Testing for Security in the Age of Ajax Programming

Introduction

Ajax programming is one of the most exciting new technologies in recent history. Ajax (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) allows a web page to refresh a small portion of its data from a web server, rather than being forced to reload and redraw the entire page as in traditional web programming. Since they can make frequent, small updates, web applications written with Ajax programming can present user interfaces that are more like desktop applications, which are more natural and intuitive interfaces for most users. However, just like Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man™)1, with great power comes great responsibility. Web applications have become prime targets for malicious users and hackers performing SQL injection and similar attacks.

The flexibility and creativity that Ajax programming affords the developer also places a corresponding burden on him to ensure that his code is secure against these new threats. Also, since delivering a secure application is part of delivering a quality application, the burden is probably felt even greater by the Quality Assurance (QA) team. The QA team will now need to develop an entirely new set of functional, performance and security testing methods in order to thoroughly test the quality of applications using Ajax programming against SQL injection attacks and other security concerns.

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About the author

Bryan Sullivan United States

Bryan Sullivan is a development manager at SPI Dynamics, a Web application security products company. Bryan manages the

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