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Two Cloudmersive APIs to Detect Insecure Deserialization Threats
7/7/2023 - Brian O'Neill

Any time data travels between applications, across networks, or even within the confines of a single application, that data is converted to and transported as a stream of bytes in a process called Serialization. When that data reaches its destination, the exact opposite process occurs; the parser receiving the data interprets the incoming stream of bytes and uses that information to construct a replica of the original data objects. This follow-up process, called Deserialization, is what makes it possible for an application’s code to efficiently process and use external data within its code base.

skull made of data

Understanding Insecure Deserialization Threats

The data parsing mechanisms responsible for deserialization can be viewed as omnipresent doorways into any application. As a result, securing those doorways is critical to any application’s security. If a threat actor successfully identifies a vulnerable data parser (e.g., one which blindly trusts and fails to sanitize user input), they can manipulate serialized objects in a way that tricks the application into taking malicious actions on their behalf. This vulnerability can be used to achieve remote code execution, force an escalation of privileges within the application, or even provide the attacker with direct access to unauthorized data.

Detecting Insecure Deserialization Threats

Thankfully, Cloudmersive APIs are equipped to detect insecure deserialization threats in several forms. Below, we’ll highlight our anti-Insecure Deserialization policies and discuss how they can protect your applications from harm.

Detect Insecure Deserialization JSON Attacks from Text Input

JSON is one of the most common data formats used across the digital world today. While it’s generally considered a very secure format due to its readability and relatively simplistic structure, it’s still possible for threat actors to launch insecure deserialization attacks through poorly sanitized JSON parsers, and the contemporary popularity of JSON as a safer alternative to extensible formats like XML makes it increasingly worthwhile for threat actors to try.

This iteration of our Security API is designed specifically to identify Insecure Deserialization attempts within JSON strings, and it can be used to block threats before they reach the application codebase. The API response provides a Boolean value indicating if a given text string contained an attack.

Advanced Scan a File for Viruses

The Advanced Scan iteration of our Virus Scan API is designed to block multiple unique threat types in a single comprehensive policy. It allows developers and/or administrators to set custom rules against threats embedded within common file types, while simultaneously checking files for more than 17 million virus and malware signatures.

One of the custom threat rules available in this API’s request body targets Insecure Deserialization threats found in JSON and myriad additional object serialization files, and you can set this threat rule to “False” in order to trigger a “CleanResult: False” response whenever Insecure Deserialization attacks are detected.

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