Difference between revisions of "Top 10 2013-What's Next for Verifiers"

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Welcome to the OWASP Top 10 2013! This update broadens one of categories from the 2010 version to be more inclusive of common, important vulnerabilities, and reorders some of the others based on changing prevalence data. It also brings component security into the spotlight by creating a specific category for this risk, pulling it out of the obscurity of the fine print of the 2010 risk A6: Security Misconfiguration.
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To verify the security of a web application you have developed, or one you are considering purchasing, OWASP recommends that you review the application’s code (if available), and test the application as well. OWASP recommends a combination of secure code review and application penetration testing whenever possible, as that allows you to leverage the strengths of both techniques, and the two approaches complement each other. Tools for assisting the verification process can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an expert analyst. OWASP’s assessment tools are focused on helping an expert become more effective, rather than trying to automate the analysis process itself.  
  
The OWASP Top 10 is based on risk data from 8 firms that specialize in application security, including 4 consulting companies and 4 tool vendors (2 static and 2 dynamic). This data spans over 500,000 vulnerabilities across hundreds of organizations and thousands of applications. The Top 10 items are selected and prioritized according to this prevalence data, in combination with consensus estimates of exploitability, detectability, and impact estimates.
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Standardizing How You Verify Web Application Security: To help organizations develop consistency and a defined level of rigor when assessing the security of web applications, OWASP has produced the OWASP [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/ASVS  Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS)]. This document defines a minimum verification standard for performing web application security assessments. OWASP recommends that you use the ASVS as guidance for not only what to look for when verifying the security of a web application, but also which techniques are most appropriate to use, and to help you define and select a level of rigor when verifying the security of a web application. OWASP also recommends you use the ASVS to help define and select any web application assessment services you might procure from a third party provider.
  
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.  
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Assessment Tools Suite: The [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Live_CD_Project  OWASP Live CD Project] has pulled together some of the best open source security tools into a single bootable environment or virtual machine (VM). Web developers, testers, and security professionals can boot from this Live CD, or run the VM, and immediately have access to a full security testing suite. No installation or configuration is required to use the tools provided on this CD.
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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 become vulnerable as new flaws are discovered. Please review the advice at the end of the Top 10 in “What’s Next For Developers, Verifiers, and Organizations” for more information.
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Secure code review is particularly suited to verifying that an application contains strong security mechanisms as well as finding issues that are hard to identify by examining the application’s output. Testing is particularly suited to proving that flaws are actually exploitable. That said, the approaches are complementary and in fact overlap in some areas.
  
Think positive. When you’re ready to stop chasing vulnerabilities and focus on establishing strong application security controls, OWASP has produced the Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS) as a guide to organizations and application reviewers on what to verify.
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Reviewing the Code: As a companion to the [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Guide_Project  OWASP Developer’s Guide], and the [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Testing_Project  OWASP Testing Guide], OWASP has produced the [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Code_Review_Guide  OWASP Code Review Guide] to help developers and application security specialists understand how to efficiently and effectively review a web application for security by reviewing the code. There are numerous web application security issues, such as Injection Flaws, that are far easier to find through code review, than external testing.
  
Use tools wisely. Security vulnerabilities can be quite complex and buried in mountains of code. In many cases, the most cost-effective approach for finding and eliminating these weaknesses is human experts armed with good tools.
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Code Review Tools: OWASP has been doing some promising work in the area of assisting experts in performing code analysis, but these tools are still in their early stages. The authors of these tools use them every day when performing their secure code reviews, but non-experts may find these tools a bit difficult to use. These include [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Code_Crawler  CodeCrawler], [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Orizon_Project  Orizon], and [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_O2_Platform  O2]. Only [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_O2_Platform  O2] has been under active development since the last release of the Top 10 in 2010
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There are other free, open source, code review tools. The most promising is [http://findbugs.sourceforge.net/index.html  FindBugs], and its new security focused plugin called: [http://h3xstream.github.com/find-sec-bugs/  FindSecurityBugs], both of which are for Java.
  
Push left. Focus on making security an integral part of your culture throughout your development organization. Find out more in the Open Software Assurance Maturity Model (SAMM) and the Rugged Handbook.
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Testing the Application: OWASP produced the [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Testing_Project  Testing Guide] to help developers, testers, and application security specialists understand how to efficiently and effectively test the security of web applications. This enormous guide, which had dozens of contributors, provides wide coverage on many web application security testing topics. Just as code review has its strengths, so does security testing. It’s very compelling when you can prove that an application is insecure by demonstrating the exploit. There are also many security issues, particularly all the security provided by the application infrastructure, that simply cannot be seen by a code review, since the application is not providing all of the security itself.  
  
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Application Penetration Testing Tools: [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/WebScarab  WebScarab], which was one of the most widely used of all OWASP projects, and the new ZAP, which now is far more popular, are both web application testing proxies. Such tools allow security analysts and developers to intercept web application requests, so they can figure out how the application works, and then submit test requests to see if the application responds securely to such requests. These tools are particularly effective at assisting in identifying XSS flaws, Authentication flaws, and Access Control flaws. [https://www.owasp.org/index.php/ZAP  ZAP] even has an [http://code.google.com/p/zaproxy/wiki/HelpStartConceptsAscan  active scanner] built in, and best of all it’s FREE!
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.
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We’d like to thank those organizations that contributed their vulnerability prevalence data to support the 2013 update:
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* Aspect Security
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* HP (Results for both Fortify and WebInspect)
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* Minded Security
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* Softtek
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* TrustWave
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* Veracode – Statistics
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* WhiteHat Security Inc. – Statistics
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Latest revision as of 16:34, 14 June 2013

← What's Next for Developers
2013 Table of Contents

2013 Top 10 List

What's Next for Organizations →
Get Organized

To verify the security of a web application you have developed, or one you are considering purchasing, OWASP recommends that you review the application’s code (if available), and test the application as well. OWASP recommends a combination of secure code review and application penetration testing whenever possible, as that allows you to leverage the strengths of both techniques, and the two approaches complement each other. Tools for assisting the verification process can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an expert analyst. OWASP’s assessment tools are focused on helping an expert become more effective, rather than trying to automate the analysis process itself.

Standardizing How You Verify Web Application Security: To help organizations develop consistency and a defined level of rigor when assessing the security of web applications, OWASP has produced the OWASP Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS). This document defines a minimum verification standard for performing web application security assessments. OWASP recommends that you use the ASVS as guidance for not only what to look for when verifying the security of a web application, but also which techniques are most appropriate to use, and to help you define and select a level of rigor when verifying the security of a web application. OWASP also recommends you use the ASVS to help define and select any web application assessment services you might procure from a third party provider.

Assessment Tools Suite: The OWASP Live CD Project has pulled together some of the best open source security tools into a single bootable environment or virtual machine (VM). Web developers, testers, and security professionals can boot from this Live CD, or run the VM, and immediately have access to a full security testing suite. No installation or configuration is required to use the tools provided on this CD.


Code Review

Secure code review is particularly suited to verifying that an application contains strong security mechanisms as well as finding issues that are hard to identify by examining the application’s output. Testing is particularly suited to proving that flaws are actually exploitable. That said, the approaches are complementary and in fact overlap in some areas.

Reviewing the Code: As a companion to the OWASP Developer’s Guide, and the OWASP Testing Guide, OWASP has produced the OWASP Code Review Guide to help developers and application security specialists understand how to efficiently and effectively review a web application for security by reviewing the code. There are numerous web application security issues, such as Injection Flaws, that are far easier to find through code review, than external testing.

Code Review Tools: OWASP has been doing some promising work in the area of assisting experts in performing code analysis, but these tools are still in their early stages. The authors of these tools use them every day when performing their secure code reviews, but non-experts may find these tools a bit difficult to use. These include CodeCrawler, Orizon, and O2. Only O2 has been under active development since the last release of the Top 10 in 2010 There are other free, open source, code review tools. The most promising is FindBugs, and its new security focused plugin called: FindSecurityBugs, both of which are for Java.

Security and Penetration Testing

Testing the Application: OWASP produced the Testing Guide to help developers, testers, and application security specialists understand how to efficiently and effectively test the security of web applications. This enormous guide, which had dozens of contributors, provides wide coverage on many web application security testing topics. Just as code review has its strengths, so does security testing. It’s very compelling when you can prove that an application is insecure by demonstrating the exploit. There are also many security issues, particularly all the security provided by the application infrastructure, that simply cannot be seen by a code review, since the application is not providing all of the security itself.

Application Penetration Testing Tools: WebScarab, which was one of the most widely used of all OWASP projects, and the new ZAP, which now is far more popular, are both web application testing proxies. Such tools allow security analysts and developers to intercept web application requests, so they can figure out how the application works, and then submit test requests to see if the application responds securely to such requests. These tools are particularly effective at assisting in identifying XSS flaws, Authentication flaws, and Access Control flaws. ZAP even has an active scanner built in, and best of all it’s FREE!

← What's Next for Developers
2013 Table of Contents

2013 Top 10 List

What's Next for Organizations →

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