Website Vulnerabilities: What are They?
A website vulnerability depicts a weakness present in a website or web application code allowing the user to gain a certain degree of control of the site. In most cases, it is the hosting server that comes under a vulnerability attack initiated by an attacker. In most cases, vulnerabilities are exploited by using automated means such as a vulnerability scanner. Once the vulnerabilities have been identified, the cybercriminals exploit these for stealing user data, spreading malicious content or even injecting defacement and spam content on the vulnerable site locations.
Common Website Vulnerabilities
Following is the list of some commonly exploited website vulnerabilities –
1. SQL Injections (SQLi)
SQL injection refers to a type of web application security vulnerability where the attacker looks to use the website code for either accessing or corrupting database content. If the attacker is successful, then he can perform actions like- create, read, update, alter or even delete data that is present in the back-end database. SQL injection is one of the most common types of web application security vulnerabilities.
2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
3. Command Injection
Command injection is a vulnerability where the attackers pass and execute their code onto the server where the website has been hosted. This type of vulnerability is carried out when the user input has been transferred onto the server and then not validated accurately. This allows the attackers to include shell commands using the user information. Command injection vulnerability attackers become critical as they allow the ‘bad actors’ to perform tasks such as-
- hijacking the complete user website
- hijacking the complete hosting server
- using the hijacked server within botnet attacks
4. Remote and Local File Intrusions (RFI/LFI)
Remote File Intrusions (RFI):
In a remote file inclusion (RFI) attack, includes the functions present in the server-side web application language such as PHP for executing codes present in a remotely stored file. Attackers take advantage of improperly sanitized user inputs for injecting/modifying an include function into the victim website’s PHP code.
This inclusion attack could be used for initiating the following
- delivering malicious payloads that might be used for including attacks and phishing pages present in a visitor’s browser
- including malicious shell files on websites that are present on the public domain
- taking complete control and authority of a website admin panel/host server
Local File Inclusion (LFI):
Local file inclusion (LFI) attack takes place when the user input has the ability to modify the complete path for the included files. Attackers take advantage of this for gaining, reading or writing access to the sensitive local files. The attacker might also perform a complete directory traversal attack by changing an included file path for reviewing the back and host-end server end files, thus exploring the sensitive data.
A local file inclusion attack has the ability to convert into a remote file inclusion attacks in case the attacker is able to successfully include the log files previously fetched by an attacker.
5. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
Cross-Site Request Forgery is a malicious vulnerability attacker where the user is fooled for performing an action that isn’t intended. A third-party website sends a request to a user-authenticated web application. The attacker now gains access using the authenticated browser. Some common targets of this malicious attack include applications like- social media, browser emails, online banking and web interfaces for network devices.
Remember, your website is your biggest digital asset and it should be your top priority to secure it against the above-shared most common vulnerabilities. Always deploy the best security measures to strengthen your websites. You need to be ready to protect your business by performing security audits regularly.
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