Here’s some known security vulnerabilities that are fixed and/or constantly reviewed within DeskAlerts internal development.
Injection flaws, such as SQL, OS, and LDAP injection can occur when untrusted data is being sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. The attacker’s hostile data can trick the interpreter into executing unintended SQL commands or accessing data without proper authorization.
Broken Authentication and Session Management
Application functions related to authentication and session management are often not implemented correctly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
XSS flaws occur whenever an application takes untrusted data and sends it to a web browser without proper validation or escaping. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the victim’s browser which can hijack user sessions, deface web sites, or redirect the user to malicious sites.
Insecure Direct Object References
A direct object reference occurs when a developer exposes a reference to an internal implementation object, such as a file, directory, or database key. Without an access control check or other protection, attackers can manipulate these references to access unauthorized data.
Good security requires having a secure configuration defined and deployed for the application, frameworks, application server, web server, database server, and platform. Secure settings should be defined, implemented, and maintained, as defaults are often insecure. Additionally, software should be kept up to date.
Sensitive Data Exposure
Many web applications do not properly protect sensitive data, such as credit cards, tax IDs, and authentication credentials. Attackers may steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. Sensitive data deserves extra protection such as encryption at rest or in transit, as well as special precautions when exchanged with the browser.
Missing Function Level Access Control
Most web applications verify function level access rights before making that functionality visible in the UI. However, applications need to perform the same access control checks on the server when each function is accessed. If requests are not verified, attackers will be able to forge requests in order to access functionality without proper authorization.
Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
A CSRF attack forces a logged-on victim’s browser to send a forged HTTP request, including the victim’s session cookie and any other automatically included authentication information, to a vulnerable web application. This allows the attacker to force the victim’s browser to generate requests the vulnerable application thinks are legitimate requests from the victim.
Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities
Components, such as libraries, frameworks, and other software modules, almost always run with full privileges. If a vulnerable component is exploited, such an attack can facilitate serious data loss or server takeover. Applications using components with known vulnerabilities may undermine application defences and enable a range of possible attacks and impacts.
Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards
Web applications frequently redirect and forward users to other pages and websites, and use untrusted data to determine the destination pages. Without proper validation, attackers can redirect victims to phishing or malware sites, or use forwards to access unauthorized pages.
Information sent from the DeskAlerts client / app to the DeskAlerts server
- Content-control data: In order for the DeskAlerts to determine whether new or updated content should be distributed to the user, DeskAlerts client makes a request to the DA Server and get a listing of what content have already been downloaded.
- Content-view results: The DeskAlerts solution collects information about which items of content have been viewed by the user and at what time this occurred. Collectively, this information is known as “reports”, and can be viewed from the DA Dashboard.
- Basic diagnostic information: DA Client reports to the DA server some basic information including: DA Client version number and Windows operating system version number
- Identity data: Each instance of a user running the DA Client has a unique identifier which identifies them to the DA Server. The unique identifier is randomly generated and assigned by the DA Server on first use, and is used in subsequent communications to identify the instance of the user.
- Machine name: The machine name is collected and is used by the DA Server to track multiple instances of users if users log on to more than one machine in the network. It is also for reporting purposes to determine the number of unique machines that have DA Client installed.
- User & group information: Information about the user of the DA Client is obtained by Synchronizing Active Directory and sent to the DA Server where it is used for targeting purposes. The user’s name is collected as well as the list of group names of all of the groups that the user belongs to.
All connections between the DeskAlerts client and the DeskAlerts server are initiated by the DeskAlerts client. All data is sent over a secure connection using HTTPS. The use of TLS ensures that all data / information sent between the DeskAlerts client and the DeskAlerts server is kept secure whilst in transit. Briefly, the use of TLS provides the following benefits:
- Confidentiality: Because the communication is encrypted, it is not readable or otherwise intelligible to persons intercepting the traffic on the network
- Integrity: Because the communication is encrypted, it is not possible for persons to intercept and modify the contents of the communication
- Server Authentication: The TLS certificate provides proof of the server’s identity thus ensuring that communication only occurs if the server’s domain name matches the name on the certificate.
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