Top 20 Internet Security Vulnerabilities of 2005

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SANS has published a list of the top 20 internet security vulnerabilities of 2005. The list is not however cumulative, it features security vulnerabilities that have been the most prevalent within the past year and a half.

The article contains detailed information about each vulnerability, and how to mitigate them. I've highlighted some of the vulnerabilities that we as web developers (often wearing the system administration hat as well) should be keenly aware of:

  • Windows Services - "Vulnerabilities in these services that implement these Operating System functionalities are one of the most common avenues for exploitation"
  • UNIX Configuration - SSH - "Of particular interest this year are attacks against SSH - the service is generally assumed to be safe. However, this was one of the services very popularly targeted during the past year using brute-force password-guessing attacks."
  • Internet Explorer - "Explorer contains multiple vulnerabilities that can lead to memory corruption, spoofing and execution of arbitrary scripts"
  • Mac OSX - Safari - "Multiple vulnerabilities have been found in this browser and in certain cases exploit code has also been posted publicly."
  • Mozilla and Firefox Browsers - "Many of the flaws discovered are critical in nature and allow a malicious webpage to completely compromise a client system. Exploit code for leveraging these vulnerabilities is publicly available as well."
  • Office and Outlook Express - "The attacker sends the malicious Office document in an email message. Viruses can exploit this attack vector."
  • Windows Configuration Weaknesses - "Weak passwords on Windows accounts or network shares, or Default Configuration/Passwords for Servers"
  • Backup Software - "During last year, a number of critical backup software vulnerabilities have been discovered. These vulnerabilities can be exploited to completely compromise systems running backup servers and/or backup clients"
  • Anti-virus Software - "Multiple buffer overflow vulnerabilities have been discovered in the anti-virus software provided by various vendors including Symantec, F-secure, Trend Micro, Mcafee, Computer Associates, ClamAV and Sophos. These vulnerabilities can be used to take a complete control of the user's system with limited or no user interaction."
  • PHP-based Applications - "There has not been a single week during the last year that a problem was not reported in some software using PHP"
  • Database Software - "Buffer overflows in processes that listen on well known TCP/UDP ports, SQL Injection via the web front end of the database, Databases running in default configuration with default usernames and passwords, Databases running with weak passwords for privileged accounts"


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Comments

On 11/23/2005 at 11:41:43 AM UTC Elliott Sprehn wrote:
1
Very cool list Pete.

It's interesting that PHP was listed as being one of the security problems. Though the nature of PHP being both free and quick to learn might be to blame. Anyone can write and deploy PHP code, but not everyone can do it well.

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