Sunday, June 23, 2013

Responsible use of the ASP.NET MVC AntiForgeryToken

June 23, 2013 Posted by Jason , , No comments

The use of anti-forgery tokens is a necessary safeguard against cross-site request forgery attacks. The ASP.NET MVC framework provides easy-to-use security mechanisms right out of the box, but unfortunately these are opt-in rather than opt-out and are easy to miss/forget. For a non-trivial website it is difficult to guarantee tokens are supplied and checked in all form submissions and AJAX posts. This is how I do it.
Note: Web security is a tricky business and I do not consider myself a security expert. Use the information in this post at your own risk.

1. Use the ValidateJsonAntiForgeryToken attribute for AJAX calls

There's a nice post by Johan Driessen on anti-XSRF validation with newer versions of the .NET framework. I use Johan's ValidateJsonAntiForgeryToken attribute to great effect. In summary, Johan's attribute should be applied to actions invoked via AJAX calls. Check out his blog post - it explains everything in detail.

2. Ensure all AJAX posts contain a verification token

In my root layout file (master page) I use the following code to set expectations for jQuery AJAX calls. Prior to executing a call, the request verification token is read from the current page (Note: a Html.AntiForgeryToken call needs to be in place in every page which will utilize ajax posts) and passed into the request header. This saves me from needing to specify a token every time I create an AJAX call. (This can easily be modified to only send the token for desired HTTP verbs)
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3. Ensure all POST methods have validation attributes applied

It's very easy to forget to apply the ValidateAntiForgeryToken attribute when developing new actions. I have a little unit test that I run to ensure that all post methods have either ValidateAntiForgeryToken or ValidateJsonAntiForgeryToken applied. The test fails and prints a list of offender actions when appropriate. This is a lifesaver when, inevitably, I'm developing some new functionality in a rush and haven't given security its appropriate consideration (hopefully this is a rarity).
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Hopefully this saves somebody some time. Let me know if there are any considerations that I have missed, or if you know of a more elegant method of achieving the same!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mocking NHibernate with Typemock Isolator is Awesome

June 21, 2013 Posted by Jason , No comments

Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Typemock

Unit testing methods that contain NHibernate calls is notoriously difficult. In fact, a common suggestion is to give up and use an in memory database instead. This is fine (I've personally tried it on multiple occasions), and it works I suppose, but has always felt more like integration testing than unit testing (what happened to "no external dependencies"?..perhaps I'm a purist) and undoubtedly slows down the test suite - especially in all but non trivial cases where reference data needs to be loaded.

I'm a novice Isolator user and messed around with the RecordExpectations syntax for a little bit before realizing just how simple Isolator makes things. Once you understand the warnings that Typemock puts out there, things get really easy. Really easy.

First Attempt
Let's say I wanted to fake the count of the products currently mapped to a specific category on my website. Normally the chained nature of NHibernate queryover calls requires mocking a LOT of stuff.

When you attempt to use Isolator's Isolate.WhenCalled method like in the case below, you may get an error message. Don't get despondent!


 var session = Isolate.GetFake<ISession>(controller);

        .Where(x => x.Category == category && x.IsEnabled == true)

Error Message
There is nothing better (or more rare) than getting a useful error message. In fairness, Typemock provides just that - not only highlighting the issue, but suggesting a fix too. Wonderful!

Test 'mytest' failed:
    TypeMock.ArrangeActAssert.NestedCallException : 
*** WhenCalled does not support using a method call as an argument.
-   To fix this pass null instead of Expression.Lambda()

* Example - this would work:
-   MyObj argument = Something.Other().GetStuff();
-   Isolate.WhenCalled(() => ObjUnderTest.MethodUnderTest(argument))...;
* Example - this would not work:
-   Isolate.WhenCalled(() => ObjUnderTest.MethodUnderTest(Something.Other().GetStuff()))...;
    at cx.a()
    at g4.a()
    at bh.a(Boolean A_0)
    at dl.b(Boolean A_0)
    at ij.b(Boolean A_0)
    at ij.a(Object A_0, Boolean A_1, Func`1 A_2, Action A_3, Action A_4, Action A_5, Boolean A_6)
    at ij.e(Object A_0)
    at TypeMock.ArrangeActAssert.ExpectationEngine`1.a(TResult A_0)

Updated Syntax
The issue here is that in the chained Where call I am using a lambda expression to filter my query. Since Typemock doesn't support methods being sent as arguments (and my lambda here is nothing more than an inline anonymous function) I need to break the lambda out into a standalone expression (Resharper is your friend).

What I end up with is the following terse (certainly compared to the alternative) syntax to mock a chained NHibernate call.

Expression<Func<CategoryProduct, bool>> expression = x => x => x.Category == category && x.IsEnabled == true;


While Isolator is pretty pricey, it's this kind of power that separates it from the pack. I defy anyone to show me a better/easier way to do this.