The focus of this book is highly practical. Although we include sufficient background and theory for you to understand the vulnerabilities that web applications contain, our primary concern is the tasks and techniques that you need to master to break into them. Throughout the book, we spell out the specific steps you need to follow to detect each type of vulnerability, and how to exploit it to perform unauthorized actions. We also include a wealth of real-world examples, derived from the authors' many years of experience, illustrating how different kinds of security flaws manifest themselves in today's web applications.
Security awareness is usually a double-edged sword. Just as application developers can benefit from understanding the methods attackers use, hackers can gain from knowing how applications can effectively defend themselves. In addition to describing security vulnerabilities and attack techniques, we describe in detail the countermeasures that applications can take to thwart an attacker. If you perform penetration tests of web applications, this will enable you to provide high-quality remediation advice to the owners of the applications you compromise.