[Webappsec] Automatically detecting injections
jeff.williams at owasp.org
Sun Apr 27 18:08:00 EDT 2008
> Valid concerns. That said, I would imagine a decent fuzzer will always
> be faster than the best of source code auditors to identify whatever
> types of bugs it is targetting. Obviously there are disadvantages and
You imagine wrong.
You can easily verify that an application with hundreds of thousands of
lines of code doesn't have SQL injection in a matter of minutes. And you'd
be accurate. You just check to make sure it only uses a parameterized
database interface, like PreparedStatement.
As you start thinking up attack variants and encodings, you'll see a
combinatoric explosion in the fuzzer. Scans that used to take a few minutes
for a short list will start taking hours or days. And they're wildly
This is true of many classes of security holes, but not all of them. XSS is
something that the tools have better luck with because it has to show up in
the response and it's relatively simple. But they still have trouble with
XSS that is stored in one place and retrieved in another, and complex XSS
that requires special tricks or encoding.
I recommend you choose the most cost-effective approach (speed, accuracy,
coverage) for verifying each security area. For SQL injection, it's hard to
beat looking at the code. In fact, it's pretty hard to beat code review for
most problems. You'll hear lots of tool vendors claiming that code review is
so expensive. Keep in mind that it's possible they have an agenda.
Jeff Williams, Chair
The OWASP Foundation
OWASP AppSec NYC 2008 is coming... are you ready?
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