WASEC: Web Application Security for the everyday software engineer
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WASEC: Web Application Security for the everyday software engineer

Everything a web developer should know about application security: concise, condensed and made to last.

About the Book

As software engineers, we often think of security as an afterthought: build it, then fix it later.

Truth is, knowing a few simple browser features can save you countless of hours banging your head against a security vulnerability reported by a user. This book is a solid read that aims to save you days learning about security fundamentals for Web applications, and provide you a concise and condensed idea of everything you should be aware of when developing on the Web from a security standpoint.

Don't understand prepared statements very well? Can't think of a good way to make sure that if your CDN gets compromised your users aren't affected? Still adding CSRF tokens to every form around? Then this book will definitely help you get a better understanding of how to build strong, secure Web applications made to last.

Security is often an afterthought because we don't understand how simple measures can improve our application's defense by multiple orders of magnitude, so let's learn it together.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the browser
  3. HTTP(S)
  4. Protection through HTTP headers
  5. HTTP cookies
  6. Situationals
  7. DDoS attacks
  8. Bug Bounty Programs
  9. Final words

Upcoming chapters

  • Docker security
  • Kubernetes security
  • Penetration tests
  • Secret management
  • Leveraging other services

About the Author

Alessandro Nadalin
Alessandro Nadalin

Alessandro Nadalin (who likes to go by "Alex"), is a seasoned technical leader who pays a lot of attention to enterprise patterns, methodologies, communities and (everyone’s) personal development: with 10 years of experience on his back, he heavily focused his attention towards agile practices, patterns of enterprise application architecture, leading mid-sized development teams and managing complexity in distributed systems.

A forward-thinker by nature, he still loves to get his hands dirty with code, or testing new platforms: he's am quite active on github and, from time to time, blogs in his own little place on the internet.

He's been involved in projects for governments, mainstream companies such as Samsung or Nissan and pioneered the technology scene of e-commerce platforms in the Middle East: when not working, you can find him speaking at some conference, blogging or grabbing a bite in the old side of Dubai.

Reader Testimonials

Mazin Ahmed
Mazin Ahmed

Cybersecurity Engineer

Awesome work. Really enjoyed reading. Quality is excellent, I have to say. This should be turned into a 3-days course like the ones in BlackHat.

Ayoub Fathi
Ayoub Fathi

Head of Security @ Noon

It's truly an excellent piece of work and a must-read for anyone who wants to keep an eye on web application security while working on software development. It's incredibly thorough and breaks down different security concepts that would otherwise be hard for software engineers to understand. A must-read!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Who this book is for
    • Formatting
    • Errata and additional content
  • Understanding the browser
    • What does a browser do?
    • Vendors
    • Vendor or standard bug?
    • A browser for developers
    • Into the HTTP protocol
  • HTTP
    • Overview
    • Mechanics: HTTP vs HTTPS vs H2
    • HTTPS
    • HTTPS everywhere
    • GET vs POST
    • In HTTP headers we trust
  • Protection through HTTP headers
    • HSTS
    • HPKP
    • Expect-CT
    • X-Frame-Options
    • Content-Security-Policy
    • X-XSS-Protection
    • Feature policy
    • X-Content-Type-Options
    • CORS
    • X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies
    • Referrer-Policy
    • The reporting API
    • Testing your security posture
    • Stateful HTTP: managing sessions with cookies
  • HTTP cookies
    • What’s behind a cookie?
    • Session and persistent cookies
    • Host-only
    • Supercookies
    • Cookie flags that matter
    • Alternatives
    • What would LeBron do?
  • Situationals
    • Blacklisting versus whitelisting
    • Logging secrets
    • Never trust the client
    • Generating session IDs
    • Querying your database while avoiding SQL injections
    • Dependencies with known vulnerabilities
    • Have I been pwned?
    • Session invalidation in a stateless architecture
    • My CDN was compromised!
    • The slow death of EV certificates
    • Paranoid mode: on
    • Low-priority and delegated domains
    • OWASP
    • Hold the door
  • DDoS attacks
    • Anatomy of a DDoS
    • Why would anyone bomb me?
    • Notable DDoS attacks
    • Don’t panic: some services to the rescue!
    • Hackers welcome
  • Bug Bounty Programs
    • What’s in a program?
    • security.txt
    • HackerOne
    • Dealing with researchers
    • “Malicious” reporters
    • We’re about to wrap it up
  • This is the end
    • Forget safe. Make it safer.
    • In the works
    • A few thank yous
  • Changelog
    • 2020-03-14
    • 2020-02-07
    • 2020-01-20
    • 2019-12-14
    • 2019-11-30
    • 2019-11-25

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