The Owasp Orizon Framework

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OWASP Code Review Guide Table of Contents


A lot of open source projects exist in the wild performing static code review analysis. This is good, it means that source code testing for security issues is becoming a constraint.

Such tools bring a lot of valuable points:

  • community support
  • source code freely available to anyone
  • costs

On the other side, these tools don't share the most valuable point among them: the security knowledge. All these tools have their own security library with a lot of checks contained into without sharing such knowledge.

In 2006 Owasp Orizon project is born to provide a common underlying layer to all opensource projects concern static analysis.

Orizon project includes:

  • a set of APIs that developers can use to build their own security tool performing static analysis
  • a security library with checks to apply to source code
  • a tool, Milk, able to static analyze a source code using Orizon Framework.

The Owasp Orizon Architecture

In the following picture, the Owasp Orizon version 1.0 architecture is shown. As you may see, the framework is organized in engines that perform tasks over the source code and a block of tools that are deployed out of the box in order to use the APIs in a real world static analysis.

The Owasp Orizon v1.0 architecture

With all such elements, a developer can be scared to use the framework, that's why a special entity called SkyLine was created. Before going further into SkyLine analysis, it's very important to understand all the elements Orizon is made of.

Your personal butler: the SkyLine class

Named core in the architectural picture, SkyLine object is one of the most valuable news into Orizon version 1.0.

The idea behind SkyLine is simple: the Orizon architecture becomes wider, regular developers may be scared about understanding a lot of APIs in order to build their security tool, so we can help them providing a "per service" support.

Using SkyLine object, developers can ask services to Orizon framework waiting for their accomplishment.

The main SkyLine input is:

public boolean launch(String service)

Passing the requested service as string parameter, the calling program will receive a boolean true return value if the service can be accomplished or a false value otherwise.

The service name is compared to the ones understood by the framework:

      private int goodService(String service) {

int ret = -1; if (service.equalsIgnoreCase("init")) ret = Cons.OC_SERVICE_INIT_FRAMEWORK; if (service.equalsIgnoreCase("translate")) ret = Cons.OC_SERVICE_INIT_TRANSLATE; if (service.equalsIgnoreCase("static_analysis")) ret = Cons.OC_SERVICE_STATIC_ANALYSIS; if (service.equalsIgnoreCase("score")) ret = Cons.OC_SERVICE_SCORE; return ret; }

The Translation factory

One of the Owasp Orizon goals is to be independent from the source language being analyzed. This means that Owasp Orizon will support:

  • Java
  • C, C++
  • C#
  • perl
  • ...

Such support is granted using an intermediate file format to describe the source code and used to apply the security checks. Such format is XML language.

A source code, before static analysis is started, is translated into XML. Starting from version 1.0, each source code is translated in 4 XML files:

  • an XML file containing statistical information
  • an XML file containing variables tracking information
  • an XML file containing program control flow (local analysis)
  • an XML file containing call graph (global analysis)

As the time this document is written (Owasp Orizon v1.0pre1, September 2008) only Java programming language is supported, however other programming language will follow soon.