How to Tame Your Service APIs: Evolving Airbnb’s Architecture

Video with transcript included: https://bit.ly/3yuLBQZ

Jessica Tai discusses the challenges scaling to hundreds of services, how to simplify APIs, the trade-offs in API design, and how to test and operate flexible aggregator APIs and service blocks.

This presentation was recorded at QCon Plus 2020: http://bit.ly/3pfdF6I

#api #airbnb

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How to Tame Your Service APIs: Evolving Airbnb’s Architecture

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Top 10 API Security Threats Every API Team Should Know

As more and more data is exposed via APIs either as API-first companies or for the explosion of single page apps/JAMStack, API security can no longer be an afterthought. The hard part about APIs is that it provides direct access to large amounts of data while bypassing browser precautions. Instead of worrying about SQL injection and XSS issues, you should be concerned about the bad actor who was able to paginate through all your customer records and their data.

Typical prevention mechanisms like Captchas and browser fingerprinting won’t work since APIs by design need to handle a very large number of API accesses even by a single customer. So where do you start? The first thing is to put yourself in the shoes of a hacker and then instrument your APIs to detect and block common attacks along with unknown unknowns for zero-day exploits. Some of these are on the OWASP Security API list, but not all.

Insecure pagination and resource limits

Most APIs provide access to resources that are lists of entities such as /users or /widgets. A client such as a browser would typically filter and paginate through this list to limit the number items returned to a client like so:

First Call: GET /items?skip=0&take=10 
Second Call: GET /items?skip=10&take=10

However, if that entity has any PII or other information, then a hacker could scrape that endpoint to get a dump of all entities in your database. This could be most dangerous if those entities accidently exposed PII or other sensitive information, but could also be dangerous in providing competitors or others with adoption and usage stats for your business or provide scammers with a way to get large email lists. See how Venmo data was scraped

A naive protection mechanism would be to check the take count and throw an error if greater than 100 or 1000. The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. For data APIs, legitimate customers may need to fetch and sync a large number of records such as via cron jobs. Artificially small pagination limits can force your API to be very chatty decreasing overall throughput. Max limits are to ensure memory and scalability requirements are met (and prevent certain DDoS attacks), not to guarantee security.
  2. This offers zero protection to a hacker that writes a simple script that sleeps a random delay between repeated accesses.
skip = 0
while True:    response = requests.post('https://api.acmeinc.com/widgets?take=10&skip=' + skip),                      headers={'Authorization': 'Bearer' + ' ' + sys.argv[1]})    print("Fetched 10 items")    sleep(randint(100,1000))    skip += 10

How to secure against pagination attacks

To secure against pagination attacks, you should track how many items of a single resource are accessed within a certain time period for each user or API key rather than just at the request level. By tracking API resource access at the user level, you can block a user or API key once they hit a threshold such as “touched 1,000,000 items in a one hour period”. This is dependent on your API use case and can even be dependent on their subscription with you. Like a Captcha, this can slow down the speed that a hacker can exploit your API, like a Captcha if they have to create a new user account manually to create a new API key.

Insecure API key generation

Most APIs are protected by some sort of API key or JWT (JSON Web Token). This provides a natural way to track and protect your API as API security tools can detect abnormal API behavior and block access to an API key automatically. However, hackers will want to outsmart these mechanisms by generating and using a large pool of API keys from a large number of users just like a web hacker would use a large pool of IP addresses to circumvent DDoS protection.

How to secure against API key pools

The easiest way to secure against these types of attacks is by requiring a human to sign up for your service and generate API keys. Bot traffic can be prevented with things like Captcha and 2-Factor Authentication. Unless there is a legitimate business case, new users who sign up for your service should not have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Instead, only trusted customers should have the ability to generate API keys programmatically. Go one step further and ensure any anomaly detection for abnormal behavior is done at the user and account level, not just for each API key.

Accidental key exposure

APIs are used in a way that increases the probability credentials are leaked:

  1. APIs are expected to be accessed over indefinite time periods, which increases the probability that a hacker obtains a valid API key that’s not expired. You save that API key in a server environment variable and forget about it. This is a drastic contrast to a user logging into an interactive website where the session expires after a short duration.
  2. The consumer of an API has direct access to the credentials such as when debugging via Postman or CURL. It only takes a single developer to accidently copy/pastes the CURL command containing the API key into a public forum like in GitHub Issues or Stack Overflow.
  3. API keys are usually bearer tokens without requiring any other identifying information. APIs cannot leverage things like one-time use tokens or 2-factor authentication.

If a key is exposed due to user error, one may think you as the API provider has any blame. However, security is all about reducing surface area and risk. Treat your customer data as if it’s your own and help them by adding guards that prevent accidental key exposure.

How to prevent accidental key exposure

The easiest way to prevent key exposure is by leveraging two tokens rather than one. A refresh token is stored as an environment variable and can only be used to generate short lived access tokens. Unlike the refresh token, these short lived tokens can access the resources, but are time limited such as in hours or days.

The customer will store the refresh token with other API keys. Then your SDK will generate access tokens on SDK init or when the last access token expires. If a CURL command gets pasted into a GitHub issue, then a hacker would need to use it within hours reducing the attack vector (unless it was the actual refresh token which is low probability)

Exposure to DDoS attacks

APIs open up entirely new business models where customers can access your API platform programmatically. However, this can make DDoS protection tricky. Most DDoS protection is designed to absorb and reject a large number of requests from bad actors during DDoS attacks but still need to let the good ones through. This requires fingerprinting the HTTP requests to check against what looks like bot traffic. This is much harder for API products as all traffic looks like bot traffic and is not coming from a browser where things like cookies are present.

Stopping DDoS attacks

The magical part about APIs is almost every access requires an API Key. If a request doesn’t have an API key, you can automatically reject it which is lightweight on your servers (Ensure authentication is short circuited very early before later middleware like request JSON parsing). So then how do you handle authenticated requests? The easiest is to leverage rate limit counters for each API key such as to handle X requests per minute and reject those above the threshold with a 429 HTTP response. There are a variety of algorithms to do this such as leaky bucket and fixed window counters.

Incorrect server security

APIs are no different than web servers when it comes to good server hygiene. Data can be leaked due to misconfigured SSL certificate or allowing non-HTTPS traffic. For modern applications, there is very little reason to accept non-HTTPS requests, but a customer could mistakenly issue a non HTTP request from their application or CURL exposing the API key. APIs do not have the protection of a browser so things like HSTS or redirect to HTTPS offer no protection.

How to ensure proper SSL

Test your SSL implementation over at Qualys SSL Test or similar tool. You should also block all non-HTTP requests which can be done within your load balancer. You should also remove any HTTP headers scrub any error messages that leak implementation details. If your API is used only by your own apps or can only be accessed server-side, then review Authoritative guide to Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for REST APIs

Incorrect caching headers

APIs provide access to dynamic data that’s scoped to each API key. Any caching implementation should have the ability to scope to an API key to prevent cross-pollution. Even if you don’t cache anything in your infrastructure, you could expose your customers to security holes. If a customer with a proxy server was using multiple API keys such as one for development and one for production, then they could see cross-pollinated data.

#api management #api security #api best practices #api providers #security analytics #api management policies #api access tokens #api access #api security risks #api access keys

Autumn  Blick

Autumn Blick

1601381326

Public ASX100 APIs: The Essential List

We’ve conducted some initial research into the public APIs of the ASX100 because we regularly have conversations about what others are doing with their APIs and what best practices look like. Being able to point to good local examples and explain what is happening in Australia is a key part of this conversation.

Method

The method used for this initial research was to obtain a list of the ASX100 (as of 18 September 2020). Then work through each company looking at the following:

  1. Whether the company had a public API: this was found by googling “[company name] API” and “[company name] API developer” and “[company name] developer portal”. Sometimes the company’s website was navigated or searched.
  2. Some data points about the API were noted, such as the URL of the portal/documentation and the method they used to publish the API (portal, documentation, web page).
  3. Observations were recorded that piqued the interest of the researchers (you will find these below).
  4. Other notes were made to support future research.
  5. You will find a summary of the data in the infographic below.

Data

With regards to how the APIs are shared:

#api #api-development #api-analytics #apis #api-integration #api-testing #api-security #api-gateway

An API-First Approach For Designing Restful APIs | Hacker Noon

I’ve been working with Restful APIs for some time now and one thing that I love to do is to talk about APIs.

So, today I will show you how to build an API using the API-First approach and Design First with OpenAPI Specification.

First thing first, if you don’t know what’s an API-First approach means, it would be nice you stop reading this and check the blog post that I wrote to the Farfetchs blog where I explain everything that you need to know to start an API using API-First.

Preparing the ground

Before you get your hands dirty, let’s prepare the ground and understand the use case that will be developed.

Tools

If you desire to reproduce the examples that will be shown here, you will need some of those items below.

  • NodeJS
  • OpenAPI Specification
  • Text Editor (I’ll use VSCode)
  • Command Line

Use Case

To keep easy to understand, let’s use the Todo List App, it is a very common concept beyond the software development community.

#api #rest-api #openai #api-first-development #api-design #apis #restful-apis #restful-api

Mike  Kozey

Mike Kozey

1656151740

Test_cov_console: Flutter Console Coverage Test

Flutter Console Coverage Test

This small dart tools is used to generate Flutter Coverage Test report to console

How to install

Add a line like this to your package's pubspec.yaml (and run an implicit flutter pub get):

dev_dependencies:
  test_cov_console: ^0.2.2

How to run

run the following command to make sure all flutter library is up-to-date

flutter pub get
Running "flutter pub get" in coverage...                            0.5s

run the following command to generate lcov.info on coverage directory

flutter test --coverage
00:02 +1: All tests passed!

run the tool to generate report from lcov.info

flutter pub run test_cov_console
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
File                                         |% Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
lib/src/                                     |         |         |         |                   |
 print_cov.dart                              |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |...,149,205,206,207|
 print_cov_constants.dart                    |    0.00 |    0.00 |    0.00 |    no unit testing|
lib/                                         |         |         |         |                   |
 test_cov_console.dart                       |    0.00 |    0.00 |    0.00 |    no unit testing|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
 All files with unit testing                 |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |                   |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|

Optional parameter

If not given a FILE, "coverage/lcov.info" will be used.
-f, --file=<FILE>                      The target lcov.info file to be reported
-e, --exclude=<STRING1,STRING2,...>    A list of contains string for files without unit testing
                                       to be excluded from report
-l, --line                             It will print Lines & Uncovered Lines only
                                       Branch & Functions coverage percentage will not be printed
-i, --ignore                           It will not print any file without unit testing
-m, --multi                            Report from multiple lcov.info files
-c, --csv                              Output to CSV file
-o, --output=<CSV-FILE>                Full path of output CSV file
                                       If not given, "coverage/test_cov_console.csv" will be used
-t, --total                            Print only the total coverage
                                       Note: it will ignore all other option (if any), except -m
-p, --pass=<MINIMUM>                   Print only the whether total coverage is passed MINIMUM value or not
                                       If the value >= MINIMUM, it will print PASSED, otherwise FAILED
                                       Note: it will ignore all other option (if any), except -m
-h, --help                             Show this help

example run the tool with parameters

flutter pub run test_cov_console --file=coverage/lcov.info --exclude=_constants,_mock
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
File                                         |% Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
lib/src/                                     |         |         |         |                   |
 print_cov.dart                              |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |...,149,205,206,207|
lib/                                         |         |         |         |                   |
 test_cov_console.dart                       |    0.00 |    0.00 |    0.00 |    no unit testing|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
 All files with unit testing                 |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |                   |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|

report for multiple lcov.info files (-m, --multi)

It support to run for multiple lcov.info files with the followings directory structures:
1. No root module
<root>/<module_a>
<root>/<module_a>/coverage/lcov.info
<root>/<module_a>/lib/src
<root>/<module_b>
<root>/<module_b>/coverage/lcov.info
<root>/<module_b>/lib/src
...
2. With root module
<root>/coverage/lcov.info
<root>/lib/src
<root>/<module_a>
<root>/<module_a>/coverage/lcov.info
<root>/<module_a>/lib/src
<root>/<module_b>
<root>/<module_b>/coverage/lcov.info
<root>/<module_b>/lib/src
...
You must run test_cov_console on <root> dir, and the report would be grouped by module, here is
the sample output for directory structure 'with root module':
flutter pub run test_cov_console --file=coverage/lcov.info --exclude=_constants,_mock --multi
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
File                                         |% Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
lib/src/                                     |         |         |         |                   |
 print_cov.dart                              |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |...,149,205,206,207|
lib/                                         |         |         |         |                   |
 test_cov_console.dart                       |    0.00 |    0.00 |    0.00 |    no unit testing|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
 All files with unit testing                 |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |                   |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
File - module_a -                            |% Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
lib/src/                                     |         |         |         |                   |
 print_cov.dart                              |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |...,149,205,206,207|
lib/                                         |         |         |         |                   |
 test_cov_console.dart                       |    0.00 |    0.00 |    0.00 |    no unit testing|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
 All files with unit testing                 |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |                   |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
File - module_b -                            |% Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
lib/src/                                     |         |         |         |                   |
 print_cov.dart                              |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |...,149,205,206,207|
lib/                                         |         |         |         |                   |
 test_cov_console.dart                       |    0.00 |    0.00 |    0.00 |    no unit testing|
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|
 All files with unit testing                 |  100.00 |  100.00 |   88.37 |                   |
---------------------------------------------|---------|---------|---------|-------------------|

Output to CSV file (-c, --csv, -o, --output)

flutter pub run test_cov_console -c --output=coverage/test_coverage.csv

#### sample CSV output file:
File,% Branch,% Funcs,% Lines,Uncovered Line #s
lib/,,,,
test_cov_console.dart,0.00,0.00,0.00,no unit testing
lib/src/,,,,
parser.dart,100.00,100.00,97.22,"97"
parser_constants.dart,100.00,100.00,100.00,""
print_cov.dart,100.00,100.00,82.91,"29,49,51,52,171,174,177,180,183,184,185,186,187,188,279,324,325,387,388,389,390,391,392,393,394,395,398"
print_cov_constants.dart,0.00,0.00,0.00,no unit testing
All files with unit testing,100.00,100.00,86.07,""

Installing

Use this package as an executable

Install it

You can install the package from the command line:

dart pub global activate test_cov_console

Use it

The package has the following executables:

$ test_cov_console

Use this package as a library

Depend on it

Run this command:

With Dart:

 $ dart pub add test_cov_console

With Flutter:

 $ flutter pub add test_cov_console

This will add a line like this to your package's pubspec.yaml (and run an implicit dart pub get):

dependencies:
  test_cov_console: ^0.2.2

Alternatively, your editor might support dart pub get or flutter pub get. Check the docs for your editor to learn more.

Import it

Now in your Dart code, you can use:

import 'package:test_cov_console/test_cov_console.dart';

example/lib/main.dart

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() {
  runApp(MyApp());
}

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  // This widget is the root of your application.
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Flutter Demo',
      theme: ThemeData(
        // This is the theme of your application.
        //
        // Try running your application with "flutter run". You'll see the
        // application has a blue toolbar. Then, without quitting the app, try
        // changing the primarySwatch below to Colors.green and then invoke
        // "hot reload" (press "r" in the console where you ran "flutter run",
        // or simply save your changes to "hot reload" in a Flutter IDE).
        // Notice that the counter didn't reset back to zero; the application
        // is not restarted.
        primarySwatch: Colors.blue,
        // This makes the visual density adapt to the platform that you run
        // the app on. For desktop platforms, the controls will be smaller and
        // closer together (more dense) than on mobile platforms.
        visualDensity: VisualDensity.adaptivePlatformDensity,
      ),
      home: MyHomePage(title: 'Flutter Demo Home Page'),
    );
  }
}

class MyHomePage extends StatefulWidget {
  MyHomePage({Key? key, required this.title}) : super(key: key);

  // This widget is the home page of your application. It is stateful, meaning
  // that it has a State object (defined below) that contains fields that affect
  // how it looks.

  // This class is the configuration for the state. It holds the values (in this
  // case the title) provided by the parent (in this case the App widget) and
  // used by the build method of the State. Fields in a Widget subclass are
  // always marked "final".

  final String title;

  @override
  _MyHomePageState createState() => _MyHomePageState();
}

class _MyHomePageState extends State<MyHomePage> {
  int _counter = 0;

  void _incrementCounter() {
    setState(() {
      // This call to setState tells the Flutter framework that something has
      // changed in this State, which causes it to rerun the build method below
      // so that the display can reflect the updated values. If we changed
      // _counter without calling setState(), then the build method would not be
      // called again, and so nothing would appear to happen.
      _counter++;
    });
  }

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    // This method is rerun every time setState is called, for instance as done
    // by the _incrementCounter method above.
    //
    // The Flutter framework has been optimized to make rerunning build methods
    // fast, so that you can just rebuild anything that needs updating rather
    // than having to individually change instances of widgets.
    return Scaffold(
      appBar: AppBar(
        // Here we take the value from the MyHomePage object that was created by
        // the App.build method, and use it to set our appbar title.
        title: Text(widget.title),
      ),
      body: Center(
        // Center is a layout widget. It takes a single child and positions it
        // in the middle of the parent.
        child: Column(
          // Column is also a layout widget. It takes a list of children and
          // arranges them vertically. By default, it sizes itself to fit its
          // children horizontally, and tries to be as tall as its parent.
          //
          // Invoke "debug painting" (press "p" in the console, choose the
          // "Toggle Debug Paint" action from the Flutter Inspector in Android
          // Studio, or the "Toggle Debug Paint" command in Visual Studio Code)
          // to see the wireframe for each widget.
          //
          // Column has various properties to control how it sizes itself and
          // how it positions its children. Here we use mainAxisAlignment to
          // center the children vertically; the main axis here is the vertical
          // axis because Columns are vertical (the cross axis would be
          // horizontal).
          mainAxisAlignment: MainAxisAlignment.center,
          children: <Widget>[
            Text(
              'You have pushed the button this many times:',
            ),
            Text(
              '$_counter',
              style: Theme.of(context).textTheme.headline4,
            ),
          ],
        ),
      ),
      floatingActionButton: FloatingActionButton(
        onPressed: _incrementCounter,
        tooltip: 'Increment',
        child: Icon(Icons.add),
      ), // This trailing comma makes auto-formatting nicer for build methods.
    );
  }
}

Author: DigitalKatalis
Source Code: https://github.com/DigitalKatalis/test_cov_console 
License: BSD-3-Clause license

#flutter #dart #test