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
  • Thank your #Sysadmin - today is System Administrator Appreciation Day. http://t.co/LcvDNa9kPg
    July 25, 2014 at 8:05 AM
  • @rickincanada Thx for your tweet! Shoot us an email at asktheteam@keyholesoftware.com so we can set up a time to talk. Have a good day.
    July 24, 2014 at 3:33 PM
  • Never used JAXB? Check out a simple usage pattern that pairs #JAXB’s data binding capabilities with JPA - http://t.co/Ki9G04HV5e
    July 24, 2014 at 9:53 AM
  • Guess what today is? Tell An Old Joke Day - http://t.co/835ORWMX6N! So, why do programmers always confuse Halloween & Xmas? 31 Oct = 25 Dec
    July 24, 2014 at 8:45 AM
  • MT @midwestio: Posted another #midwestio talk recording to our YouTube channel: @MinaMarkham on modular CSS. Watch: http://t.co/aU3LpfUoi4
    July 24, 2014 at 8:25 AM
  • We just posted pictures from our National Hot Dog Day Lunch Cookout. Check them out - http://t.co/To06plaw1C
    July 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM
  • Good free cheat sheet - #Java Performance Optimization Refcard from @DZone: http://t.co/7vBgsmqy08
    July 23, 2014 at 10:48 AM
  • Did you know today is a holiday? It's National Hot Dog Day! We're gearing up for our team lunch hot dog cookout & can't wait to celebrate.
    July 23, 2014 at 9:43 AM
  • Check out our newest blog: #JAXB – A Newcomer’s Perspective, Part 1 http://t.co/Ki9G04HV5e
    July 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM
  • New post on the Keyhole blog by Mark Adelsberger: #JAXB – A Newcomer’s Perspective, Part 1 http://t.co/Ki9G04HV5e
    July 21, 2014 at 2:27 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/BgCsYjxZKF
    July 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM
  • RT @gamasutra: Don't Miss: Unconventional Tips for Improving your Programming Skills http://t.co/6TFox7CKHU
    July 16, 2014 at 3:20 PM
  • We're about to send out our free monthly tech newsletter. Dev tips/articles via email. Not on the list yet? Sign up - http://t.co/F8h0NSiicZ
    July 15, 2014 at 11:57 AM
  • Have you ever tried creating your own #Java annotations? See a situation where it was beneficial - http://t.co/BgCsYjxZKF
    July 15, 2014 at 8:36 AM
  • There's a new post on the Keyhole blog by @jhackett01: Creating Your Own #Java Annotations - http://t.co/BgCsYjxZKF
    July 14, 2014 at 1:43 PM
  • We love development! Have you seen our weekly team blog? We show how to be successful with the tech we use. See it - http://t.co/nlRtb1XNQH
    July 12, 2014 at 2:35 PM
  • Rapid appdev has a bad rep, but there are ways to bring development time down the right way. Don't Fear the Rapid - http://t.co/aTPcAKOj0r
    July 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM
  • Automated Testing is great for dev, but does bring a set of challenges (especially for #agile teams). Success tips: http://t.co/1acl1ngO7i
    July 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM
  • This is fantastic - One small step for Google, one giant leap for empowering girls to code: http://t.co/R90V5DBkv1
    July 10, 2014 at 2:52 PM
  • #RabbitMQ: messaging software built on AMQP protocol. Learn relevant concepts & how to avoid common "gotchas" here: http://t.co/ZwMXlhKyX8
    July 10, 2014 at 9:31 AM
Keyhole Software
8900 State Line Road, Suite 455
Leawood, KS 66206
ph: 877-521-7769
© 2014 Keyhole Software, LLC. All rights reserved.