User input is at the heart of a web application. Whether an application exists to share information, purchase goods, transfer money, or share information, the ability of users to submit and query data is what makes the World Wide Web as useful as it is.
However, the more interactive a web application is, the more difficult it is to secure and the more prone it is to having a vulnerability that can be exploited by malicious attackers. One such security vulnerability is Cross-site Request Forgery, more commonly known as CSRF, hence why it is important to use a security vulnerabilities and CSRF scanner, as this article explains.
Controls like anti-CSRF tokens, hashes, form keys, and HTTP referer checks allow the application to confirm the integrity of the session and from where the data is being submitted. But, if any these controls are missing or not implemented correctly, web application security is at risk! Vulnerabilities such as cross-site request forgery (CSRF) can lead to compromise -- and the erosion of user trust.
In an application that is vulnerable to CSRF, an attacker can trick a victim into submitting information to the web application that the attacker himself wants. The attackers can trick the victim by sending a malicious website link via email, instant messaging, or social media, and when the victim clicks the link, their web browser makes a HTTP request for the link, including the attacker's query.
During a CSRF attack the attacker exploits the trust between the user and the web application, and depending on the functions of the application, it can lead to one of many unwanted actions.
The assets at risk in a CSRF attack are as broadly varied as web applications themselves. For example, if a banking application is missing CSRF protections, an attacker can trick a user into transferring money. If a social networking site lacks CSRF protections, a user can be tricked into changing contact or profile data, or posting attacker-crafted spam to their news feed.
If the target has administrative privileges, a CSRF vulnerability could lead to complete compromise of the vulnerable application and the data behind it, if the unprotected data fields allow the attacker to change the privileged user's account credentials to something the attacker can then use to log in.
CSRF is a serious security vulnerability. As part of your web security and vulnerability assessment program, you need a CSRF scanner you can trust to find it in your environment, such as the Netsparker web application security scanner.
When scanning for CSRF or any other web application vulnerability, you need a scanner that not only reliably identifies security flaws, but does so without slowing your security team down with false positives.
Netsparker's Proof-Based Scanning™ technology gives you confidence that the findings are real and exploitable. The vulnerabilities identified in the Netsparker report have proof of exploit which also include the payload the scanner used in the HTTP request, and the data compromised in the response.
That way, the security team can see the vulnerabilities and understand the risk. They can prioritize remediation activities with confidence, and move on to other valuable tasks instead of spending hours weeding through false positives, such as developing more secure source code.
Contact us today to arrange your 15-day free trial of Netsparker Web Application Security Scanner. See for yourself how easy it is to use, how accurate its results are, and how much easier it can be to find CSRF vulnerabilities in your environment.