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

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Analyzing the Application

Enumerating as much of the application's content as possible is only one element of the mapping process. Equally important is the task of analyzing the application's functionality, behavior, and technologies employed to identify the key attack surfaces it exposes and to begin formulating an approach to probing the application for exploitable vulnerabilities.

Here are some key areas to investigate:

  • The application's core functionality — the actions that can be leveraged to perform when used as intended
  • Other, more peripheral application behavior, including off-site links, error messages, administrative and logging functions, and the use of redirects
  • The core security mechanisms and how they function — in particular, management of session state, access controls, and authentication mechanisms and supporting logic (user registration, password change, and account recovery)
  • All the different locations at which the application processes user-supplied input — every URL, query string parameter, item of POST data, and cookie
  • The technologies employed on the client side, including forms, client-side scripts, thick-client components (Java applets, ActiveX controls, and Flash), and cookies
  • The technologies employed on the server side, including static and dynamic pages, the types of request parameters employed, the use of SSL, web server software, interaction with databases, e-mail systems, and other back-end components
  • Any other details that may be gleaned about ...

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