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Few common web.xml misconfigurations-Part II

Well my colleague Sam says, I am slowing down on posts as I had written last one long time back :).
Here's my first in this month, second and concluding part of the last months series.
Few more mis-configurations:Refer-http://software-security.sans.org
4. SSL Not Configured:
No need to tell explicitly why SSL is necessary. Its protects the transit communications from sniffing,tampering by encrypting it and also-more important provides authentication. So confidentiality is preserved. Configure it as following:

<security-constraint>

<user-data-constraint>
<transport-guarantee>CONFIDENTIAL</transport-guarantee>
</user-data-constraint>

</security-constraint>

5. Not marking Cookies as 'HTTPOnly':

Cookies marked with HTTPOnly ensures that the cookies can not be accessed by javascripts in browsers making it more safe against most of the and common Cross-Site Scripting attacks (XSS)-still possible with Cross Site Tracing (XST) attacks though.
Use the following configuration:

<session-config>
<cookie-config>
<http-only>true</http-only>
</cookie-config>
</session-config>

6. No Session Time-Out:

As a best pratcice for session management always set time-out for the applications. If the user is idle for some specific amount of time, invalidate the session that will make the application more secure against hijacking:

<session-config>
<session-timeout>10</session-timeout>
</session-config>

The application will expire after 10 minutes of inactivity. Don't set any -ve values as it will make the application to not expire indefinitely.

7. Don't use URL parameters to store sessionIDs:

Sessions can be stored in two places mainly: Cookies and URL parameters. The last one is less secure as URLs can be logged/cached in some places like browser history. Make sure than you store sessionIDs in cookies:

<session-config>
<tracking-mode>COOKIE</tracking-mode>
</session-config>

Comments

Sam said…
Nice job Nilesh. You should start compiling these into a collection that could be called "Nilesh's Greatest Hits" :)

Keep up the good work, and don't pay too much attention to that Sam guy. He's just giving you a hard time.
Anonymous said…
Hi Nilesh,

Can you please clarify that these configuration has to be done at container's level or can be handled at web application level?

Thanks & Regards
Suman Kumar
Nilesh Kumar said…
@Sam: Sure Sam, I shall make a collection of them and gift you on your next India visit :).

@Anonymous: It depends on your needs...at container level it should affect all the applications and at app level it will affect the particular web application for which you edit the web.xml file. Hope that helps.
Anonymous said…
Here is the original article published in Aug 2010. Plagiarism? Decide for yourself:

http://software-security.sans.org/blog/2010/08/11/security-misconfigurations-java-webxml-files
Nilesh Kumar said…
@Anonymous: Yes..correct!

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