Security

Top 10 Web Application Security Risks From OWASP

by on November 11, 2013 9:25 am

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a worldwide not-for-profit charitable organization focused on improving the security of software. Its mission is to make software security visible, so that individuals and organizations worldwide can make informed decisions about true software security risks. Every few years the organization publishes a top 10 list on web application security risks. First released back in 2003, the list was just updated in June 2013.

Here is a summary of their 10 most critical web application security risks. Click each link for more details.

Injection

Injection flaws, such as SQL, OS, and LDAP injection occur when untrusted data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. The attacker’s hostile data can trick the interpreter into executing unintended commands or accessing data without proper authorization.

Broken Authentication and Session Management

Application functions related to authentication and session management are often not implemented correctly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

XSS flaws occur whenever an application takes untrusted data and sends it to a web browser without proper validation or escaping. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the victim’s browser which can hijack user sessions, deface web sites, or redirect the user to malicious sites.

Insecure Direct Object References

A direct object reference occurs when a developer exposes a reference to an internal implementation object, such as a file, directory, or database key. Without an access control check or other protection, attackers can manipulate these references to access unauthorized data.

Security Misconfiguration

Good security requires having a secure configuration defined and deployed for the application, frameworks, application server, web server, database server, and platform. Secure settings should be defined, implemented, and maintained, as defaults are often insecure. Additionally, software should be kept up to date.

Sensitive Data Exposure

Many web applications do not properly protect sensitive data, such as credit cards, tax IDs, and authentication credentials. Attackers may steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. Sensitive data deserves extra protection such as encryption at rest or in transit, as well as special precautions when exchanged with the browser.

Missing Function Level Access Control

Most web applications verify function level access rights before making that functionality visible in the UI. However, applications need to perform the same access control checks on the server when each function is accessed. If requests are not verified, attackers will be able to forge requests in order to access functionality without proper authorization.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

A CSRF attack forces a logged-on victim’s browser to send a forged HTTP request, including the victim’s session cookie and any other automatically included authentication information, to a vulnerable web application. This allows the attacker to force the victim’s browser to generate requests the vulnerable application thinks are legitimate requests from the victim.

Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities

Components, such as libraries, frameworks, and other software modules, almost always run with full privileges. If a vulnerable component is exploited, such an attack can facilitate serious data loss or server takeover. Applications using components with known vulnerabilities may undermine application defenses and enable a range of possible attacks and impacts.

Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards

Web applications frequently redirect and forward users to other pages and websites, and use untrusted data to determine the destination pages. Without proper validation, attackers can redirect victims to phishing or malware sites, or use forwards to access unauthorized pages.

Knowing the more critical common risks and establishing practices to mitigate these risks is of great importance to web application developers.

Final Note

Web application developers must actively protect against these security risks, so it’s important to keep up-to-date. Utilize this summary as a jumping-off point to do your research and mitigate the risk.

— Todd Horn, asktheteam@keyholesoftware.com

More Information:

  • Share:

Leave a Reply

Things Twitter is Talking About
  • RT @OMGFactsTECH: The first two video games copyrighted in the U.S. were Asteroids and Lunar Lander in 1980
    October 1, 2014 at 3:21 PM
  • Expansion update: remodel construction & electrical done; mudding, painting & carpet to go. Can't wait for our bigger team rooms!
    October 1, 2014 at 1:14 PM
  • Reddit's ExplainLikeImFive has good discussion brewing - "How does a coding language get 'coded' in the first place?" http://t.co/tXj3dISHCi
    September 30, 2014 at 11:10 AM
  • Each dev language has its own way of working with random number generation. See how #JavaScript & #Java stack up: http://t.co/QENl4kGVIs
    September 30, 2014 at 10:43 AM
  • .@TheGrisExplores: there's a new comment on your Dependency Injection Options for Java blog post - http://t.co/vs897t7bHd (Just FYI :-) )
    September 29, 2014 at 1:48 PM
  • Don't miss Vince Pendergrass' first post on the Keyhole blog - Don’t just randomize, truly randomize! http://t.co/QENl4kGVIs #cryptography
    September 29, 2014 at 9:57 AM
  • .@manohart Thank you for reading! Post author Alok Pandey has answered your question here - http://t.co/Uhn9Bv9L1a
    September 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM
  • Tech Night is now! @zachagardner & @lukewpatterson are presenting to the team on #Docker Code-Along style. Great discussions to be had!
    September 25, 2014 at 5:15 PM
  • Neat - A #JavaScript promise is an I.O.U. to return a value in the future. Here's a quick overview of promises: http://t.co/6wCz9aP4Qn
    September 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM
  • A huge welcome to Matthew Brown who joins the Keyhole team today!
    September 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM
  • RT @darrellpratt: A Journey From Require.js to Browserify http://t.co/t6N7Db1I4A
    September 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM
  • Creating a UI Designer for Quick Development - http://t.co/pNrayNFs5T http://t.co/hvqOaD6Wfq
    September 24, 2014 at 10:40 AM
  • We are under construction! Knocking down walls & expanding our offices in Leawood, KS this week. http://t.co/ph6JElh8lr
    September 23, 2014 at 9:46 AM
  • Did you know? Today in 1986 it was ruled that computer code is protected under copyright law - http://t.co/mCmWPvKOBE
    September 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM
  • Don't miss Alok Pandey's very first post on the Keyhole blog - Creating a UI Designer for Quick Development http://t.co/dWYMCOO3rf
    September 22, 2014 at 2:43 PM
  • If you're a Java dev, you're likely familiar with Annotations. But have you created your own #Java Annotations? Ex - http://t.co/mf1F3eIDY3
    September 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM
  • Check out a quick intro to Functional Reactive Programing and #JavaScript - http://t.co/4LSt6aPJvG
    September 20, 2014 at 11:15 AM
  • In Part 2 of our series on creating your own #Java annotations, learn about processing them with the Reflection API - http://t.co/E1lr3RmjI7
    September 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM
  • The life of a Keyhole consultant - A Delicate Balance: It’s What We Do http://t.co/ToRpWY3aix Blog as true today as the day it was written.
    September 19, 2014 at 9:50 AM
  • 7 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Developer - http://t.co/llPNMUN8nQ
    September 19, 2014 at 8:43 AM
Keyhole Software
8900 State Line Road, Suite 455
Leawood, KS 66206
ph: 877-521-7769
© 2014 Keyhole Software, LLC. All rights reserved.