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Re: Sanctum AppScan 4 misses potential vulnerabilities in wrapped links
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 11:49:53 -0400

On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 09:35:46 +0200, "Dawes, Rogan (ZA - Johannesburg)" <rdawes () deloitte co za>  said:
I am inclined to agree with Sanctum's position here. Without actually
executing the javascript, and triggering all the possible events, and

would be overlooked by this technique. I'm still of the opinion that *no*
automated tool can provide complete coverage of an arbitrary web
application, simply because of the potential complexity. It's like solving
the halting problem, to my mind.

That's because it *is* the Turing Halting Problem, more or less.

Fortunately, we can mostly work around the problem by applying some constraints
to the problem space - for instance, we can simulate the Javascript and see if
what pops out is "legal" or "illegal".  We then finesse the Turing issues by
simply declaring that any Javascript that takes over X amount of resources
(CPU, memory, network accesses, whatever) is tossed in the "illegal" pile.
This is demonstrably free of both Turing issues (since every test is guaranteed
to produce a result in X or less) and fulfills the Principle of Least Surprise
("I'd not have asked to visit that webpage if I knew it would take 2 hours to
do so").

The biggest remaining issue is the totally b0rked Javascript security model -
it isn't clear that it's possible to write an accurate simulator that does it
correctly.  The proof of this statement is the obvious fact that if it WERE
possible to write such a beast, vendors would be shipping it as their
Javascript interpreter. ;)

Attachment: _bin

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