What is JavaScript Risk?

A JavaScript risk is the exposure of security issues and vulnerabilities that can occur through enabling JavaScript on a website. While JavaScript can allow for a site to feature the latest and most interactive content and capabilities, as with anything, this program can also be manipulated to hack and extract a user’s private data, online behavior, and information.

JavaScript Risk Vulnerabilities

With the advancement of technology and dependency on the internet, a higher demand for high functioning websites can also up the stakes for hackers to gather detailed and sophisticated information about users without any detection. Many websites work to create a seamless and interactive experience for their visitors, however, within those features lies the vulnerabilities that hackers seize as an opportunity to infiltrate. Thus, it is vital for users and developers to be made aware of the types of JavaScripts risks that can violate their websites.

Tracking User Behavior: With JavaScript, a visitor’s online behaviors can be easily tracked. From page scrolls to mouse movements to even keyboard strokes. This information, when extracted properly, can reveal sensitive and private data that can then be used with malicious intent. Furthermore, browser cookies are also an ideal source for infiltration. For the convenience of the user, browser cookies store frequented behaviors and information to provide a better experience for the user. If this information has been compromised by hackers, this method of tracking can reveal highly sensitive information.

Snooping Typed Words: Keystrokes are a common feature that can be tracked by hackers but more daunting is the tracking of entire texts. Through JavaScript, hackers can monitor and track what users type even if that text is not officially sent off or submitted. It goes without mentioning that this information can also reveal sensitive information that can be manipulated and exposed to infiltrate other sensitive data.

Types of JavaScript Risks That Can Occur

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) : An unfortunately common JavaScript security risk is cross-site scripting. This threat occurs when hackers find vulnerabilities in otherwise legitimate websites and inject malicious code into the JavaScript of HTML code of the website. Once the hackers have taken control, they then carry out their specific code ultimately extracting the sensitive information or carrying out viruses throughout the site.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF): A cross-site forgery request is a highly deceitful method of hacking the JavaScript of a website. Essentially, hackers will create actions for the end user to complete unknowingly carrying out the malicious actions without their knowledge of participation.

How to Protect Websites from JavaScript Risk

While hackers will continue to advance their practices of injecting malicious code and violating a user’s private data, there are steps users and developers can employ to protect themselves and their websites from being attacked. Enabling security analyzers is a preferred method of assessing a website’s vulnerabilities. Once developers understand the vulnerabilities that could potentially be pathways for hackers to infiltrate, they can apply the correct adjustments or areas to watch in order to avoid any malicious activity.