SecureCanvas

The first ever whitelist based protection.
We're looking for investors!

Quick intro: I'm Egor Homakov and my day job is security consulting at Sakurity.

What do vulnerabilities have in common?

To detect and stop malicious web attacks you need to look for a lot of different activities. The one thing all attacks have in common though is they all look different from what normal users send.

For example, users are not supposed to:

No matter how often fancy promotional material says "machine learning", it will use a blacklist approach. Blacklists are known to be futile. Having to figure out ways to detect and block every action an attacker will perform is not effective. We need a new model.

We are going to create interface-based whitelist (what you see is all you can do). Users are supposed to type, scroll and click and this is the only thing SecureCanvas will allow them to do. This reduces the attack surface to absolute zero. Even the most vulnerable apps written by the most careless developer will become unhackable if its interface doesn't provide a way to hack it.

When the user requests http://example.com SecureCanvas loads the real example.com (which can only be accessed by SecureCanvas) in a virtual lightweight libwebkit-based browser. The user gets back a special syncronization page containing:

Implementation #1: Canvas and Remote Frame Buffer

Advantadges:

Disadvantadges:

Implementation #2: DOM snapshots instead of RFB

Instead of sending huge compressed PNGs over the wire it is easier to use HTML. SecureCanvas will get DOM diffs and patch current state in the user browser. virtual-dom and React.js by Facebook use a similar approach but for a very different purpose.

Advantadges:

Implementation #3: Hot request whitelisting

For every page the user requests, SecureCanvas creates a virtual twin browser with this page in the cloud. JavaScript code is injected into the page to transmit and replay all user actions in the twin browser. So when your local page sends a request, your twin browser sends a similar request. Once SecureCanvas has two equal requests from both browsers it proves the request is the legitimate result of interaction with the app interface, and the request is proxied to the real example.com server.

Website's behavior remains exactly the same. No network latency and no problems with 3rd party requests.

URL Guard

To prevent URL tampering SecureCanvas will have flexible URL validation system with following security model choices:

  1. Only root is allowed — perfect for online banks and standalone apps where the user is not supposed to share, nor open, URLs with specific path.
  2. HMAC-signed URLs (by default). For example http://example.com/users?id=homakov will look like http://example.com/users?id=homakov/d9fx49d0189e1759 in the address bar. Without the signature SecureCanvas will not accept it. This will prevent all kinds of access bypasses — you cannot load /private_info/OTHER_USER_ID without a valid signature for that path.
  3. Known URLs only. Opening /some_url will be allowed only if the SecureCanvas server previously navigated to that address
  4. Any URL is allowed.

It will be possible to skip SecureCanvas for non-browser endpoints such as APIs.

OWASP Top 10 and other bugs SecureCanvas prevents:

It doesn't protect you from bugs that can happen during normal browsing. However, SecureCanvas will make these significantly harder to exploit:
  1. Race conditions. You will be able to limit requests per seconds per UserID but some kinds of race conditions can be performed from different accounts, such as redeeming a voucher.
  2. DDoS. It might have anti-DDoS protection built-in but the nature of DDoS makes it impossible to prevent completely.
  3. Bots. Nobody can stop bots. The best you can do is to make the attack a little bit more expensive for them using hashcash or CAPTCHA. Everything else "that stops bots" is snake oil.
  4. Bruteforce.
  5. XSS and SQL injections via text inputs. There will be an option to disallow typing <>"'.

Solutions

There will be an Enterprise edition to install on premises for banks and companies with strict security policies. For everyone else there will be PaaS.

Fundraising

There's no prototype yet. We're looking for investors to speed this up.