Top 10 2010

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Top 10 Introduction
Top 10 Risks




Welcome to the OWASP Top 10 2010! This significant update presents a more concise, risk focused list of the Top 10 Most Critical Web Application Security Risks. The OWASP Top 10 has always been about risk, but this update makes this much more clear than previous editions. It also provides additional information on how to assess these risks for your applications.

For each item in the top 10, this release discusses the general likelihood and consequence factors that are used to categorize the typical severity of the risk. It then presents guidance on how to verify whether you have problems in this area, how to avoid them, some example flaws, and pointers to links with more information.

The primary aim of the OWASP Top 10 is to educate developers, designers, architects, managers, and organizations about the consequences of the most important web application security weaknesses. The Top 10 provides basic techniques to protect against these high risk problem areas – and also provides guidance on where to go from here.


Don’t stop at 10. There are hundreds of issues that could affect the overall security of a web application as discussed in the OWASP Developer’s Guide. This is essential reading for anyone developing web applications today. Guidance on how to effectively find vulnerabilities in web applications are provided in the OWASP Testing Guide and OWASP Code Review Guide, which have both been significantly updated since the previous release of the OWASP Top 10.

Constant change. This Top 10 will continue to change. Even without changing a single line of your application’s code, you may already be vulnerable to something nobody ever thought of before. Please review the advice at the end of the Top 10 in “What’s Next For Developers, Verifiers, and Organizations” for more information.

Think positive. When you’re ready to stop chasing vulnerabilities and focus on establishing strong application security controls, OWASP has just produced the Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS) as a guide to organizations and application reviewers on what to verify.

Use tools wisely. Security vulnerabilities can be quite complex and buried in mountains of code. In virtually all cases, the most cost-effective approach for finding and eliminating these weaknesses is human experts armed with good tools.

Push left. Secure web applications are only possible when a secure software development lifecycle is used. For guidance on how to implement a secure SDLC, we recently released the Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (SAMM), which is a major update to the OWASP CLASP Project. {{Top_10_2010:SubsectionVulnerableTemplate|Acknowledgments| Thanks to Aspect Security for initiating, leading, and updating the OWASP Top 10 since its inception in 2003, and to its primary authors: Jeff Williams and Dave Wichers.

We’d like to thank those organizations that contributed their vulnerability prevalence data to support the 2010 update:

  • Aspect Security
  • Softtek
  • White Hat Security – Statistics

We’d also like to thank those who have contributed significant content or time reviewing this update of the Top 10: §Mike Boberski (Booz Allen Hamilton) Juan Carlos Calderon (Softtek) Michael Coates (Aspect Security) Jeremiah Grossman (White Hat Security) Paul Petefish (Solutionary, Inc.) Eric Sheridan (Aspect Security) Andrew van der Stock Colin Watson (Watson Hall, Ltd.) OWASP Denmark Chapter (Led by Ulf Munkedal) OWASP Sweden Chapter (Led by John Wilander)

Read the 2010 Release Notes or go straight to The 2010 Top 10.

Top 10 Introduction
Top 10 Risks

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