Application Attacks – CompTIA Security+ Lesson 26

Every software out there has vulnerabilities to exploit. Application attacks try to use the bugs created by developers to gain access to systems & more.

Application attacks can often occur eiter because of a flaw in te software, or the wrong implementation of it. This post will cover a  couple of these attacks.

Some of this attacks can be seen in action on my YouTube channel. Other videow will follow.

SQL Injection

SQL is the language used to give instructions to a database. It is often implemented in other languages like python or Java.

Since you implement two or more technologies into each other, the following errors might occur (Which allows a hacker to execute things he’s not supposed to do):

  • Escape characters not filtered correctly
  • Type handling not properly done
  • Conditional errors
  • Time delays

The best way to prevent SQL- Injections, is to always filter input. With Java for example, you should use preparedStatements instead of Strings to which you pass values.

Buffer Overflow

As mentioned last week, buffer overflow is an application attack where the attacker sends more data than the application is programmed to receive.

This may cause privilege escalation and overwriting important data.

Zero Day Exploits

If application attacks occur the same day a vulnerability is discovered by the developers, the exploit is called a Zero Day Exploit.

It is very difficult to respond to a zero-day exploit. Often the only solution that a security administrator can do, is shut down the vulnerable service untill a patch is released.

Remote Code Execution

It is possible for programmers ot create software that can remotely accept commands and execute them. An attacker could use this to his advantage and execute malicious code remotely.

The problem is, that the host program can be running with evelated privileges and can do more harm than a normal user.


This are just a couple of appliaction attacks that I wanted to point out. Most of them can be countered by filtering the input. You should check out a couple more for the CompTIA Security+:

  • XSS/ Cross Site Scripting
  • LDAP Injection
  • XML Injection
  • Command Injection
  • Integer Overflow
  • Header Manipulation

A grain of Salt

This week I started with the School of Engineering and Information Technologies (Bachelors degree) and I guess I wont have enough time to keep this series up reguralry.

That said, I will try to keep posting weekly videos and some content on my blog, regarding the engineering aspects of IT. Including more theoretical and mathematical stuff (as lecture notes, if you will).