Use of Fuzzers Helps Discover XML Security Threats

I posted about fuzzing a few days ago, and I think the tools are neat, and in the hands of good testers can be powerful. They are a nice way to augment existing security testing, to test data transfers or messaging, or to simply generate test data. However, some of my readers basically said:

Big deal. It’s a neat toy for you, or some of your clients who have the time for that sort of thing, but why would I want to use one?

The Register has posted an interesting article where fuzzers were used to discover potential security holes in XML libraries. Check it out here: XML flaws threaten ‘enormous’ array of apps. If my babblings about fuzzing don’t get your attention, maybe this article will. The potential to use fuzzers (in conjunction with other security tools and techniques) to help people catch problems that bad guys will exploit is enormous.

Codemonicon, the company cited in the article, have a lot of interesting information and expertise in this area. They have a nice introduction to fuzzing on their website. This paper by Rauli Kaksonen has a lot of technical detail on fuzzing if you’d like to learn more.