O'Reilly logo

The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws, 2nd Edition by Marcus Pinto, Dafydd Stuttard

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

The HTTP Protocol

Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is the core communications protocol used to access the World Wide Web and is used by all of today's web applications. It is a simple protocol that was originally developed for retrieving static text-based resources. It has since been extended and leveraged in various ways to enable it to support the complex distributed applications that are now commonplace.

HTTP uses a message-based model in which a client sends a request message and the server returns a response message. The protocol is essentially connectionless: although HTTP uses the stateful TCP protocol as its transport mechanism, each exchange of request and response is an autonomous transaction and may use a different TCP connection.

HTTP Requests

All HTTP messages (requests and responses) consist of one or more headers, each on a separate line, followed by a mandatory blank line, followed by an optional message body. A typical HTTP request is as follows:

GET /auth/488/YourDetails.ashx?uid=129 HTTP/1.1 Accept: application/x-ms-application, image/jpeg, application/xaml+xml, image/gif, image/pjpeg, application/x-ms-xbap, application/x-shockwave- flash, */* Referer: https://mdsec.net/auth/488/Home.ashx Accept-Language: en-GB User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; .NET4.0C; InfoPath.3; .NET4.0E; FDM; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate Host: mdsec.net ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required