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Equifax security issues uncovered in 2016

12th September 2017

Security issues identified in 2016 on the Equifax website are still not fixed. It is one step to identify the problem but it's an even bigger challenge to fix it. It requires time and skill to go back into the code, understand the context and fix the issues.

It is clear developers at Equifax were under a lot of stress and many known vulnerabilities didn’t get fixed. Unfortunately that lack of action has now had the worst possible response.

Security needs to be baked in from the start and developers needs the skills, training and in-IDE tools to minimize writing known vulnerabilities. It requires specific language and framework knowledge to fix the problems identified. The general principle on fixing a XSS issue stays the same, however the actual implementation is dependent on the frameworks in place.

If you want to do some interactive training on how to fix XSS issues in Struts, check out: https://portal.securecodewarrior.com/#/simple-flow/web/xss/reflected/java/struts

Skip forward to 2016 and a security researcher found a common vulnerability known as cross-site scripting (XSS) on the main Equifax website, according to a tweet from a researcher who goes by the name x0rz. Such XSS bugs allow attackers to send specially-crafted links to Equifax customers and, if the target clicks through and is logged into the site, their username and password can be revealed to the hacker.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2017/09/08/equifax-data-breach-history/#552ab1c9677c

Matias is the co-founder and CTO of Secure Code Warrior. He has over a decade of hands-on software security experience, holding a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Ghent University.

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