Permanent link: [Article]-Book Review: The Tangled Web
Review by Tristan Lawson, CISSP, MCSE: Security, GCIH, OSCP et al
Michal Zalewski, author of 2005’s highly praised Silence on the Wire, is at it again with "The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications," an incredible and highly technical book published by No Starch Press. Since the browser is the portal of choice for so many users, its inherent security flaws leave the user at a significant risk. This book details the issues surrounding insecure web browsers and what developers can do to mitigate those risks.
Mr. Zalewski writes about modern web applications which are built within a tangled mess of technologies, developed over time and then slapped together into a confusing monstrosity. This in turn leads to inconsistent operation with all kinds of vulnerabilities at several levels. The author goes into great detail taking apart every level of web applications from HTTP communication to browser and server-side scripts and dissects the subtle security consequences and the corresponding dangers of the unorganized conglomeration of web applications and browser code. The author then goes into how developers can work through the current problems and solve them down the road through new and revised code.
This book begins with the observation that the field of information security seems to be a mature and well-defined discipline, but in reality there is not even a rudimentary framework for understanding and assessing the security of modern software. So let’s dive deeper into the book to see how Mr. Zalewski addresses the issues in an attempt to untangle this mess.
After the break, look for a link to a free download of Chapter 3: "Hypertext Transfer Protocol"
Let us know what you think,