Types of Attack Vectors
To sneak into a company's system, cybercriminals must first find a way in, and this route is known as an attack vector or No-Code Attack Vector.
APIs are the cornerstone of modern business through the digital means and web app development due to their functionality, widespread adoption, and expanding architectural options. As with many technological advances, the benefit is accompanied by new risks and threats.
APIs are frequently the target of cyberattacks such as distributed denial of service (DDoS). Understanding the most common API vulnerabilities is critical for developing an effective API security strategy.
This article discusses API vulnerabilities, including the most common ones, and how to avoid them.
API (Application Programming Interface) connects services and shares information. APIs mediate communication between a client application and a server-based or web-based services. They allow programs to talk to one another, share information, and respond to commands.
Programmers use APIs to create a user-friendly interface for the end user, who may be a customer, an employee, or a business partner.
In addition to bolstering security, APIs separate applications and server communication. Instead of allowing 3rd party apps to access the company’s servers, APIs form a medium between the server and 3rd party apps to handle requests. APIs can access servers securely without compromising the company’s data.
The convenience APIs offer is not risk free, as APIs often have access to sensitive information and can be accessed over the internet like any other URI. This means that they share the vulnerabilities, are susceptible to attacks like any other online resource, and are frequently targeted by cybercriminals.
Securing the API's vulnerabilities is daunting, so attention must be paid to the most prevalent vulnerabilities that cause severe adverse outcomes like breaches and stolen data.
First and foremost, security hinges on authentication, which checks if the people or machines using it are who they claim to be. Without authentication, hackers can easily gain access to the system, hijack user accounts and sessions, steal sensitive information, and conduct fraudulent transactions.
Sadly, this is the norm, as most companies either fail to take authentication seriously or employ inadequate safeguards, such as simple passwords and weak account lockout policies.
Due to the interaction between virtual machines, the cloud, and on-premises infrastructure, API ecosystems are notoriously difficult to comprehend. Because each API has its own specification and associated infrastructure, there is a high probability of security misconfigurations, such as missing security patches, unencrypted data in motion, overly detailed error messages, and unsecured cloud storage.
Excessive data exposure occurs when the client side of the application provides excessive data, which may result in severe penalties if legally protected-sensitive data is made public. Cybercriminals exploit these flaws by evading the client or monitoring traffic to detect overly detailed API responses.
Such flaws can be disastrous; for example, excessive data exposure about an upcoming product may allow cybercriminals to spy on them, resulting in lost sales, reputational damage, or even IP theft.
When an API uses only product IDs to determine which product the client has requested, this vulnerability is known as Broken Object Level Authorization (BOLA). It leaves certain sensitive fields within the object open to modification by the cybercriminal, who may proceed to change the IDs, delete them, or even take over the account.
To steal information, spy on the attacked system, or even take over the entire system is all within the realm of possibility with these types of attacks.
While APIs can improve business development efficiency, they also increase the system's vulnerability. As a result, protecting APIs is critical, as is awareness of the most common threats. APIs are vulnerable to attacks that can compromise sensitive information, cause financial losses, or tarnish their reputation due to the vulnerabilities discussed in this article.