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Web Application Attacks – Most Common Types

Web Application Attacks

Millions of companies have recently been using the Internet to communicate information with potential customers. The Internet is especially useful as it allows marketers to know the users of their sites and start communication. Moreover, web applications are perfect sales platforms, so it is crucial to protect all sensitive. Serious weaknesses and vulnerabilities may help malicious hackers gain direct and public access to valuable databases or content management systems.

Suppose you want to defend your website or application from cyber threats. In that case, you should know common web application attacks, the newest attack vectors, their types, consequences, and ways of detection to mitigate vulnerabilities and keep the content database safe and secure.

What are Web Application Attacks?

Web app attacks happen when cyber criminals want to access unauthorized files to steal data or some sensitive details or just for fun. Attackers generally first look into the application layer and seek application vulnerability code. Though attack primarily targets certain programming languages, an enormous variety of different languages are targeted by attacks, such as NET – Ruby, Java – Nodejs & Python. Vulnerability can be found in custom code and freeware frameworks and libraries too.

Malicious hackers know many people have trouble with software releases and improper coding. 85% of development experts say that the application is vulnerable when it goes into production. This battle combines cybersecurity experts with Cyber Criminals. Both are always trying to catch on to each other, as attackers try to improve security on older software. Application attacks have evolved faster than application security measures. So, what are the most common web application attacks?

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

These attacks target not to breach web application security but to block normal web application server traffic and make the site work offline for some time. They prevent legitimate visitors from gaining access to the app. You must know how to test DDoS protection by delivering this function to security teams. One attack can cost a fortune to a small business as it can interrupt infrastructure, block traffic, and thus decrease the site’s reliability or application. If you want to prevent web application attacks, you need to apply Web application firewalls if the DDoS Attacks withhold other cyberattacks and mitigate the traffic.

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks

OWASP lists the XSS attacks as one of the most common application attacks of the day. The attacker often attacks by seeking vulnerabilities that permit them to access code. By exploiting vulnerabilities, cybercriminals can inject malicious code on the client side and control HTTP requests. Cybercriminals can instantly access PII and credit card numbers without a law limit.

An XSS attack is generally not very advanced, and some of the most dangerous attacks come largely from script kiddies who are seasoned hacking experts using scripted software that others have written.

  • SQL Injection Attack

SQLi has mainly happened in cases where hackers have inserted sanitizing SQL in web pages and sent it to a database without correcting it. SQL attacks can delete sensitive information or reveal this information.

Approximately 65% of the vulnerabilities were attributed to SQL injection attacks. SQL statements can be accessed through authorization or authentication. When bad actors obtain SQL data and manipulate it to evade detection and execute corrupted commands, it will eventually be possible to gain access to otherwise unknown places.

  • Session Hijacking Attack

Several attacks have taken place against sessions that use session ID. This ID can be used for tracking your usage on our websites. In varying degrees of severity, the session ID may be manipulated and captured to launch session hijacking. Additionally, an attacker may obtain user credentials if a successful attack occurs.

  • Path Traversal Attacks

Path traversals or directory traversals are application attacks that target the web root folder of the application. A typical recursive directory traversal attack tricks an application to encrypt all the data within an application. A successful path traversal allows attackers to improperly access a site and user credentials and data from another site in the network.

  • Broken Access Control Attacks

Application development is typically designed using borders that aren’t easily accessible by the user. Infrastructure is at the other end, and the application’s internal workings are confined, allowing administrators to change structure only if required. A second aspect, the front-end, is available for authorized user access to the website. A broken access control attack is called when the border becomes blocked, or users can use administrative areas. Several broken access controls were found to occur frequently and could compromise the users’ credentials.

  • Phishing

This attack targets compromise system integrity and are among the most common social engineering attacks. The standard tool for phishing attacks is email. Cybercriminals try to trick users and make them reveale valuable data by sending fraudulent messages. It is vital to detect such attempts by checking the legitimacy of the sender’s email address and other technical security measures to mitigate any data breach,

  • Brute Force Attack

This web application attack is straightforward as it aims to access web applications’ login information. Attackers try to guess combinations in username and password to access the account directly. This process may be rather time-consuming unless the password is easy to guess. So, consider inventing a strong password or applying double authentication.

Protection Against Web App Attacks

It is essential to ensure the analysis and scanning of a web server and underlying structures to protect your business against website attacks. The most common methods of security testing are:

  • Automated vulnerability scanning and security testing 

Such programs assist in detecting, analyzing, and mitigating vulnerabilities before the attack occurs. In addition, it is cost-effective, as it decreases the likelihood of malicious attacks and any connected risks and outcomes.

  • Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) 

This program acts on the application level, catching exploitation techniques and the latest attack before they come into action. Thanks to access to all the layers of the site or web app, it is effective against any website attack.

  • Secure Development Testing (SDT) 

Since detailed testing and scanning web applications or sites during the development lifecycle is effective, it can show all the weaknesses before launching. In addition, the program provides data about the latest attack vectors so it can minimize the impact of targeted attacks and their consequences.


As the forms of attacks can vary and be amateur or professional, you should not neglect security features as the consequences may be deplorable. Since it is impossible to eliminate all the risks, you may minimize the negative impact by knowing about attacks from inside and applying all the security measures.


What are the different types of web application attacks?

Website applications could be attacked using various vector types and techniques. Some commonly used web attacks include cross-site scripts, SQL injections, path traversal, local files integration, and distributed denial of service (DDoS).

What are the application attacks?

Application attacks involve hackers accessing unauthorized places. Attackers typically look at applications and search for vulnerabilities in code to churn sensitive data. Applications are attractive targets, as legacy applications leave many vulnerabilities behind. 

What is an example of a web app authentication attack?

Weaknesses of authentication are common, including incorrectly hashed and passwords salted, leaky user accounts with user passwords, improper timeout settings, brute force or forensic password stuffing, and password 1 or admin1234.