SPI Adds Web Application Security Tools for Java, AJAX

The vulnerability-testing specialist adds support for Java and Microsoft AJAX applications to the latest version of its DevInspect package.

SPI Dynamics launched the newest iteration of its DevInspect Web applications vulnerability testing software on Nov. 6, adding support for programs written in Java and Microsofts flavor of AJAX.

The Atlanta-based software maker introduced several new add-ons to DevInspect 3.0, which promises to help Web applications designers locate potential flaws in their work using so-called black box testing tools in combination with source code inspection technology.

By identifying and verifying exploitable security defects using the automated black box system, and scouring program source code for more common errors, the company maintains that the product provides customers with a hybrid technique for eliminating potential glitches in Web-based systems.

The product also seeks to facilitate more effective communication related to vulnerability reporting and remediation between IT security specialists and software developers.

Among the features added to DevInspect 3.0 is full support for developers building Web applications in the Java and J2EE programming languages.

The company said the product integrates directly with the Eclipse and IBM Rational Application Developer environments, speeding code writers abilities to secure their work.

SPI is making DevInspect for Java available as a stand-alone tool or as a plug-in for its existing products, and said the package also integrates with IBMs Rational ClearQuest to help foster management of security issues within development teams.

As more companies begin using tools to test for security issues during the development process, allowing for such team interaction is becoming increasingly vital, said Jason Schmitt, group product manager for SPI.

"We definitely see some activity from the security teams in advocating that developers address security at a higher-level, and that there is more top-down direction to encourage that, whereas most developers still dont put security at the top of their priorities," said Schmitt.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about IBMs roadmap for Rational tool development.

"At the same time, every developer doesnt have time to become a security expert, so its key to facilitate better communication between everyone involved to make sure that vulnerabilities dont fall through the cracks."

SPI also announced that through close collaboration with Microsoft, it has added support for Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions in DevInspect 3.0.

As more developers build applications using the AJAX Web services technique, which melds elements of asynchronous JavaScript and XML to increase the interactivity of Web sites, there is increasing demand for related security testing tools, the company says.

At this years Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, SPI lead research engineer Billy Hoffman detailed the growing issue of insecure AJAX applications as businesses rush to adopt the technology without considering all the potential for creating serious vulnerabilities.

Several attacks, including a program hidden on the popular MySpace.com social networking site, have already sought to take advantage of such weaknesses, he said.

Officials with Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said the software giant is hoping to encourage more people working with its own flavor of AJAX to embrace applications security technologies.

"As technology such as AJAX aggressively evolves to increase the positive experience of users on the Web, [we] maintain a focused commitment to improving application security," said Brian Goldfarb, group product manager of Microsofts Web Platform and Tools Group at Microsoft.

"SPI Dynamics has worked with Microsoft and the ASP.NET AJAX team to raise awareness of application security issues and deliver developer security solutions that assist in the development of more secure software through the Microsoft Visual Studio platform."

SPI also announced today the release of DevInspect 3.0 for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, an integrated defect tracking and configuration management offering, which is also aimed at helping developers and security specialists share information on potential vulnerabilities.

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