Security - Sensitive Data Exposure


// Security - Sensitive Data Exposure:

Example of attack scenarios:

1. An application encrypts credit card numbers in a database using automatic 
   database encryption. However, this means it also decrypts this data 
   automatically when retrieved, allowing an SQL injection flaw to retrieve 
   credit card numbers in clear text. The system should have encrypted the 
   credit card numbers using a public key, and only allowed back-end 
   applications to decrypt them with the private key.

2. A site simply doesn’t use SSL for all authenticated pages. Attacker simply 
   monitors network traffic (like an open wireless network), and steals the 
   user’s session cookie. Attacker then replays this cookie and hijacks the 
   user’s session, accessing the user’s private data.

3. The password database uses unsalted hashes to store everyone’s passwords. A 
   file upload flaw allows an attacker to retrieve the password file. All of 
   the unsalted hashes can be exposed with a rainbow table of precalculated 

To Prevent 'Sensitive Data Exposure':

1. Consider using encryption both at rest and in transit (https)

2. Don’t store sensitive data unnecessarily. Discard it as soon as possible. 
   Data you don’t have can’t be stolen.

3. Ensure strong standard algorithms and strong keys are used, and proper key 
   management is in place. Consider using FIPS 140 validated cryptographic 

4. Ensure passwords are stored with an algorithm specifically designed for 
   password protection, such as bcrypt, PBKDF2, or scrypt:

5. Disable autocomplete on forms collecting sensitive data and disable caching 
   for pages that contain sensitive data.
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