Types Of Vulnerabilities SAST Tools Can Protect You From

Types Of Vulnerabilities SAST Tools Can Protect You From

By: answerout


A data breach can be costly for a company. It can lead to lost customers, a loss of reputation, and even legal action — and, downtime, as you get everything back in order can really hamper your operation. Today, a breach - on average - might end up costing a company $4 to $5 million in damages and loss. That’s why more and more businesses are stepping up their game and taking their security initiatives to a whole new level. One of their biggest blindspots and where they are dedicated a lot of their efforts are cloud environments. Why? They are decentralized, they are prone to attacks, some are out of their hands, and they are incredibly effective when it comes to software deployment and production. A “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” scenario. That’s why companies are looking for forward-thinking, avant-garde, revolutionary ways to improve their software’s cybersecurity. Ways like Static Application Security Testing. Let’s break it down and tell you what Static Application Security Testing (SAST) is and when it works.

What is Static application security testing (SAST)?

Static application security testing or SAST is the process of analyzing the code of an application without executing it.

This is done by reviewing and analyzing the code in order to find vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are usually found in web applications and mobile apps. Before the code is even launched it is placed in a controlled environment and prodded — that way, if it “explodes” or has a weakness that can be exploited by attackers, it won’t infect your network.

Static application security testing is a good way for developers to identify potential problems before someone else does. This type of testing is used to find out vulnerabilities in a system before it is put into production. It can be done at any time, even after the code has been released for use.

The most common approach to static analysis is to use automated tools that scan source code looking for problems like SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS).

What problems does SAST solve?

SAST is a type of static analysis that can be used to find security vulnerabilities in software. It can analyze software for vulnerabilities and help developers fix them before they are exploited by hackers.

Static application security testing tools can be used to find the following types of security vulnerabilities:

SQL injection

SQL injection is a code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious SQL statements are inserted/injected into an entry field for execution, for example, to dump the database contents to the attacker and give them all that juicy info.

The insertion point is usually within a parameter that is then appended onto a SQL statement and executed. In other words, a well-written hidden code is inserted into your network. The malicious SQL code may be injected directly into an application's input fields when user input is not properly validated before being passed as part of an SQL query or it may be injected by exploiting a bug in an application's software through which the attacker can control its operations and gain access

Buffer overflow

Buffer overflow is a programming error, in most cases, it’s not an outside threat but one that has to do with your programmer's input — sometimes the attack comes from within and it’s on account of a human error, not malicious forethought. A buffer overflow occurs when the data is written and exceeds the space allocated for it. This can happen if there is not enough space in the buffer to store all of the incoming data, or if there is not enough information about how much memory will be needed. The consequences of this error can range from crashing your program or causing an unexpected change in behavior, to potentially damaging your system's hardware and causing loss of data.

The most common methods used to prevent these errors are:

  • Using more memory
  • Making sure that there's enough room in memory before writing
  • Checking input values

Cross-site scripting

Cross-site scripting - XSS - is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. It occurs when an attacker can inject a client-side script into the application, which is then executed by the victim's browser.

In this type of attack, the malicious script is injected into a legitimate web page and executes automatically when a user visits that page. This script can perform any action on behalf of the user who visits it, such as stealing their session cookies or logging their keystrokes and passing them over to attackers.

Command injection

Command injection is a type of attack where a hacker introduces an action into a command that is then executed by said program.

The attacker can use this technique to bypass input validation or to execute arbitrary commands on the system.

Command injection can be performed using various techniques, such as the use of backticks (`) or other command substitution constructs within an interpreter session, or by directly embedding commands in code that will be compiled and executed.

CRLF attacks

CRLF attacks are a type of web application attack that exploits the way browsers process HTTP and HTML. CRLF stands for "Carriage Return and Line Feed", which are two characters that denote the end of a line in text files. The CRLF attack tricks the browser into thinking that it has reached the end of a webpage when it is actually still loading content from another source.

Insecure deserialization

Insecure deserialization occurs when user-controllable data is deserialized by a website. This flaw in the system is potentially damaging because it allows attackers to manipulate digital objects and pass on - or introduce - harmful data into an application code. It’s extremely damaging since hackers can even replace objects, for example, credit card links or sign-up sheets, for objects they themselves created. Your user might think they are introducing their private data into a protected website when in fact they are giving it to an attacker that hijacked your platform.

This potentially enables an attacker to manipulate serialized objects in order to pass harmful data into the application code. It is even possible to replace a serialized object with an object of an entirely different class.

Benefits of SAST

By following simple steps, and properly executing Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tools, teams can identify vulnerabilities, create early diagnosis protocols, secure their site better, improve their code, and identify millions of time bombs before the go-off.

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