(My) CSSLP Notes – Secure Software Implementation

Note: This notes were strongly inspired by the following books: CSSLP Certification All in one and Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CSSLP CBK, Second Edition

Common Software Vulnerabilities and Controls

Some well-known and useful examples of vulnerability databases and CSSLP-logotracking systems:
  • National Vulnerability Database (NVD) -U.S. government repository of vulnerabilities and vulnerability management data.
  • US Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Vulnerability Notes Database – The CERT vulnerability analysis project aims at reducing security risks due to software vulnerabilities in both developed and deployed software.
  • Open Source Vulnerability Database – An independent and open source database that is created by and for the security community.
  • OWASP Top 10 – The OWASP Top 10 List, in addition to considering
    the most common application security issues from a weaknesses or
    vulnerabilities perspective, views application security issues from an
    organizational risks.
  • Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) – Provides a common language for describing architectural, design or coding software security weaknesses.
  • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) – A dictionary of publicly known information security vulnerabilities and exposures. It is free for use and international in scope.

The most common software security vulnerabilities and risks

  • buffer overflow – is the condition that occurs when data that is being copied into the buffer (contiguous allocated storage space in memory) is more than what the buffer can handle.
    • stack overflow – buffer has been overflowed in the stack space.
      the data flows from one buffer space into another, causing the return address instruction pointer to be overwritten.
    • heap overflow – a heap overflows does not necessarily overflow but corrupts the heap memory space (buffer), overwriting variables and function pointers on the heap.
  • injection flows – occur when the user supplied data is not validated before being processed by an interpreter.
    • SQL injection
    • OS Command injection
    • LDAP injection
    • XML injection – software does not properly filter or quote special characters or reserved words that are used in XML, allowing an attacker to modify the syntax, contents or commands before execution.

  • cross-site scripting – A web application is said to be susceptible to XSS vulnerability when the user supplied input is sent back to the browser client without being properly validated and its content escaped.
    • Non-persistent (Reflected) – the user supplied input script that is injected (also referred to as payload) is not stored but merely included in the response from the web server, either in the results of a search or an error message.
    • Persistent (Stored) – the injected script is permanently stored on the target servers, either in a database, a message forum, a visitor log or an input field. Each time the victims visit the page that has the injected code stored in it or served to it from the web server, the payload script executes in the user’s browse

    • DOM based – the payload is executed in the victim’sbrowser as a result of DOM environment modifications on the client side. The HTTP response (or the web page) itself is not modified, but weaknesses in the client side allows the code contained in the web page client to be modified, so that the payload can be executed.

  • insecure direct object references – an unauthorized user or process can invoke the internal functionality of the software by manipulating parameters and other object values that directly reference this functionality.
  • security misconfiguration -Some of the common examples of security misconfigurations:
    • Missing software and operating system patches.
    • Lack of perimeter and host defensive controls such as firewalls,
      filters.
    • Installation of software with default accounts and settings.
    • Installation of the administrative console with default configuration settings.
  • social engineering
    • Phishing
    • Pharming – scamming practice in which malicious code is installed on a system or server which misdirects users to fraudulent web sites without the user’s knowledge or consent.
    • Vishing – made up of two words, “voice” and “phishing” and is the criminal fraudulent activity in which an attacker steals sensitive information using deceptive social engineering techniques on VoIP networks.
    • SMSishing

Defensive Coding Practices

  • input validation – use blacklist or whitelist technique.
  • canonicalization (C14N) -process of converting data that has more than one possible representation to conform to a standard canonical form.
  • sanitization -process of converting something that is considered dangerous into its innocuous form. Both inputs and outputs can be sanitized.
    • stripping – removing harmful characters from user supplied input.
    • substitution – replacing user supplied input with safer alternatives.
    • literalization – using properties that render the user supplied input to be treated as a literal form.
  • error handling – error messages must be non-verbose and explicitly specified in the software. Redirect errors and exceptions to a custom and default error handling location.
  • cryptographic agility – ability to manage the specifics of the cryptographic functions that are embedded in code without recompiling, typically through a configuration file.
  • tokenization – process of replacing sensitive data with unique
    identification symbols that still retain the needed information about the data, without compromising its security.
  • anti-tampering – techniques assure integrity assurance and protection against unauthorized and malicious alterations of the software code and/or the data.
    • obfuscation.
    • code-signing.

Secure Software Processes

In addition to writing secure code, there are certain processes that must be conducted during the implementation phase that can assure the security of the software:
  • versioning
  • code analysis
    • static
    • dynamic
  • code/peer review

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: