OWASP Security Labeling System Project

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OWASP security labeling system2.png


Making security VISIBLE for everybody.


It is system of security labels for web applications and software(in general). It can be used for any distributed software (when the user install in his device), or in web applications where the user connects to a server(as in cloud services).


The labeling system is classified by 4 labels:

* Security(S). Security starts with SECURE CODING, and secure maintenance. This badge is for Software developed with a secure life cycle, following recommended security coding practices(OWASP TOP TEN, OWASP security principles...) and recommended security tools(Zed Attack Proxy, SAINT, Dependency check...)

* Privacy(P). Security is also about TRUST. Technical security is not relevant if Software comes with hidden non-authorized backdoors, or surveillance code by default. This Privacy badge is for Software free of non-authorized spyware, and web applications following ethical principles of data protection.

* Ingredients(I). Security is also about TRANSPARENCY. This condition is possible through the use of Open Source Software. Contemporary Software is built(and linked) by many components such as shared libraries, third party code, APIS, and so on. This label consists on Software exposing their components and third party code.

* Openness(O). Security might also be OPEN. Open security means having a fast and reliable IT security team. This openness label consists on exposing the Software or Web Application last vulnerability reports to the public.


The System provides 4 logos and 4 clauses(1 for each label). The clauses can be added before the copyright public licenses as a "license exception", or included in the warranty clause(or any other) in custom copyright licenses, license contracts, terms of services, or even privacy policies.

STEP 1: Get Registered in the OWASP Security Labeling system Site.

STEP 2: Download the label-logo(s) and paste before your copyright license, license contract, terms of service, or privacy policy.

STEP 3: Incorporate the correspondent label-clause(s) into your copyright license, license contract,terms of service,or privacy policy.


- Between DEVELOPER and the OWASP SECURITY LABELING PROJECT. By including the Labeling-logos, the Developer gets the compromise of following the OWASP labeling requirements.

- Between DEVELOPER and USERS. By incorporating the Labeling-Clauses, the Developer assumes a direct compromise with their software users. This compromise has a legal value as it is incorporated into the contract.

- Between OWASP SECURITY LABELING PROJECT and USERS. Users can report violations of the labeling system to the OWASP labeling project Volunteers.




After joining the OWASP community in my local chapter, I got the idea of a security labeling system. When I contacted Jeff Williams I found out that he already proposed a very similar idea few years ago. We think we can revive it. The OWASP international community has the purpose of making security visible, and opinions from different sides are crucial in order to create a practical and widely used labeling system.



Luis Enriquez


The OWASP Security Labeling System Project is free to use. All documentation is licensed under the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license], so you can copy, distribute and transmit the work, and you can adapt it, and use it commercially, but all provided that you attribute the work and if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.



Owasp-incubator-trans-85.png Owasp-builders-small.png
Project Type Files CODE.jpg

/*Add these clauses into your license contracts, terms of services or privacy policy(for the privacy label). If your software is licensed under the terms of a generic purpose FOSS public license(such as the GPL license, the Apache license, the Mozilla license, and so on...),you might add these clauses before the license terms as a license exception, or as additional terms.*/

OWASP SECURITY LABELING SYSTEM. This Software has been labeled under the OWASP security labeling system with the purpose of making security VISIBLE for everybody. THIS LEGAL COMPROMISE IS BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATOR or LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THIS SOFTWARE, AND THE END USER.

Security Label


SECURITY LABEL CLAUSE: Security is about secure coding. This software has been developed and is maintained following the highest secure coding practices. A list of all the security guides and tools used by the developers of this software must be included or linked through this notice.

Privacy Label


PRIVACY LABEL CLAUSE: Security is about Trust. This Software comes free of non authorized spy-ware or surveillance code of any kind. The administrator,legal representer, or person in charge of this software will not sale, commercialize, or miss-use user's personal data without the user's permission.

Ingredients Label


INGREDIENTS LABEL CLAUSE: Security is about Transparency. This software discloses a list of all its software components in a human readable file, including source code, plug-ins, shared libraries, and third party code. This compromise is only effective is the provider distributes a list of all components within the packet, and a link to access the source code.

Openness Label


OPENNESS LABEL CLAUSE: Security is about Transparency. This Web application makes available its latest vulnerability reports to the public. The report or a link to the report must be clearly published in this Web application. This compromise is only effective if the vulnerability report's date is not older than 1 week.



The user must download this software from trusted sources, verify the correspondent hash-sum of the packets, and maintain the software with the recommended security updates and patches.

Please visit the DEMO page for a guide on how to apply this system to your computer programs distribution, or web applications.

Why creating a security labeling system is important?

Making security more visible.
Is a transnational and market wise solution. 
Visual, and easy to apply. 
Different labeling categories for different purposes.
Which security labels can I add to my Software?

Security label(S). Privacy label(P). Ingredients label(I). Openness label(O).

What is the Security label(S) about?

It certifies that certain software follows a secure life cycle, recommended scan policies, secure coding practices, quick vulnerabilities patches, and is programmed and maintained by developers with a software security orientation.
Why is the Security label(S) relevant?
Many software projects are already using OWASP guides and tools. A lot of them require developers to follow the OWASP secure coding principles. This label will make these security practices visible for users.

What is the Privacy label(P) about?

This label certifies that your software does not come with non-authorized spyware, and that your personal data will be respected.
Why is the Privacy label relevant?
Developers assume the legal compromise of not including hidden backdoors and surveillance code. 
The user would also have the obligation of checking the software hashsums.

What is the Ingredients label(I) about?

Is about exposing all the components of your software, such as API's, shared libraries, third party software.
Why is the Ingredients label(I) relevant?
Because it will help developers and users to identify properly third party code, evaluate the risks of using it, 
avoid non intentional license compatibility controversies, and so forth.

What is the Openness label(O) about?

It is dedicated to high security environments. Web Applications will expose their vulnerabilities of the 
last vulnerability scan the public. They will have the time to patch them until the next vulnerabilities scan. 
The scans should be fixed in a regular basis(e.g. each week).
Why is the Openness label(O) relevant?

Getting this label means that a security team reveals their vulnerabilities to the public as expected. 
but at the same time, it shows to the public how good and fast they are in order to fix them. 


The OWASP Security Labeling System is developed by a worldwide team of volunteers. The primary contributors to date have been:

  • Luis Enriquez (Copyright & IT Lawyer)
  • Jeff Williams (Computer Security Expert)
  • Jorge Lara (Graphical Designer)

The priorities of the OWASP Security Labeling System are:

(1)Create and Distribute opinion polls to different sides involved in the IT environment(such as software developers, e-commerce agents, IT security firms, Cyber communities, Internet rights NGOs, lawyers, and of course, users). This stage has already begun, and results are helping us to shape the model.

(2)Create the most suitable methodology for the security labeling system. At this point seems that the best methodology is to create a clause(or declaration) for each badge type, which will have to be included in IT contracts, licenses(additional terms for public licenses), terms of service, or privacy policies. The Developer has the compromise of providing the OWASP labeling system conditions.

(3)Application of the labeling system. The OWASP labeling system volunteers will contribute to check that the system is working properly. The label can always be removed.

Involvement in the development and promotion of the OWASP Security Labeling System is actively encouraged! You do not have to be a security or legal expert in order to contribute. Some of the ways you can help:

  • Distribute the opinion polls.
  • Improve the system.
  • Translate the 'clauses' to other languages in a legal way.
  • Improve this wiki.

/*This example shows how to include the OWASP Security Labeling System clauses into a common software download. The computer program jazz-scales.zip includes the SECURITY, PRIVACY and INGREDIENTS labels:*/

Jazz-scales is labeled under the OWASP SECURITY LABELING SYSTEM as:

Owasp-security-scaled.png Privacy-scaled.png Owasp-ingredients-scaled.png

Download jazz-scales.zip from here: File:Jazz-scales.zip You must verify the hash-sum of the .zip package before installing: MD5sum= faffffac8cb288233951cee6587dee33 SHA1sum= 00c533903ab6c3afc717021e724b479f8637c41a

YOU MUST read the READ-ME file, and the LICENSE agreement before using this software.

Coming soon...

What does this OWASP project offer you?
What releases are available for this project?
what is this project?
Name: OWASP Security Labeling System Project
Purpose: Creating a security labeling system for software and web applications This labeling system would be based in different criteria It concerns technical and legal security The former idea was proposed by jeff Williams years ago
License: Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0
who is working on this project?
Project Leader(s):
  • Luis Enriquez @
how can you learn more?
Project Pamphlet: Not Yet Created
Project Presentation:
Mailing list: Mailing List Archives
Project Roadmap: View
Key Contacts
  • Contact Luis Enriquez @ to contribute to this project
  • Contact Luis Enriquez @ to review or sponsor this project
  • Contact the GPC to report a problem or concern about this project or to update information.
current release
Not Yet Published
last reviewed release
Not Yet Reviewed

other releases