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The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws Paperback – Sep 27 2011
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From the Back Cover
New technologies. New attack techniques. Start hacking.
Web applications are everywhere, and they're insecure. Banks, retailers, and others have deployed millions of applications that are full of holes, allowing attackers to steal personal data, carry out fraud, and compromise other systems. This book shows you how they do it.
This fully updated edition contains the very latest attack techniques and countermeasures, showing you how to break into today's complex and highly functional applications. Roll up your sleeves and dig in.
Discover how cloud architectures and social networking have added exploitable attack surfaces to applications
Leverage the latest HTML features to deliver powerful cross-site scripting attacks
Deliver new injection exploits, including XML external entity and HTTP parameter pollution attacks
Learn how to break encrypted session tokens and other sensitive data found in cloud services
Discover how technologies like HTML5, REST, CSS and JSON can be exploited to attack applications and compromise users
Learn new techniques for automating attacksand dealing with CAPTCHAs and cross-site request forgery tokens
Steal sensitive data across domains using seemingly harmless application functions and new browser features
Find help and resources at http://mdsec.net/wahh
Source code for some of the scripts in the book
Links to tools and other resources
A checklist of tasks involved in most attacks
Answers to the questions posed in each chapter
Hundreds of interactive vulnerability labs
About the Author
DAFYDD STUTTARD is an independent security consultant, author, and software developer specializing in penetration testing of web applications and compiled software. Under the alias PortSwigger, Dafydd created the popular Burp Suite of hacking tools.
MARCUS PINTO delivers security consultancy and training on web application attack and defense to leading global organizations in the financial, government, telecom, gaming, and retail sectors.
The authors cofounded MDSec, a consulting company that provides training in attack and defense-based security.
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Top Customer Reviews
The companion web site is a great thing. It allows you to easily test the techniques explained in a controlled way.
Must read for every Web Application Security Professional or every serious and professional. I almost wish it was a mandatory reading in order to get a job as a web application developer.
If you want to learn how to hack a website this is the perfect book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Joking aside though, there is no other reference for web hacking as thorough or complete as WAHH.
With WAHH2 the authors added a significant amount content and rehashed existing chapters that were already deeply technical. The bonus in WAHH2 is its associated labs. Dafydd and Marcus have been giving a live WAHH training for years and have now moved the stellar CTF like challenges to the cloud. You can buy credits ($7 for 1hr) and move right along as you read the book (MDSec.net). When I say the labs are stellar, I mean it. The labs come almost straight from the class and start trivial and then get crazy. The injection labs were by far my favorite, housing 30-40 different injection types/variants each between XSS/SQLi. The CTF in the class (which i'll mention again is where the MDSec.com labs are based from) gets ridiculous toward the end. Even seasoned web testers fall around questions 14-16. But i digress...
WAHH2 is now the defacto buy for any pentest/QA/Audit team. Its usage will surpass any other book on your bookshelf if you are doing practical testing.
5 stars, i'd give it 10 if I could.
But where they went way way wrong: they keep referencing "Try it!" modules that refer to an online site, where the have different tutorials set up on a virtual server. You're allowed to try the hack techniques against the server for a "mere 7 dollars per hour".
But that's actually really really expensive (if you don't have a company paying for you, hell, even if you do). The online labs are sophisticated, but not THAT sophisticated. The author could have EASILY put them online for free, or run them cheaper. It'll take you HOURS to figure out anything on his labs, unless youre a seasoned pentest guy.
it's 7 per hour, and you have to choose 1 hour increments. So I found myself listing things i wanted to try in that hour...which i never got through, because HE DIDN'T INCLUDE ANSWERS, OR A GUIDE! You're supposed to figure it out on the go, which is fine and dandy if youre just browsing a site, but not when youre paying 7 dollars an hour to be on a site.
F that...could have done it better/different.
The advantage of this book (and now the new version even more so) is in the way it breaks down the topics. Many books sort of jump around with their various sections, while the WAHH takes the precise line that I think is best when building on one's understanding of this topic.
The updated material is significant, and definitely worth the re-purchase. I bought both the dead-tree and the Kindle version.
100% definitely recommended.
1. Buy the professional version of Burp Suite which the author wrote.
It would have been nice if some sort of time trial was included.
2. If you want to access any of the labs they talk about in the book you have to subscribe to their training site which is from what I can tell $7.00 an hour...
There are a great many good and free services out there, and personally I feel the this book (while having good material) was really written to support the authors sales efforts.
I would have much rather seen the use of free websites and examples that didn't cost any more money.
The book also stresses on-line learning thru their website, for a modest fee. But just what do you get for these lessons. I don't know, because the first one doesn't occur until chapter 5. And by then I was turned off by the book.
To be fair, there's a gold mine of material in this book. But it's not for the beginner. You have to put it together like a jig saw puzzle, but without benefit of any picture of what the finished puzzle should look like.
If you are already beyond basic hacking, are aware of the tools available, and know the HTML standard inside out, then this is probably a good book for you. But it is way too much for the newbie. This book should come with the skill level notice of "For intermediate to advanced users."
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