Application Center Test in VS .NET

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Application Center Test
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Application Center Test, a tool included with Visual Studio .NET, is primarily designed to test the performance of ASP.NET applications. However, it should not be overlooked as a tool for testing resistance to DoS attacks. DoS attacks against applications are effective because the applications do not scale efficiently. Testing an ASP.NET application under heavy load simulates one type of a DoS attack against your application, and Application Center Test will reveal how your application responds to heavy load, and which pages in your application fail.
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Lesson 2: Testing Assemblies for Vulnerabilities
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Figure 3-4 shows a Web application being tested. As shown in the figure, the Web application is responding to between 0 and 40 requests per second a relatively low rate that is not likely to withstand even an unsophisticated DoS attack. However, the application is not producing HTTP errors, which is a good sign.
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Microsoft Application Center Test is a good way to test resistance to DoS attacks.
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Application Center Test produced the following summary output from a live Web server that handled about 250 requests per second. In the Response Codes section, notice that 100 percent of the response codes were 200 the HTTP success response code. An application that was less resistant to DoS attacks would have begun returning other HTTP response codes, such as 500. Errors Counts
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Additional Network Statistics
Average bandwidth (bytes/sec): 1,120,257.96 Number of bytes sent (bytes): 18,957,590 Number of bytes received (bytes): 317,119,798 Average rate of sent bytes (bytes/sec): 63,191.97
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3
Testing Applications for Vulnerabilities
Average rate of received bytes (bytes/sec): 1,057,065.99 Number of connection errors: 0 Number of send errors: 0 Number of receive errors: 0 Number of timeout errors: 0
Response Codes
Response Code: 200 - The request completed successfully. Count: 48,719 Percent (%): 100.00
If the application does not scale well, you can view the Requests report to determine which pages are the sources of the bottleneck. Application Center Test records the average time to first byte and time to last byte for each page in your test.
Tip You should focus your development time on increasing the efficiency of the pages that had the highest response times; they are the most likely to be targeted during a DoS attack.
When creating tests, remember that attackers might not use standard, well-formed HTTP requests. They might submit invalid information to your application specifically to induce a processor-intensive error-handling routine. Fortunately, Application Center Test provides a great deal of flexibility and can simulate a potentially malicious request during a test.
Off the Record
Unfortunately, no amount of testing or scalability can make your application entirely resistant to DoS attacks. Well-formed distributed DoS attacks will almost always cause an application, computer, or the underlying network to become inaccessible. Yes, with proper tuning, you can enable your application to resist an attacker with a single computer. However, if your application gets targeted by an attacker who controls thousands of zombie computers (compromised computers that an attacker controls), you re going offline.
Permissions View Tool
The Permissions View tool (Permview.exe) is a command-line tool that developers and testers can use to view the permission sets requested by an assembly or to view all declarative security used by an assembly. For example, you can use Permview.exe to verify that a developer has specifically requested permissions in the assembly, and that the permissions are not excessive. The following output shows Permview analyzing an
Lesson 2: Testing Assemblies for Vulnerabilities
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assembly that contains a minimum permission set request of Unrestricted, which would be considered excessive in most circumstances:
Microsoft (R) .NET Framework Permission Request Viewer. (C) Microsoft Corp. 1998-2000 Version 1.1.4322.573 Copyright
minimal permission set:
<PermissionSet class="System.Security.PermissionSet version ="1">
<Unrestricted/>
</PermissionSet>
optional permission set:
Not specified
refused permission set:
Not specified
Permview is included with the .NET Framework software development kit. It is probably not in your path by default, but if you installed Visual Studio .NET 2003, you can find it in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\SDK\v1.1\Bin\ folder.
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