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November 2007

Web 2.0 application development techniques introduce new information security risks

Ajax, Java and other dynamic application coding methods have pulled computing power over to the client, introducing new risks and resurrecting old ones. The world of Web application development has recently been re-energized through the advent of Ajax technologies. Through these techniques, Web sites can appear to be more dynamic and interactive, giving the user the experience of a desktop application but with the ease of deployment and maintenance that comes with a server-based application. Enterprises have embraced this combination as a way to minimize deployment costs while maximizing user satisfaction. Yet these technologies and techniques carry a security risk. The difference between traditional Web applications and newer Web 2.0 Ajax applications is the amount of logic, data and processing that occurs on the client side. No longer are users merely dealing with HTML and Flash, but with complex programmatic logic in the form of JavaScript and sometimes massive amounts of structured data in the form of XML or JavaScript ...

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