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Web-Based Attacks Threaten Apps and Data

The wide variety of cyberattacks against websites, applications, and APIs exposed to the internet make security more complex than ever.

Web-based attacks can affect the availability of sites and applications, breach the confidentiality and integrity of your data, and hurt your bottom line.  Let’s take a look at the most common attacks and how they affect the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of websites, applications and APIs.


Web-based attacks against your core internet infrastructure, such as DNS, can take you offline.  Even if your DNS servers are fully protected, DDoS attacks against your networks, websites, applications, and APIs can still bring your business down. DDoS attackers can target any IP address in the world. Any device connected to the internet, from a smart lightbulb to a web server, can fall victim to their attacks.

Vulnerability exploits

Web-based attacks can access to your data in many ways.

The easiest way is to first gain access to the systems that either store or interact with your data.  The most common attack vector is to exploit a vulnerability within the operating systems or applications these systems run. Once a vulnerability has been discovered, attackers write exploits that take advantage and often freely share the exploit code on the web.

Most exploits targeting an OS or application are specially designed and include some sort of buffer, stack, or heap overflow, combined with a piece of remote code that the targeted system executes. Most often this code allows attackers to gain access to a system and potentially download additional code that enables them to remain resident in that system for long periods of time.

Advanced attacks

Web-based attacks that target how you use an operating system or application are often the most difficult to defend against. These include SQL injection, parameter tampering, cross-site scripting, path traversal, and brute-force attacks. Brute-force attacks, for example, can gain access to protected data by overwhelming a web application with username and password login attempts.

Not only do organizations need to prepare for attacks that can affect the availability of their web properties, but they must also prepare for attacks that target the confidentiality and integrity of their data. Lots of vulnerabilities are introduced by manufacturers and developers, but the way an organization uses an operating system or application also creates risk. Today’s attackers take advantage of all the above to pose a significant web security threat.

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Whois: Stephen Gates

Stephen Gates is a Edge Security Evangelist at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.