Top 3 Things You Should Know About Client-Side Web Application Attacks

Client-side web application attacks are like the Kardashians. They are everywhere, they are annoying and have the potential to cause catastrophic impacts wherever they are. These threats represent an area of ​​third-party risk for any web property transacting or collecting sensitive information – with retail, healthcare, financial services, hospitality and more organizations falling victim in recent months and years. To combat these hacks and mitigate future threats, it is essential that InfoSec teams at all levels of the company understand why and how vulnerabilities in your third-party digital supply chain can lead to these client-side attacks.

How do malicious actors use your digital supply chain to enable these attacks? What makes it so easy for them and for most organizations to detect today? The answer is an overlooked and nearly ubiquitous flaw in web security – one that could allow hackers to access millions of sensitive data, leaving you with costly and reputation-damaging repercussions. Now more than ever, InfoSec teams must prioritize finding effective solutions to protect their business and customers from client-side web application attacks and the potential fines and lawsuits that may follow. case of data breach.

To help you understand all of this and start your journey towards mitigating this risk, we’ve compiled a list of the top three things you need to understand about client-side web application attacks, what vulnerabilities lead to them, and how the Client-side web application security is the ultimate solution.

1. Your third-party digital supply chain leaves your business open to client-side web application attacks

Third-party partners are essential to the performance of your web properties – they power analytics, drive interaction, support multimedia, drive and enable transactions, support development, and more. But they are also key to providing access to sensitive and privacy-protected data. you collect and deliver to cybercriminals. These partners add a lot of value to your website, but they have also become a privileged attack vector. The third-party, fourth-party, and n-th-party scripts they run on the client side are actually shadow code that you serve to your visitors, and that code is manipulated to enable client-side attacks. These types of attacks are so common that:

  • In 2022, we have already seen hundreds of attacks, including a highly publicized attack on Segway.
  • In November 2021, the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) announced that 4,151 retailers have been hacked by hackers attempt to steal customer payment information and other personal data through client-side vulnerabilities on payment pages.
  • Throughout 2021, hundreds of attacks occurred each month.
  • And in 2020, cybercriminals used the same techniques to compromise around 2,800 retailers, injecting malicious code to steal payment details from hundreds of thousands of customers.

The problem here is that cybercriminals are hiding in the shadows and taking advantage of a backdoor security hole in JavaScript that most organizations don’t recognize. Regardless of source, JavaScript gives all scripts the same level of client-side control. Therefore, the third-party code that drives your site has full access and author capabilities. And like a thief in the night, cybercriminals are exploiting this vulnerability to hijack sensitive data, including customers’ personal and financial information.

For more information on how cybercriminals leverage third-party JavaScript to infiltrate your site, get your copy of our whitepaper, The hidden risk in your digital supply chain.

2. Form submission data is the most commonly attacked and accessed data

The most common client-side web application attack occurs via form submission. Better known as formjacking, this type of cyberattack occurs when cybercriminals compromise scripts using third-party applications or plugins as a means of gaining access to the web session. This allows hackers to take control of its entry point where sensitive information is provided, such as a submission form to make a purchase, for example.

Formjacking occurs when cybercriminals inject malicious JavaScript code into a site (via the security hole discussed above) to gain read/write access to other forms and pages that use JavaScript on that site. Once control of the JavaScript is taken, the page will be appear operate normally for visitors. Thus, visitors will feel comfortable providing their personal information in a form on this page, while unknowingly putting it directly into the hands of criminals.

The result of these attacks usually leads to:

  • Purchases processed by cybercriminals using your customers’ credit card information
  • Sell ​​this private information to various bidders on the dark web
  • Identity theft scams

3. Focusing only on server-side security and neglecting client-side security is a huge mistake

Let’s call it what it is: server-side protections like web application firewalls (WAFs) aren’t enough to qualify your site as secure. The problem is that once a cybercriminal’s code is injected into a web session, it has already bypassed server-side security protection. The code is downloaded dynamically from a remote server, which means it bypasses traditional security infrastructure, including firewalls and retailer WAFs. Additionally, there is no way to use server-side security solutions to prevent criminal code from exfiltrating data or performing other corrupt activities from a client’s browser.

Consider this, major companies like TicketMaster, Segway, and British Airlines have all invested heavily to protect their customers’ data while remaining vulnerable to client-side attacks. And yet, these three organizations (and many more) have suffered attacks from client-side web applications very recently. More, since 2017, 150 million payment cards have been detected as compromised via client-side attackscybercriminals attempting to monetize cards on the dark web for an estimated total of $37 billion.

That being said, it’s time to focus on client-side web application security.

Client-side web application security is key to protecting customer data

The most important step in securing client-side web applications and mitigating third-party risk is preventing attacks before they happen. Source Defense is designed to do just that: prevent attacks in the first place. With real-time sandbox isolation and reflection, Source Defense ensures that none of the JavaScript running on your sites, including 3rd (or 4th, 5th, 6th+), can be used as a vector of damage. ‘attack.

Prevention-focused client-side web application security protects your site against:

  • Digital skimming
  • formjacking
  • Magic Chariot Attacks
  • And other security vulnerabilities

Final Thoughts

While client-side web application security should be every online organization’s top priority, the last thing you need is another tool to overload your alert team. We understood. Source Defense is easy to deploy, doesn’t burden your teams with more alerts, and is typically managed in less than 5 hours per month. Sounds pretty cool, huh? We think so too. But it’s not just cool, it’s essential.

Request a demo to start protecting your site, your business and your customers.

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