1. Why is it critical to perform a penetration test on a Web application and a Web server prior to production implementation? Although many organizations have reduce significant number of design and coding defects through software development lifecycle; there still remains security holes that arise when an application is deployed and interacts with other processes and different operating systems (Cobb, 2014). Another reason that penetration test is critical is many Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) mandate internal and external penetration test (Cobb,2014).
2. What is a cross-site scripting attack? Explain in your own words. Cross-site scripting is when an attacker exploits the controls of a trusted website and injects malicious code with the intent of spreading it to other end users. For example, an attacker injects a browser script on a website, so that other users will click on it and compromise sensitive information.
3. What is a reflective cross-site scripting attack?
A reflective cross-site scripting attack is when the injected script is reflected off the web server, much like an error message or search results. This type of attack is mostly carried out by e-mail messages in which the user is tricked by clicking on a malicious link and then the injected code travels to the vulnerable website and reflects the attack back to the user’s browser (OWASP, 2013).
4. What common method of obfuscation is used in most real-world SQL attacks? These methods include character scrambling, repeating character masking, numeric variance, nulling, artificial data generation, truncating, encoding, and aggregating. These methods rely on an array of built in SQL server system functions that are used for string manipulation (Magnabosco, 2009).
5. Which Web application attack is more prone to extracting privacy data elements out of a database? SQL injections can be used to enter the database with administrator rights in which are also the best way to avoid using Java on the website (OWASP, 2013).
6. If you can monitor when SQL injections are performed on an SQL database, what would you recommend as a security countermeasure to monitor your production SQL databases? I would recommend coordinated and regular security audits to prevent any back lash of SQL injections.
7. Given that Apache and Internet Information Services (IIS) are the two most popular Web application servers for Linux and Microsoft® Windows platforms, what would you do to identify known software vulnerabilities and exploits? I would explore the large number of binary planting vulnerabilities known as “dll spoofing” and “dll preloading” in which have been identified in third party applications running on a windows platform.
8. What can you do to ensure that your organization incorporates penetration testing and Web application testing as part of its implementation procedures? My approach to this matter would be to focus on the benefits of penetration testing and web application testing. I would explain to my company how the testing would identify holes and vulnerabilities in the current web applications. I would also make the point that by incorporating this testing would make the organization more marketable to partner companies and future clients.
9. What other security countermeasures do you recommend for websites and Web application deployment to ensure the CIA of the Web application? I would identify all the key pieces to my Web Server and address each accordingly. The key pieces would include Patches and Updates, IISLockdown, Services, Protocols, Accounts, Files and Directions, Shares, Ports, Registry, Auditing and Logging, Sites and Virtural Directories, Script Mappings, ISAPI Filters, ISS Metabase, Server Certificates, Machine.config, and Code Access Security (Microsoft Corporation, 2014).
10. Who is responsible and accountable for the CIA of production Web applications and Web servers? Any trained certified information security professional that is assigned or assumes such responsibility.