Last year we switched to using Slack for all our internal communication and it's working out nicely. It's very developer centric in that it offers integrations with lots of services like Travis CI, GitHub, etc.
When we started using Slack one of our developers was sending a file, had his Developer console open and noticed that even though he'd not chosen to share the file public, the API gave back a public URL anyway. Much to his dismay when he tried it out in a new private browsing window he could download his file without authentication!
Everything you share on Slack automatically becomes available on a public url.
Concerned with the security of our communications (we don't share financials or credentials through Slack fortunately, but we may share company or customer sensitive information) I decided to look into it and make it a teachable moment on 'secret URLs'.
Using a style guide helps keep code more readable, which makes it more maintainable. It can also prevent you from introducing bugs which can be hard to spot (by making semicolons mandatory for example). Enforcing code styles is hard.
Software we build depends on an aweful lot of other software, our framework (Drupal), third party modules, libraries (server side and client side!), PHP and it's extensions, Webserver (Nginx / Apache), OS (Linux), etc.
The question with security audits is always, how far do we go? What third party software should and shouldn't we audit?
For an application that uses Drupal, it's pretty clear that we should audit the custom configuration and code as well as verify that all third party library versions used do not contain known vulnerabilities. But should we audit Drupal? Should we audit a popular third party module like Views? How about a less popular one like the Feeds REGEX Parser? What if a Alpha, Beta or Devel version is used?
To help with decision making we built and released the Ibuildings Drupal Security Audit tools.
What started as a dream for a worldwide library of sorts, has transformed into not only a global repository of knowledge but also the most popular and widely deployed Application Platform: the World Wide Web.
The poster child for Agile, it was not developed as a whole by a single entity, but rather grew as servers and clients expanded it's capabilities. Standards grew along with them.
While growing a solution works very well for discovering what works and what doesn't, it hardly leads to a consistent and easy to apply programming model. This is especially true for security: where ideally the simplest thing that works is also the most secure, it is far too easy to introduce vulnerabilities like XSS, CSRF or Clickjacking.
Because HTTP is an extensible protocol browsers have pioneered some useful headers to prevent or increase the difficulty of exploiting these vulnerabilities. Knowing what they are and when to apply them can help you increase the security of your system.
In the opening to this series, we discussed what ETags are and demonstrated their most common use case, caching. This time around, we’ll look at a lesser known but perhaps even better feature of ETags: keeping changes safe when writing to the server.
These last few years have seen the rise of some amazing frameworks oriented towards Single Page Application (SPA) like ExtJS, AngularJS, Backbone, Ember, etc. Following the trend where Front-end and Back-end separate. Client side technologies are now being managed by one team and Back-end services by another. This Separation of Concerns is wonderful for implementors as you only need a specification of the API and you can develop functionality concurrently. However all this client-side functionality often leaves the question: How are we going to secure the API if, at least in theory, it should be open for the browser of any device anywhere on earth? (no, we do not support the ISS).
Yet, ETags are one of the features that are the hardest to get right. Sometimes it’s not even clear how they work and while there’s a lot out there on the subject, it can also be difficult to put it all together. Developers frequently play either client and server roles in this exchange, which can make the responsibilities even more confusing.
In this series of blog posts, we’re going to look at ETags from both perspectives: First, a client trying to consume an ETag-enabled API. By focusing on the client side, we can focus on the features ETags offer and learn how these are supposed to look in a perfectly implemented world. In a later post, we’ll look at the gory details of how that API implements ETags and does the appropriate checks.
Likewise if a software project is delivered and no one has looked at security, can it be said to be secure?
If a tree falls... by Dunc(an) When a customer commissions Ibuildings for a new application, he usually has plenty of functional demands (I need it to do X and also Y and Z... oh and can I get A?). And maybe some thoughts have been given to performance metrics, but security? Well... it "needs to be secure".