Difference between revisions of "Testing for Session Management"

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''' 4.7 Session Management Testing'''
 
''' 4.7 Session Management Testing'''
 
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At the core of any web-based application is the way in which it maintains state and thereby controls user-interaction with the site. Session Management broadly covers all controls on a user from authentication to leaving the application.
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One of the core components of any web-based application is the mechanism by which it controls and maintains the state for a user interacting with it. This is referred to this as Session Management and is defined as the set of all controls governing state-full interaction between a user and the web-based application. This broadly covers anything from how user authentication is performed, to what happens upon them logging out.  
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HTTP is a stateless protocol, meaning that web servers respond to client requests without linking them to each other.  Even simple application logic requires a user's multiple requests to be associated with each other across a "session”.  This necessitates third party solutions – through either Off-The-Shelf (OTS) middleware and web server solutions, or bespoke developer implementations.  Most popular web application environments, such as ASP and PHP, provide developers with built-in session handling routines. Some kind of identification token will typically be issued, which will be referred to as a “Session ID” or Cookie.
 
HTTP is a stateless protocol, meaning that web servers respond to client requests without linking them to each other.  Even simple application logic requires a user's multiple requests to be associated with each other across a "session”.  This necessitates third party solutions – through either Off-The-Shelf (OTS) middleware and web server solutions, or bespoke developer implementations.  Most popular web application environments, such as ASP and PHP, provide developers with built-in session handling routines. Some kind of identification token will typically be issued, which will be referred to as a “Session ID” or Cookie.
 
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There are a number of ways in which a web application may interact with a user.  Each is dependent upon the nature of the site, the security, and availability requirements of the application.
 
Whilst there are accepted best practices for application development, such as those outlined in the [[OWASP Guide Project|OWASP Guide to Building Secure Web Applications]], it is important that application security is considered within the context of the provider’s requirements and expectations. In this chapter we describe the following items.<br>
 
  
[[Testing for Session_Management_Schema  (OWASP-SM-001)|4.7.1 Testing for Session Management Schema (OWASP-SM-001)]]<br>
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This describes how to analyse a Session Management Schema, with the goal to understand how the Session Management mechanism has been developed and if it is possible to break it to bypass the user session. It explains how to test the security of session tokens issued to the client's browser: how to reverse engineer a cookie, and how to manipulate cookies to hijack a session.<br>
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There are a number of ways in which a web application may interact with a user. Each is dependent upon the nature of the site, the security, and availability requirements of the application. Whilst there are accepted best practices for application development, such as those outlined in the [[OWASP Guide Project|OWASP Guide to Building Secure Web Applications]], it is important that application security is considered within the context of the provider’s requirements and expectations.  
[[Testing for cookies attributes (OWASP-SM-002)|4.7.2 Testing for Cookies attributes (OWASP-SM-002)]]<br>
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Cookies are often a key attack vector for malicious users (typically, targeting other users) and, as such, the application should always take due diligence to protect cookies. In this section, we will look at how an application can take the necessary precautions when assigning cookies and how to test that these attributes have been correctly configured.<br>
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[[Testing for Session Fixation  (OWASP-SM-003)|4.7.3 Testing for Session Fixation  (OWASP-SM-003)]]<br>
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This chapter covers the following topics:
When an application does not renew the cookie after a successful user authentication, it could be possible to find a session fixation vulnerability and force a user to utilize a cookie known to the attacker.<br>
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[[Testing for Exposed Session Variables  (OWASP-SM-004)|4.7.4 Testing for Exposed Session Variables  (OWASP-SM-004)]]<br>
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Session Tokens represent confidential informations because they tie the user identity with his own session. It's possible to test if the session token is exposed to this vulnerability and try to create a replay session attack.
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[[Testing for CSRF (OWASP-SM-005)|4.7.5 Testing for CSRF (OWASP-SM-005)]]<br>
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Cross Site Request Forgery describes a way to force an unknowing user to execute unwanted actions on a web application in which he is currently authenticated. This section describes how to test an application to find this kind of vulnerability.<br>
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[[Testing for Session_Management_Schema (OWASP-SM-001)|4.7.1 Testing for Bypassing Session Management Schema (OTG-SESS-001)]]
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[[Testing for cookies attributes (OWASP-SM-002)|4.7.2 Testing for Cookies attributes (OTG-SESS-002)]]
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[[Testing for Session Fixation  (OWASP-SM-003)|4.7.3 Testing for Session Fixation (OTG-SESS-003)]]
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[[Testing for Exposed Session Variables  (OWASP-SM-004)|4.7.4 Testing for Exposed Session Variables (OTG-SESS-004)]]
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[[Testing for CSRF  (OWASP-SM-005)|4.7.5 Testing for Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) (OTG-SESS-005)]]
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[[Testing for logout functionality (OWASP-SM-007)|4.7.6 Testing for logout functionality (OTG-SESS-007)]]
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[[Test Session Timeout (OTG-SESS-008)|4.7.7 Test Session Timeout (OTG-SESS-008)]]
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[[Testing for Session puzzling (OTG-SESS-010)|4.7.8 Testing for Session puzzling (OTG-SESS-010)]]

Revision as of 14:24, 14 May 2014

This article is part of the new OWASP Testing Guide v4.
Back to the OWASP Testing Guide v4 ToC: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Testing_Guide_v4_Table_of_Contents Back to the OWASP Testing Guide Project: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Testing_Project


4.7 Session Management Testing


One of the core components of any web-based application is the mechanism by which it controls and maintains the state for a user interacting with it. This is referred to this as Session Management and is defined as the set of all controls governing state-full interaction between a user and the web-based application. This broadly covers anything from how user authentication is performed, to what happens upon them logging out.


HTTP is a stateless protocol, meaning that web servers respond to client requests without linking them to each other. Even simple application logic requires a user's multiple requests to be associated with each other across a "session”. This necessitates third party solutions – through either Off-The-Shelf (OTS) middleware and web server solutions, or bespoke developer implementations. Most popular web application environments, such as ASP and PHP, provide developers with built-in session handling routines. Some kind of identification token will typically be issued, which will be referred to as a “Session ID” or Cookie.


There are a number of ways in which a web application may interact with a user. Each is dependent upon the nature of the site, the security, and availability requirements of the application. Whilst there are accepted best practices for application development, such as those outlined in the OWASP Guide to Building Secure Web Applications, it is important that application security is considered within the context of the provider’s requirements and expectations.


This chapter covers the following topics:

4.7.1 Testing for Bypassing Session Management Schema (OTG-SESS-001)

4.7.2 Testing for Cookies attributes (OTG-SESS-002)

4.7.3 Testing for Session Fixation (OTG-SESS-003)

4.7.4 Testing for Exposed Session Variables (OTG-SESS-004)

4.7.5 Testing for Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) (OTG-SESS-005)

4.7.6 Testing for logout functionality (OTG-SESS-007)

4.7.7 Test Session Timeout (OTG-SESS-008)

4.7.8 Testing for Session puzzling (OTG-SESS-010)