Cyber-Invasion is occurring.

When a Client makes a request to the web server processes the request and responds back to the Client. For example, if a Client executes Web-Based-Applications, then the webserver will send a response so that the Client can process the data they requested. However, while the web server sends the response, a Cyber-Criminal can edit the response and access unauthorized rights to that data. This is called Man in the Middle Cyber-Invasion or Packet editing.

Injection infiltration occurs when there are flaws in your SQL Data-Archives, SQL libraries, or even the operating system itself. When your company employees unknowingly open some  credible files with hidden commands or injections, then in doing so they allow Cyber-Criminals to successfully gain unauthorized access to private data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers or other private financial information.

The Cyber-Criminal modifies the ‘id’ parameter in their browser to send: ‘ or ‘1’=’1. This changes the meaning of the query to return all the records from the accounts Data-Archives to the Cyber-Criminal, instead of only the intended customers.

If the Client authentication system of your Web-Site is weak, Cyber-Criminals can take full advantage. Authentication systems involve passwords, key management, session IDs, and cookies that can allow a Cyber-Criminal to access your account from any digital-system (as long as they are valid). If a Cyber-Criminal exploits the authentication and session management system, they can assume the Client’s identity.

Ask yourself these questions to find out if your Web-Site is vulnerable to a broken authentication and session management Cyber-Invasions:

Are Client credentials weak (e.g. stored using hashing or encryption)?
Can weak account management functions be responsible for guessing or overwriting of private credentials
Do URL expose session IDs
Are session IDs vulnerable to session fixation Cyber-Invasions?
Do session IDs timeout and can Clients log out?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your Web-Site could be vulnerable to a Cyber-Criminal.

Click-Jacking also called a UI Redress Cyber-Invasions, is when Cyber-Criminal Employs multiple opaque layers to trick a Client into clicking the top layer without them knowing.Thus the Cyber-Criminal is “hijacking” clicks that are not meant for the actual page, but for a page where the Cyber-Criminal wants you to be. For instance, by employing a safely crafted combination of iframes, text boxes, and stylesheets, leads a Client to assume that they are typing in the login credentials for their bank account, but they are actually typing into an invisible frame controlled by the Cyber-Criminal.

DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Services, is where a server or a machine’s services are made unavailable to its Clients and when the system is offline, the Cyber-Criminal proceeds to either compromise the entire Web-Site or a specific function of a Web-Site to their own advantage. It’s kind of like having your car stolen when you really required it. The normal goal of a DDoS Cyber-Invasion is to completely take down or temporarily interrupt successfully running system. The most common example of a DDoS Cyber-Invasions could be sending tons of URL requests to a Web-Site or a webpage in a very small amount of time.  This may result in bottlenecking at the server-side because the CPU just ran out of resources. Denial-of-service Cyber-Invasions are considered violations of the Internet practice policy issued by the Internet Architecture Board and it also violates the acceptable internet practice policies of virtually all Internet service providers.

Cross Web-Site Scripting, which is also described as an XSS Cyber-Invasion, occurs when an application, URL receives a requestor file packet. The infected packet or request then travels to the web browser window and bypasses the validation process. Once an XSS script is triggered, its deceptive property makes Clients believe that the compromised page of a specific Web-Site is legitimate. For Instance, if has XSS script in it, the Client might see a popup window asking for their credit card info and other sensitive info. As a result, the Client’s session ID will be sent to the Cyber-Criminal’s Web-Site, allowing the Cyber-Criminals to hijack the Client’s current session.  That means the Cyber-Criminals has access to the Web-Site admin credentials and can take complete control over it.

A Symlink is basically a special file that “points to” a hard link on a mounted file system. A Symlinking Cyber-Invasion occurs when Cyber-Criminal positions the Symlink in such a way that the Client or applications that access the endpoint think they’re accessing the right file when they’re really not.

If the endpoint file is output, the consequence of the Symlink Cyber-Invasions is that it could be modified instead of the file at the intended location. Alteration made in the endpoint file could include overwriting, corrupting, changing permissions or even appending. In different variations of a Symlinking Cyber-Invasion, a Cyber-Criminal may be able to control the changes to a file, grant them advanced access, insert false information, expose sensitive information or corrupt and manipulate application files.

DNS Cache Poisoning also described as DNS Spoofing, involves old cache data that you might think you no longer have on your digital-system. The Cyber-Criminal can identify the liabilities in the domain name system, which allows them to exploit those liabilities and divert traffic from legit servers to a fake WebSite or Server. This form of Cyber-Invasion can spread and replicate itself from one DNS server to another DNS, “poisoning” everything in its path. Once the DNS server finds the appropriate IP address, data transfer can begin between the client and Web-Site’s server. The given below visualization will display how this process will take place at a larger scale. Once the DNS server locates domain-to-IP translation, then it has to cache subsequent requests for the domain. As a result, the DNS lookup will happen much faster. However, this is where DNS spoofing can act as a great trouble creator, as a false DNS lookup can be injected into the DNS server’s cache. This can result in an alteration of the visitors’ destination.

Since DNS servers cache the DNS translation for faster, more efficient browsing, Cyber-Criminals can take advantage of this to perform DNS spoofing. If a Cyber-Criminal is able to inject a forged DNS entry into the DNS server, all clients will now be using that forged DNS entry until the cache expires. The moment the cache expires, the DNS entry has to return to the normal state, as again the DNS server has to go through the complete DNS lookup. However, if the DNS server’s Programs still hasn’t been updated, then the Cyber-Criminal can replicate this error and continue funneling visitors to their Web-Site.DNS cache poisoning can also sometimes be quite complex to spot. If the Infected Web-Site is very similar to the Web-Site it is trying to impersonate, some clients’ may not even notice the difference. Additionally, if the Cyber-Criminal is using DNS cache poisoning to compromise one company’s DNS records in order to have access to their emails for example, then this may also be extremely complex to detect.

A social engineering strike is not technically a Cyber-Invasion. However, you can become of a larger scam or a Cyber-Invasion, if you share your information out of good faith. By sharing information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and banking credentials. You allow those scammers to exploit that information and they can use your information for any illegal activities. People pretending to call you from Microsoft can take control of your systems and once they do take the control of your system, then all your personals information including your browsing information and credentials are at risk of being comprised.  As matter of fact, they have no intention to fix any of your issues, but instead, they only require one-time access of your computer to plant their infected files and enjoy the unlimited access to all the information saved in your system or other activities your perform. If they succeed in planting infected files in your computer then it is highly possible that they can monitor each and every activity you do on that system, those infected files can save all your credentials and browsing activity to transmit that information to those scammers. 

Various high-profile cyber-Invasion have proven that web security remains the most critical issue to any business that conducts its operations online. Due to the sensitive information they usually host, the web servers are one of the most targeted public faces of an organization. Securing a web server is as important as securing the Web-Site or Web-Based-Applications itself and the network around it. If you have a secure Web-Based-Applications and an insecure web server, or vice versa, it still puts your business at a huge peril. Only by strengthening the venerable point, one can ensure the optimum security of their company’s server. However, securing a web server can be an extremely complex task to do and a frustrating one too, as one might have to take the help of the trained professional. In addition to that one might have to spend multiple hours of coding and research, an overdose of caffeine to save them from working all night without headaches and data infiltration in the future. Irrelevant of what web server programs and operating system you are running, and out of the box configuration is usually insecure. It extremely important, that you take the necessary steps to increase web-server security.

Nowadays it is neither logical nor practical when the admin has to login to the local webserver. If remote access is required, one must make sure that the remote connection is secured properly, by using tunneling and encryption protocols. Using security tokens and other single sign-on equipment and programs is a very good security practice. It is extremely important that one must restrict the remote access to a specific number of IP’s and only to authorized accounts. It is also very essential that one should avoid operating their digital-systems, on public networks to access corporate servers remotely. Accessing private and confidential servers using places like public wireless networks or internet cafes can result in a huge breach in your security in the future.

Deserted default Client accounts created during an operating system install should be disabled. There is also a long list of programs that were installed when Client accounts were created on the operating system. Such accounts should also be checked properly and change of permissions is highly required. The built-in administrator account should be renamed and it should not be abandoned, same for the root Client on a Linux / Unix installation. Every administrator accessing the webserver should have his own Client account, with the correct privileges required. It is also a good security practice not to share each other’s Client accounts.

Mostly when it comes to installation of Apache, then it is most likely that the installation will have a number of pre-defined modules enabled, which are not at all required in a typical web server scenario, until and unless they are specifically required. Turn off such modules to prevent targeted Cyber-Invasion against such modules. The same thing goes with the Microsoft-Web Server; As in this installation, the IIS is configured to serve an immense amount of application types. The list of application extensions should only contain a list of extensions the Web-Site or Web-Based-Applications will be using. Every application extension should also be restricted to employ specific HTTP verbs only, where possible. Only Employ security tools provided with web server programs. Recently Microsoft has launched various tools to assist the system admin to successfully secure IIS web server installation process. The Apache also has a module known as Mod_Security, however, configuring such tools is extremity time consuming and very tedious process and they do have to add an extra bit of security and peace of mind, especially when it comes to custom Web-Based-Applications. The default installation of the operating system and configurations is not that secure. In other words in a default installation, many services related to network are installed which are not actually useful for web server configuration. This includes services such as RAS, print server service and remote registry services. The more services running on an operating system, the more ports will be left open, thus leaving more open doors for infected Clients to exploit. I highly recommend that one should turn off all the unimportant service, so they don’t start automatically every time you reboot the server. In addition to that turning off unnecessary services will also provide an extra boost to your server performance by reducing the excess load on your server’s hardware.

Scanners are handy tools that help you automate and ease the process of securing a web server and Web-Based-Applications.  Now a day various Web-Liability Scanners also come equipped with a port scanner, which when enabled will port scan the web server hosting the Web-Based-Applications being scanned. Similar to a network security scanner, In the future, we might also have a number of advanced security checks against the open ports and network services running on your web server. In addition to that these Web-Liability Scanners ensure Web-Site and web server security by checking for SQL Injection, Cross Web-Site scripting, web server configuration problems, and other vulnerabilities. It checks password strength on authentication pages and automatically audits shopping carts, forms, dynamic Web 2.0 content, and other Web-Based-Applications. As the scan is completed, the programs produce detailed reports that pinpoint where vulnerabilities exist.

It is extremely important that you store every log that are present in a Web-Server in a segregated area. Archives like Web-Site access logs, network services logs, Data-Archives server logs, and operating system logs should be actively monitored and frequently inspected and should not avoid any strange log entries. Log files tend to give all the information about an attempt of a Cyber-Invasion, and even a successful strike, but most of the time these are ignored. If one witnesses any strange activity from the logs, then they should address or escalate that matter immediately, so the issue can be further investigated.

If someone assumes that by employing fully patched programs they have fully secured their server then they are living in huge illusion, as having fully patched programs does not mean that their server is fully secure. It is also extremely essential for one to maintain the latest version of their operating system, latest security patches and any other programs running on that operating system. Up until this day, Cyber-Invasion incidents still occur because Cyber-Criminals took advantage and exploited unpatched servers and programs.

Network and file sharing permission plays a significant role in overall Web-Server security, as if a web server engine is compromised via network service programs, the infected Client can operate the account on which the network service is running to carry out tasks, such as execute specific files. Hence, it is extremely essential for one to always assign the least privileges required for a network service to operate. It is also very important to assign minimum privileges to the anonymous Client who requires access to the Web-Site, Web-Based-Applications files and also backend data and Data-Archives.

Since it is easier and faster for a developer to develop a newer version of Web-Based-Applications on a production server, it is quite common that development and testing of Web-Based-Applications are done directly on the production servers itself. It is a common occurrence on the internet to find newer versions of a specific Web-Site, or some content which should not be available to the public in directories such as /test/, /new/ or other similar subdirectories.

Because the Web-Based-Applications were tended to various vulnerabilities in their early stages of development and they use to lack in a number of input validation and sometimes failed greatly in providing satisfactory results. Such applications could easily be discovered and exploited by an infected Client, by using free available tools on the internet.

To ease more the development and testing of Web-Based-Applications, developers tend to develop specific internal applications that give them privileged access to the Web-Based-Applications, Data-Archives and other web server resources, which a normal anonymous Client would not have. Such Web-Base Application lacks various types of restrictions and they are just test applications only operated by developers. Once the developers complete their testing and development process, on a production server, then it is extremely easy to discover these applications employing infected Clients. This might help the Cyber-Criminals to compromise or exploit sensitive information to gain control over the production server.

Ideally, development and testing of Web-Based-Applications should always be done on servers isolated from the internet, and should never involve or connect to real-life data-archives.

The Web-Based-Applications or Web-Site files and scripts should always be on a separate partition or drive other than that of the operating system, logs, and any other system files. During our year of encounters with the case files related to various activities of these Cyber-Criminals, we have learnt one thing that by gaining access to the webroot directory, the invaders can easily exploit other liabilities and then they can further access on various other sensitive information such as operating system and other system files and the data of the whole disc. From there onwards, the infected Clients have access to execute any operating system command, resulting in complete control of the webserver.

Nowadays, information and tips on the programs and operating system being exercised can be found freely on the internet. It is highly recommended for one to stay aware and they should keep researching the latest Cyber-Invasions and the techniques used to carry out the invasion and by reading these security-related newsletters, forums, magazines and another type of community. You will have a chance to come up with better security measures.