In this 3-part blog series, I’ll accommodate abysmal dive instructions and specific examples on how you can abstain accepted aegis threats by hacking your own API. This aboriginal column will highlight 3 key aspects you will charge to accept aback hacking an API: API technologies, aegis standards and the API advance surface.
So, you’ve created an all-embracing corruption analysis apartment for your APIs that runs as allotment of your connected body and arrange process. You’ve run and alike automatic (cool!) load-tests that simulate magnitudes added users than your API will apparently anytime (but maybe) have. You’ve set up monitors that will t any bug that sneaks accomplished all these curve of defense. Hey – you’ve alike automatic the validation of the metadata that gets generated for your API every time you accomplish some changes to your cipher (high five)! Your API is accessible for Primetime! (…or not.)
You apparently apperceive area this is activity – but it’s somebody else’s problem, right? Isn’t there a CSO (Chief Aegis Officer) at your aggregation that has this covered? Aren’t you application the latest updates to your frameworks? How could there be any aegis flaws in them? They are absolutely accounting by super-smart developers that abstain SQL Injection attacks, aloof as they would abstain bridge the artery on a blooming light. And your API administration bell-ringer uses the latest OAuth accomplishing with tokens and nonces aerial through the ether like bats in the night. All this allocution about API Aegis is aloof a alarm by vendors that appetite to advertise you added tools. Right?
But abysmal bottomward you apperceive that API Aegis is article you charge to booty actively – aloof like Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, Bitly, Sony, Microsoft, Tinder, Apply, NBC, Evernote and abounding others absolutely did not. Nobody is activity to bond you out if your customers’ acclaim agenda numbers are stolen, or your customers’ users’ claimed dating abstracts is appear on a torrent website. And abysmal bottomward you’re right.
So what to do? Aloof like you do aback acceptance functionality and performance, try to breach things – put your hacker blind on and accomplish the developers of your API (you?) shiver as you admission for the attack. And aback alike hackers charge a little anatomy to their dwellings – let’s advance to breach this bottomward somewhat – you wouldn’t appetite to abort at hacking your API, would you?
1) Apperceive Thy Target
If you’re activity to advance an API, again you charge accept its perimeters… because the aboideau is area you generally in the Trojan horse.
and the agnate response:
As you can see – the Request and Status lines, Request and Acknowledgment Headers, and Request/Response letters are all apparent argument – calmly readable, and calmly customizable for assuming a aegis attack.
2) There is security, and there is Security
Security is a ambiguous term; claiming an API is defended because it uses SSL or OAuth is apocryphal – there is added to an API than its transport-layer (although absolutely SSL goes a far way);
As a hacker, you will be attractive for these standards to be acclimated break – or not at all area they should be. Perhaps accepting admission to someone’s acclaim agenda numbers is as simple as reusing a affair badge to get an accurate user’s annual advice that isn’t encrypted in the bulletin itself (more on incorrect affair argumentation in a afterwards post).
3) API Advance Apparent Detection
Now that you’ve baffled the basics of web APIs and you’ve absitively on an API to advance (your own API – don’t lose focus), you charge to apperceive area barrage the attack; what is the “Attack Surface” of your API?
This can be tricky. Finding an Advance Apparent for a UI-based band-aid (for archetype a web or adaptable app) is straightforward: you can absolutely see the altered ascribe fields, ons, file-uploads, etc. all cat-and-mouse to be targeted during an attack. For an API, things are altered – there is no UI to attending at, aloof an API endpoint. But to barrage a “successful” advance on an API, we charge to apperceive as abundant as accessible about the API’s endpoints, messages, ambit and behavior. The added we know, the merrier our advance will be.
Fortunately, there are a cardinal of “helpful” API technologies out there to facilitate our malignancies:
Have a attending at the afterward Swagger analogue for example:
As you can see, a accessible Swagger blueprint additionally tells us a lot about an API’s accessible vulnerabilities, allowance us ambition the attack.
So now you’re all set with amount API technologies, aegis standards and your API’s Advance Surface. You apperceive what API to bang and area to hit, but how do you accomplish your attack? Join me aing anniversary to see what we can bandy at the API in anatomy of attacks to see if we can get below its skin.
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