by Michal Zalewski
November 2011, 320 pp.
“Thorough and comprehensive coverage from one of the foremost experts in browser security.”
Modern web applications are built on a tangle of technologies that have been developed over time and then haphazardly pieced together. Every piece of the web application stack, from HTTP requests to browser-side scripts, comes with important yet subtle security consequences. To keep users safe, it is essential for developers to confidently navigate this landscape.
In The Tangled Web, Michal Zalewski, one of the world’s top browser security experts, offers a compelling narrative that explains exactly how browsers work and why they’re fundamentally insecure. Rather than dispense simplistic advice on vulnerabilities, Zalewski examines the entire browser security model, revealing weak points and providing crucial information for shoring up web application security. You’ll learn how to:
For quick reference, “Security Engineering Cheat Sheets” at the end of each chapter offer ready solutions to problems you’re most likely to encounter. With coverage extending as far as planned HTML5 features, The Tangled Web will help you create secure web applications that stand the test of time.
About the Author
Michal Zalewski is an internationally recognized information security expert with a long track record of delivering cutting-edge research. He is credited with discovering hundreds of notable security vulnerabilities and frequently appears on lists of the most influential security experts. He is the author of Silence on the Wire (No Starch Press), Google's "Browser Security Handbook," and numerous important research papers.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Security in the World of Web Applications
Part I: Anatomy of the Web
Part II: Browser Security Features
Part III: A Glimpse of Things to Come
View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
View the Index (PDF)(top)
"Thorough and comprehensive coverage from one of the foremost experts in browser security."
"For anyone involved in programming web pages, The Tangled Web should be considered required reading."
"I recommend reading this book if you want to know a lot, and I mean a lot, about how screwed up Web browsers, protocols, and related technologies truly are."
"A must-read for anyone who values their security and privacy online."
"Perhaps the most thorough and insightful treatise on the state of security for web-driven technologies to date. A must have!"
"The best book out there on web security right now."
"Does a fine job of dissecting the anatomy of the Web and offering an extensive look at browser security features and what to look for in the future. The issues covered are truly current and faced by all security professionals."
"A must read for any web developer, anyone that wonders why the Blue Coat proxy system chucks out such strange packets, and anyone that really wants to understand how the web works from a security perspective."
"Most security books either focus on underlying theory or on a single application or service, covered in detail. What's interesting about The Tangled Web is that it does some of both. Unlike a lot of people, Zalewski...knows his internet history, and he uses the right amount of it to put today's problems in context and explain their genesis."
"I love this book... there's no other way to say it. Every once in a while you get a book that's well written, contains good content, and sparks those little ideas in the back of your brain."
"Of particular value is the discussion of how features interact, sometimes in unexpected ways, to make what seems an innocuous or even beneficial change become a disaster waiting to happen. The practical guidance on how to avoid such pitfalls and do a better job with security using the currently available technology is both timely and to-the-point."
"The book offers a fascinating insight into technologies we all use and appreciate, and is a definite must-read (and re-read) for web developers and everyone else who deals with web application security."
"The sort of book that should be required reading for every web developer."
"A fascinating, enlightening and enjoyable read."
"While I thought that I knew all about a lot of the areas that this book covers, in just about every section the author went beyond what I knew to discuss aspects of the technology that I had never considered."
"A fantastic book on the current state of affairs for web security, and one which I cannot help but classify as 5 stars."
"If you're a developer, tester, or infrastructure implementer, you would be wise to read and then re-read The Tangled Web."
"Perhaps one the most valuable parts of The Tangled Web is how Zalewski adds a handy "Security Engineering Cheat Sheet" to the end of each chapter. Having these quick tips at ones fingertips is a remarkable asset and great addition to the book."
"Provides an invaluable reference for anyone working with, testing or deploying web applications."
"The amount of knowledge conveyed in the book is breath-taking."
"Michal Zalewski has a colorful writing style. His book is serious and loaded with technical detail, but that doesn't stop him from turning a nice phrase here and there."
"Fun to read, educational and (if you are actually creating websites) very useful."
"This is a must read for anyone who wants to engage web client security on a professional level."
"Whether you work in IT security or are a web application developer, this definitely is a book you don't want to miss."
"Zalewski's book puts a bright, uncomfortable spotlight on the fundamental insecurities of Web browsers, but it also shows you how to improve the security of Web applications."
"A solid book, full of interesting and useful information. For web developers and security experts it should be a must read book."
"If you're a web developer and want to get a better understanding of security I think this is a very good book and worth checking out."