Category:OWASP Top Ten Project

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Welcome to the OWASP Top Ten Project

The OWASP Top Ten provides a minimum standard for web application security. The OWASP Top Ten represents a broad consensus about what the most critical web application security flaws are. Project members include a variety of security experts from around the world who have shared their expertise to produce this list. There are currently versions in English, French, Japanese, and Korean. A Spanish version is in the works. We urge all companies to adopt the standard within their organization and start the process of ensuring that their web applications do not contain these flaws. Adopting the OWASP Top Ten is perhaps the most effective first step towards changing the software development culture within your organization into one that produces secure code.


You can browse the Top Ten online, or download a PDF version.

Thanks to our amazing teams of translators, the Top Ten is now available in:

  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Top Ten Overview

The following list summarizes the OWASP Top Ten. However, we strongly recommend reading the full report, as each area covers quite a lot of ground.

A1 Unvalidated Input
Information from web requests is not validated before being used by a web application. Attackers can use these flaws to attack backend components through a web application.
A2 Broken Access Control
Restrictions on what authenticated users are allowed to do are not properly enforced. Attackers can exploit these flaws to access other users' accounts, view sensitive files, or use unauthorized functions.
A3 Broken Authentication and Session Management
Account credentials and session tokens are not properly protected. Attackers that can compromise passwords, keys, session cookies, or other tokens can defeat authentication restrictions and assume other users' identities.
A4 Cross Site Scripting
The web application can be used as a mechanism to transport an attack to an end user's browser. A successful attack can disclose the end user?s session token, attack the local machine, or spoof content to fool the user.
A5 Buffer Overflow
Web application components in some languages that do not properly validate input can be crashed and, in some cases, used to take control of a process. These components can include CGI, libraries, drivers, and web application server components.
A6 Injection
Web applications pass parameters when they access external systems or the local operating system. If an attacker can embed malicious commands in these parameters, the external system may execute those commands on behalf of the web application.
A7 Improper Error Handling
Error conditions that occur during normal operation are not handled properly. If an attacker can cause errors to occur that the web application does not handle, they can gain detailed system information, deny service, cause security mechanisms to fail, or crash the server.
A8 Insecure Storage
Web applications frequently use cryptographic functions to protect information and credentials. These functions and the code to integrate them have proven difficult to code properly, frequently resulting in weak protection.
A9 Application Denial of Service
Attackers can consume web application resources to a point where other legitimate users can no longer access or use the application. Attackers can also lock users out of their accounts or even cause the entire application to fail.
A10 Insecure Configuration Management
Having a strong server configuration standard is critical to a secure web application. These servers have many configuration options that affect security and are not secure out of the box.


OWASP would like to thank the researchers at Aspect Security for their leadership and contributions to the Top Ten project.

International Translators

  • Ludovic Petit (French)
  • Satoru Takahashi (Japanese)
  • Jeremy Bae (Korean)
  • Juan Carlos Calderon,
  • Pedro DelReal, Rogelio Morell and Javier Muzquiz (Spanish)

Users and Adopters

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission strongly recommends that all companies use the OWASP Top Ten and ensure that their partners do the same. In addition, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency has listed the OWASP Top Ten as key best practices that should be used as part of the DOD Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation (C&A) Process (DITSCAP).


In the commercial market, VISA references OWASP standards in their formidable Cardholder Information Security Program, which requires (among other things) that all merchants get a security code review for all their custom code. In addition, a broad range of companies and agencies around the globe are also using the OWASP Top Ten, including:

  • Sprint
  • IBM Global Services
  • Cognizant
  • Foundstone Strategic Security
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
  • Sun Microsystems
  • British Telecom
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  • Sempra Energy
  • Corillian Corporation
  • A.G. Edwards
  • Texas Dept of Human Services
  • Predictive Systems
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers
  • Best Software
  • Online Business Systems
  • ZipForm
  • Contra Costa County, CA
  • SSP Solutions
  • Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
  • Zapatec
  • Cboss Internet
  • Samsung SDS (Korea)
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Bank of Newport
  • ...and many others

Several schools have also adopted the OWASP Top Ten as a part of their curriculum, including Michigan State University (MSU), and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).


Please let us know how your organization is using the Top Ten. Include your name, organization's name, and brief description of how you use the list. Thanks for supporting OWASP!

We hope you find the information in the OWASP Top Ten useful. Please contribute back to the project by sending your comments, questions, and suggestions to Thanks!

To join the OWASP Top Ten mailing list or view the archives, please visit the subscription page.


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