Security vendor Imperva has identified a vulnerability in AJAX, which it says an attacker could use to compromise an application based on the web scripting environment.

The vulnerability in the Direct Web Reporting component of the AJAX development framework is probably the first server-side-based vulnerability to be identified, according to Imperva, which has issued guidance on a workaround that would let application programmers close the hole.

"It's an access-control vulnerability," says Amichai Shulman, CTO at Imperva. The flaw, as described online by Imperva's Application Defense Center group, would let an attacker break into back-end databases and servers or launch a denial-of-service-attack.

Imperva noted that the AJAX Web application development framework is
"emerging as the lingua franca for building new generation Web 2.0 applications" such as Google Maps.

"We will see more and more of these vulnerabilities in the server-side framework," Shulman predicts. He said for now, it was the responsibility of application programmers to correct the flaw identified by Imperva, which may impact on their applications.