Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Automated Testing of Complex Web 2.0 Applications Prevents Security Vulnerabilities

So far there are no methods to test complex web 2.0 applications systematically and at low cost for malfunctions and security vulnerabilities.
Therefore, computer scientists from Saarland University have developed a software system for checking complex web applications autonomously. They will show their technology on 5 March at the computer fair Cebit (Hall 9, booth F34). As of today the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is supporting the researchers in their effort to commercialize the technology by founding a spin-off.

“The police have discovered a new variant of internet fraud. The offender capitalizes on the complexity of social networks”, reported a newspaper a month ago in Southern Germany. Valentin Dallmeier, postdoc at the software engineering chair at Saarland University, is not surprised. He says that the methods that web developers and responsible project leaders rely on to try to find programming errors and security holes in web applications have been too ineffective and inefficient. “This is still done manually and therefore causes not only very high costs, but also high levels of risk for companies and the community,” Martin Burger explains. He works at the software engineering chair, too. Together the two postdocs want to change this serious deficit. Therefore they have developed the software system “Webmate”, which determines automatically why Web 2.0 applications fail.
For the transfer of the technology to a spin-off, they have just received 500,000 Euros from the national support program “EXIST” run by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). The program is aimed at improving the entrepreneurial environment at universities and research institutions and at increasing the number of technology- and knowledge-based business start-ups.

Computer scientists from Saarland University have developed a software system for checking complex web applications autonomously
bellhäuser - das bilderwerk

So called Web 2.0 applications run centrally on an online server. Therefore, in contrast to conventional programs, they are not installed on the user’s computer or laptop; instead, the user interacts with them via a web browser. In recent years, thanks to new web development technologies such as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), web applications can be used as smoothly as if they were installed on personal computers. AJAX takes care of organizing the transfer of data packets between the user’s computer and server in such a way that the delays incurred by the connection are barely noticeable. Hence, not only private users but also companies and the public sector are adopting web applications more and more frequently. However, news about data theft and malfunctions is also reported on a daily basis.

Dallmeier and Burger want to prevent such worst-case scenarios and other breakdowns. Businesses and their responsible web administrators will only have to type in their Web address. Afterwards the system discovers automatically how the different components of the application are connected to each other and via which menus, buttons, and other control panels the users are interacting with the application. Subsequently, it generates and executes test scenarios. If it discovers, for example, that the application is not compatible with a certain version of a browser, or a control panel no longer exists in a new version of the application, the system informs the developer immediately — likewise if a database is not connected, a server does not respond, or a link is dead. The web developer is able to repeat this test at any time.

Dallmeier, Burger and the three other persons planning to found the spin-off are sure that their technology will succeed. They estimate the market potential in Germany alone to be 120 million Euros annually.

Computer science research on the campus of Saarland University
The Department of Computer Science is not the only research institution which is exploring new aspects of computer science. Only a few yards from there, you can also find the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the Center for Bioinformatics, the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, the Intel Visual Computing Institute and the recently renewed Cluster of Excellence “Multimodal Computing and Interaction”.

For further information please contact:
Valentin Dallmeier
Tel: +49 681 302-70993

Gordon Bolduan, Science Communication
Cluster of Excellence “Multimodal Computing and Interaction”
Phone: +49 681 302-70741
During Cebit: +49 0511/ 89497024

Friederike Meyer zu Tittingdorf | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>