Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy


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Security issues may also be developer-induced and brought about by lack of awareness about AppSec or simply ignorance about general application security norms.

There is increased complexity due to certain factors like. The increased complexity of microservices architecture leads to an overall larger potential attack surface, and thus a greater risk due to an increased number of services and assets. Mitigation requires a scheduled periodic review of existing implementations as well as security audits done on a regular basis.

Hence, a greater number of challenges in terms of the above points need to be addressed and overcome in course of development and deployment. Appsec Application Security is of prime importance because even a single breach can cost millions for large organizations. However, most companies are ignorant of the methods in which they can secure their application, relying solely on automated vulnerability scanners and passive threat modeling to detect and ascertain security misconfigurations and test security of their microservices based application, while this isn't sufficient alone to tackle adverse situations.


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One needs to understand that passive and automated testing methodology alone don't suffice in a real-world context, as one also needs to follow best practices in Application Security to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Especially, in the information security industry, dozens of exploits are being discovered and developed in widely-used frameworks every other day, should it be a cause for concern for us? The answer is yes and no, and it depends on a number of factors, mainly, how you deployed your microservices and configured them, also whether you followed any standard set of best practices during the course of development.

A typical case-study about these exploits and security vulnerabilities reveals that most of these security vulnerabilities are mostly centered around a few configuration-based security problems, where developers are barely aware of the security best practices and blindly commit blatant basic mistakes in configuring their microservices which reflect in the production application. Hence, a slight mistake on your part may create some huge impacts given the overall attack surface and the number of exploits being developed.

This is why we should amend our ways and keep abreast with the best practices in the security of microservices, which forms a significant part of the discipline that one must adopt and practice for the AppSec of an organization. Below are a few techniques and best practices that one must strictly incorporate and follow in microservices development and deployment to ensure that after deployment it remains safe and secure, conforming to industry security best practices standards, while in production.

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Security comes at a large cost if ignored. The goal of continuous security is to reduce the overall expense and overhead, as well as securing the microservices or application by periodically testing the security of our microservices. As opposed to only performing passive threat modeling and other redundant practices, one must adopt continuous security and follow the best practices, as are defined from time to time, in application security.

Security audits on a regular basis are a must to cover the finer aspects so as to ensure that your microservices are following the best practices, and their security is kept to the best and safest level possible. Below, we shall discuss more on the best methods of practicing the goals of continuous security that we outlined above.

Let's examine a real-world scenario that affected Shopify's microservice based architecture before further proceeding to learning the best practices. The above was Shopify's statement on the Hackerone report to its bounty program. After going through this report, we can come to this conclusion that even application-side vulnerabilities can lead to a server compromise.

Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy

Going by the complexity of this attack, it wasn't much difficult to exploit. However, it's not possible to execute commands in this new pod or any other pod:. The get secrets command doesn't work, but it's possible to describe a given pod and the get the secret using its name. That's how I leaked the kubernetes. This vulnerability type requires contextual information from the hacker. Learn and become a better developer so you won't have to discover vulnerabilities through exploits. Discover the core traps of JavaScript and Node.

Learn to set up and protect a secure environment for your application. Learn to mitigate the main attack vectors against authentication, session management and authorization systems. Study the complexities of securing our browser side code. Implement various defences against attacks targeting your users. Find out how to handle and store your data securely.

Mitigate various data stealing attack vectors. Learn to systematically analyze your existing code to discover vulnerabilities and apply mitigation. Every node. Especially if you are seasoned developer entering Node's ecosystem, this book is great to bring you up to speed with what you can expect from the darker corners of the Internet. Chief Technology Officer , Apiary Inc. The NodeJS community has been waiting for a book like this. This book eases that cost and removes the often-overlooked downsides of NodeJS development. Chief Information Officer , Ditno.

A thorough and clear explanation of web app security, from the database to the app server to the client. Next we need to set up our script so that when the server restarts our application will also be restarted. After which we need to reload the configuration and start our service. We have now set up our service to run as a low privilege user with systemd to restart our application when the server restarts and pm2 to handle our service day to day restarts and clustering. A common and a very dangerous mistake people do is run the node process with root privileges. Why do they do that?

Well because binding to a low port number like 80 or requires high privileges. We have already been smarter about that by running our service on a high port and using a low privilege user. However nobody is going to like adding a port number to our domain name, so we need to proxy the requests. The crudest way would be to set up a firewall port forwarding, but we are instead going to set up a Nginx server, because:. The default Nginx version that ships to the Debian 8. Of course we want the newest, because as of 1.

We have to add the Nginx package repository to the sources list so apt-get can find it. We should see the Nginx welcome message. As of 2nd of December it is in public beta, so everyone can use it. So shall we to obtain a valid SSL cert. This does require for you to have a valid domain name, that is pointing to this server instance. Next well use the letsencrypt-auto script to do everything for us. This will ask for sudo permissions and install a bunch of dependencies for the client — can take quite a while. After running this command you should see a message about recovery and that the certs have been obtained and where they are located.

Yes it really is that simple. In the last two sections we set up our Nginx server and obtained a SSL certificate which we can use to set up our secure web server. Not only will we be setting up our proxy and HTTPS, but we will also configure our Nginx to have more secure settings. Next we are going to remove our old default configuration file and create our own for our service.


  • Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy.
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  • The contents of the nginx configuration should be something like as follows:. Next we need to restart our Nginx service. We now have our service running using proper SSL and under low privileges. But we are not yet done there is still a bit to go — we are missing a firewall. Currently we have no firewall setup. Our Node service is directly accessible from the web by specifying the port number.

    This also means that other services that we might install on the machine like the database etc will be open to the web. This is not good from the security standpoint — so we will configure our firewall to only allow traffic in and out of our server that we have deemed fit. In linux the firewall is configured using iptables. We will create the ruleset files and then import them to our iptables.

    Secure Your itocagawoler.ga Web Application: Keep Attackers Out And Users Happy

    The following configuration is just an example and not suitable for all servers. Note: Do be careful when dealing with firewall — there is a good chance that you can lock yourself out of your instance if you do non-atomic updates on the settings. In DigitalOcean you can then use the console on the website to log in and fix the situation, but this is not the case in all hosting providers.

    Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy
    Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy
    Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy
    Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy
    Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy Secure Your Node.js Web Application: Keep Attackers Out and Users Happy

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