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Platinum Edition Using XHTML™, XML, and Java™ 2 by Andrew H. Watt, Mike Morgan, Jim O'Donnell, Eric Ladd

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CGI Security Issues: Recognizing Problems and Finding Solutions

Almost all CGI security holes come from interaction with the user. By accepting input from an outside source, a simple, predictable CGI program suddenly takes on any number of new dimensions, each of which might have the smallest crack through which a hacker can slip. It is interaction with the user—through XHTML forms or file paths—that gives CGI scripts their power but also makes them the most potentially dangerous part of running a Web server.

Caution

Writing secure CGI scripts is largely an exercise in creativity and paranoia. You must be creative to think of all the ways that users, either innocently or otherwise, can send you data that has the potential to cause trouble. And ...

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