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Hack Proofing ColdFusion

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Hack Proofing ColdFusion, 9781928994770 (1928994776), Syngress Publishing, 2002

In preparation for the creation of this book I spent a weekend at my home in Massachusetts setting up one of my personal computers to be a testing server. My home is serviced by AT&T and we have a high-speed modem with a fixed IP number.This, combined with the installation of some new software, made for a very fun weekend of tweaking and adjusting until I had a very stable and solid development Web server to begin my work.The real fun, however, lay ahead.

I let the machine run for the weekend and on Monday afternoon, I reviewed my log files.Within 90 seconds of the machine being online and public to the world, it was being sniffed and prodded. I took the liberty of tracing some of these invasive surfers to their home computers. Here is what I found: Someone north of Seattle WA, for one, had (within two minutes of my being online) identified my IP number, determined that I was running a Microsoft Web server, and was trying to pass buffer overflows and cryptic parameters to directories and pages in my Web root. Fortunately this script kiddie was trying to send URL parameters to folders and files that I had already removed during setup and all they got on their end were 404 errors (file not found)—my way of saying: Go bug someone else’s machine!

This small exercise turned into an excellent example of what is out there.When I say out there, I mean anywhere out there.The attacker from Washington State may have just as easily come from overseas. Just being online means that you have all of the benefits and all of the danger of being attached to the largest computer network in the world.

That being said, one of the reasons why so many people choose to go online is the experience and content found in many Web sites, chat rooms and e-mail communication. Much of this content was built with the ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML). CFML came onto the market and has been adopted by hundreds of thousands of developers since 1995.The ColdFusion Server was the first application server available on any platform and their creators were ahead of their time.

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