News
News
2/8/2006
04:45 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Is AJAX A Security Risk? Probably--Get Over It

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML has come under scrutiny recently, due to its potential security risks. While the risks are real, most IT security professionals have plenty of better things to worry about.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, the collection of programming technologies that promises to deliver online content to users without reloading an entire Web page, is back in the news. But this time, the news isn't good.

Forum Systems' VulCon XML security-alert service recently warned that AJAX could expose browsers to potential security problems. Because AJAX takes advantage of JavaScript to parse and execute commands on server data--and because those functions are visible right in the source of the page--there's real danger that client systems could come under attack.

Although a man-in-the-middle attack could exploit the basic workings of AJAX, it's more likely attackers would plant mean-spirited functionality on a server and then direct the client to it, resulting in the unintentional download of malicious code.

Web services opponents might view the flaw as yet another reason to stay away. But the problem isn't with Web services--it's with the client, which relies on the browser's scripting language. Unfortunately, there aren't many low-cost alternatives. Adobe is planning to freely distribute the SDK for its Flex 2.0 technology, which is more secure than a browser executing JavaScript, but Flex can be costly and time-consuming to deploy.

Is AJAX a security risk? Probably. But let's not drag Web services through the mud just because AJAX is one of today's most commonly used SOA clients.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.