Testing for vulnerabilities is a necessary and essential action in the detection of dangers. So learn about fuzzing and how it helps your business.
We know that in most companies that have a digital system, it is required to be constantly monitoring to identify different threats or vulnerabilities. These detection methods are many, of different generations, and with different results. That is why one of the jobs of the IT department of any organization is to get the best detection method that suits the needs of the organization; of course, this will depend on the type of company it is, the amount of digital and interconnected resources it has, among other factors. Therefore, learn about Fuzzing as a detection method.
What is fuzzing?
It can be known as “fuzzing” to the set of tests of the black box; which aims to enter random or erroneous data deliberately to a computer system; for obvious reasons these systems will interpret these erroneous data as an error, and it is precisely this error that must be analyzed. That is the main objective of fuzzing, to find errors to repair. If we focus on the case of mobile applications or software, fuzzing is used to find errors; while on the web it is used to identify vulnerabilities. This uses some tools to carry out such tests, usually referred to as “fuzzer”. These are:
- Generator: in this stage all the codes or values that will be used as input parameters in the program are created. In this condition, there are two types of fuzzer; firstly, if the environment is taken into account at the moment when the data for the test is generated; it is known as “intelligent buzzer”. On the other hand, when the environment is not taken into account at the time when the data is created; but is done randomly, it is known as “dumb fuzzer”.
- Delivery interface: in this section all the data generated in the previous phase is collected and sent to the system where it will be tested.
- Monitoring: this is the most important stage, because it is here that the entire process is verified to be working properly, or, in case of errors; to determine which of these may end up being critical or can be exploited. How did it come about?
How did it come about?
The term “test” has been of utmost importance in programming, because the most important idea is to program such tests that are compatible with all types of languages; it is also expected that such tests respond positively to the codes inserted on a regular basis. Tests are used to keep the software functional, despite the time it has been running; they are a method that helps the programmer to keep the system in question updated.
Types of fuzzing.
Previously we talked about the types of fuzzing that exist in a superficial way; so, we will proceed to expand a little on what each one is about.
- Operating system fuzzing: for these you can use tools such as open source or paid tools, where the random damage of the operating system is tested; usually they are what is used to find errors within iOS; however, it could be used for any operating system for which it is programmed.
- Fuzzing of mobile applications: this automates the random entry of values; this is done in all access points that may have.
- Fuzzing of web applications: this method is usually a little different, since it is not initially based on searching for errors; it also allows the tracking of URLs that are active in the domain. By means of such tracking; it is determined whether some of the available URLs are vulnerable and expresses them in the form of a bug.
Tools that use fuzzing.
Depending on the application that this is going to have, you can use different tools. Whether for fuzzing mobile applications, web applications or operating system, you need some tools to identify the bugs effectively; some of these can be:
- Drib: this is specific for web fuzzers, it works by testing URLs randomly; in order to verify if they are active on the domain. After they are active, they have the possibility to trace a path and analyze if there are vulnerable files.
- Ffuf: this is a new tool that has been emerging as an alternative to Drib; it is also used in the web fuzzer; but the difference is that it has been created through the Go programming language. Unlike Drib, which was written in Python, which makes it a little less efficient.
- American Fuzzy Lop: this fuzzer was developed by Google; it can be used for both operating systems and web applications. It is mainly used to test bugs in more protected sites.
The good and the bad of fuzzers
Something good that we have to highlight, is that they allow to have results with a minimum effort; mainly because the user interaction is minimal, because everything is automated; therefore, the fuzzer can analyze thousands and thousands of cases in a very fast way. Therefore, if we compare it to what it would be to perform this process manually; it would be very complicated and laborious. Due to this process it is possible to analyze in depth the aspects found in such systems.
One bad thing we must admit is that unfortunately not absolutely all errors can be detected; this is due to the fact that many of these errors are created by specific parameters introduced, contrary to the nature of the fuzzer. Therefore; sometimes, analyzing or testing much more complex programs will require the programming of new, more up-to-date and expensive fuzzers in order to keep up with the new generations. It is to be expected, not all testing methods are really effective, there are always flaws that go unnoticed from detection methods; therefore, we must be aware and join different types of detection methods to be more secure and reduce as much as possible these probabilities.
As we have seen throughout this article, even the newest detection methods have their disadvantages; however, it is our duty to know which of these is the one that best suits the needs of our company, depending on what we are working with. It is always a good option to invest in this type of tools as well as trained personnel for the job.
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