All about Javascript protection

Javascript protection
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Javascript is the lingua franca of the web, being used in 19 out of every 20 websites. JavaScript is used in a number of mobile applications, web applications as well as in many server-side applications. It is also the favorite language among web developers because of the various advantages it affords them over other programming and web-development languages. Yet, Javascript is not as secure as some of the alternatives, such as C, PHP, or Java. Thus, it is imperative that necessary steps be taken toward Javascript protection by increasing web development security in JavaScript.

The very popularity of JavaScript has made it a favorite target for hackers. While new JavaScript vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered, most hackers rely on a handful of vulnerabilities. This article is going to discuss these vulnerabilities as well as other security issues relating to the security of Javascript.

Common JavaScript Vulnerabilities

Some of the most commonly exploited JavaScript Vulnerabilities include the following:

  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)

Nearly four out of every ten cases of all cyber attacks are Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks occur when an outside hacker successfully manages to inject a malicious code into an application. The attacking hackers can manipulate both HTML and JavaScript to trigger the malicious code. Thus in Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), this website or application works as the vector to execute the malicious code on the user side.  

It is crucial that the reader should note that Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is one of the biggest security vulnerabilities because the attacker will need able to easily get access to such sensitive information as Session Storage, Local Storage, and even cookies. 

Some preventive measures against Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) include never injecting any unknown scripts into the web page and always using CSS escape.

  • Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Cross-Site Request Forgery or CSRF attacks are another common Javascript vulnerability. Its when a user’s session cookie is hijacked by attackers in order to impersonate their web browsing session. 

With Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), attacking hackers may be able to manipulate users into executing malicious code or taking some unauthorized actions on the vulnerable website or the application.

 The most common way of initiating a Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attack is by looking at all the unprotected form elements present on a given web page and injecting the malicious code through it. 

Hackers can also use Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) to update the email address of a user on their website. And then further request a password change in order to completely take over their account. Thus the hacker will have all the powers of the account holder in question.

Adding a Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) token can help programmers avoid this nightmare.

  • Server-Side JavaScript Injection

A somewhat newer and relatively less known JavaScript vulnerability is Server-Side JavaScript Injection. In this case, the hackers just upload and execute malicious code with binary files on the webserver. And target mostly NoSQL and Node.JS applications.

  • Client-Side Issues

When developers introduce an outside API on the client-side, it automatically increases the vulnerability of the application. More often than not, poor web development practices are to be blamed for this.

What makes this vulnerability worse is that the client-side browser scripts already have access to all the content that is returned by the web app directly to the client’s web browser. This can include cookies and other sensitive data like user session IDs. This can, in turn, lead to hackers trying to hijack the host’s user sessions and probe for more sensitive user Data Science

Dealing with JavaScript Protection Issues

While the above discussion reflects on the various ways in which JavaScript is vulnerable, one need not worry as there are several defenseman strategies against the same. Some of these have already been mentioned. The best way to protect one’s applications from the above-mentioned vulnerabilities is by always following the recommended best web-development practices and also using sophisticated JavaScript analyzers that can effectively detect issues and vulnerabilities in your code. 

The reader must note that JavaScript has the advantage of being backed by numerous open-source packages. A good developer can easily use these to make the web development process easier and faster. But these packages may also bring in a lot of vulnerabilities which can give malicious hackers an opportunity to steal or compromise user data. 

Here are a few tips one can follow for better securing JavaScript-based applications:

  • One should adopt Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP)

Runtime Application Application Self-Protection (RASP) is a programming technology that is specifically designed. For detecting attacks on an application in real-time. It can analyze both the app’s own behavior and the overall context of this behavior in order to protect the same from any malicious attacks. 

Since Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) continuously monitors the app’s own behavior. It also becomes easier to identify and mitigate any issues in real-time without wasting time that would. Be spent otherwise while waiting for manual human intervention.

  • One should avoid using the eval() function.

The eval() function is generally used by web developers to run their text as a small piece of code. That is a bad programming practice. It makes the website vulnerable to a number of threats, and one would be wise to go with more secure functions.

  • One should encrypt with SSL/ HTTPS

Encrypted data on the client and the server-side can make your application more secure. That means, even if hackers were to get access to the data, they would find it in encrypted form and unusable to them. Simultaneously, one should also secure the cookies to limit the use of application cookies for secure and encrypted website pages only. 

  • One should focus on API Security.

While developing any JavaScript-based applications, the reader must focus on API security as well. One can start by securing API keys on the client-side JavaScript applications and by restricting access to particular IP ranges.

The Bottom Line

One can easily wrap up the above discussion by concluding that by using top JavaScript security analysts and adopting above mentioned measures. The reader can increase the security of their JavaScript. Services like Appsealing can help one further. Increase the security of their own website and, by extension, the whole web.

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