WASC OWASP Web Application Firewall Evaluation Criteria Project

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Web application firewalls (WAF) are an evolving information security technology designed to protect web sites from attack. WAF solutions are capable of preventing attacks that network firewalls and intrusion detection systems can't, and they do not require modification of application source code.

As today's web application attacks expand and their relative level of sophistication increases, it is vitally important to develop a standardized criteria for WAFs evaluation. The Web Application Firewall Evaluation Criteria Project (WAFEC) serves two goals:

  • Help stakeholders understand what a WAF is and its role in protecting web sites.
  • Provide a tool for users to make an educated decision when selecting a WAF.

Project Structure

WAFEC is a joined project between The Web Application Security Consortium (WASC) and OWASP making sure the best minds in the industry, both those who work day and night to develop WAFs and those who implement and use them, are committed to ensure WAFEC is comprehensive, accurate and objective.


The first version of WAFEC was released in 2006 and is in wide use in the industry. In 2013, the project team was gearing up to release version 2. Due to a number of issues with WAFEC as outlined in the 2013 OWASP AppSecEU presentation WASC/OWASP WAFEC this project was sidelined until earlier this year when it transitioned from Ofer Shezaf to Tony Turner. We are now working on rebooting the WAFEC project and plan to release it in the second half of 2016. If you want to be a part of the project check out the Volunteering page or join the the mailing list and chime in when you feel ready.

More information

If you have any other question or idea, please contact WAFEC project leader Tony Turner.


News and Events

  • September 2015 AppSecUSA Workshop
  • June 2015 Project Reboot

Mailing List

1. Is WAFEC unfairly biased in favor of vendors who participate?

ANSWER: All contributions sourced by the vendor sub-group or provided by the active employee for any WAF vendor are peer-reviewed by all other participating vendors before the update can be committed. Vendors who want to have input in the direction of the WAFEC standard should see the Volunteering link and get involved.

2. Is WAFEC a dead project?

ANSWER: Most certainly not! WAFEC has been rebooted as of June 2015 under the leadership of Tony Turner and a project workshop is being held at the AppSecUSA conference in San Francisco to renew efforts at the next version. See the Roadmap for more information

3. Does WAFEC certify WAF vendors?

ANSWER: WAFEC does not currently provide certification but instead intends to provide tools for others to perform their own independent evaluation for WAF vendors. It is important that any evaluation take into consideration the unique requirements and documented use cases for the WAF as not all deployments will have the same requirements.

4. Does WAFEC recommend $vendorX?

ANSWER: WAFEC remains impartial and does not recommend or discourage any vendor over another. There are often scenarios where a less capable product may be a smarter choice than a best of breed solution, or a niche product may be very well-suited for a particular use case. The WAFEC team works with multiple vendors and does not show bias in any way. Any vendor is welcome to participate in standards development and contributions will be made public consistent with OWASP transparency expectations.

As of September 2015 the objectives are

Summer 2015

  • Re-establish project team - Initial team and structure created - Still LFV
  • Migrate existing v2.0 doc to Google Docs - Completed
  • Address outstanding comments - Comment integration completed into gDoc, but updates not yet incorporated into document

Fall 2015

  • Conduct workshop at AppSecUSA 2015
  • Create new document outline
  • Begin document re-work
  • Update existing sections to be relevant for 2015

Winter 2015

  • Create framework for evaluating controls
  • Logo and design work
  • Marketing strategy

Spring 2016

  • Complete 1st draft
  • Internal Testing
  • Conference presentation

Summer 2016

  • Pre-release/Beta
  • Socialize the project and upcoming release

Fall 2016

  • Release WAFEC v3.0
  • Post-release support

Winter 2016

  • Revisit associated tools like Response Matrix

Core Team

  • Tony Turner (Leader) – GuidePoint Security
  • Renaud Bidou – TrendMicro (formerly Radware and DenyAll)
  • Christian Heinrich (former WAFEC contributor)
  • Achim Hoffmann (former WAFEC contributor)

Vendor Sub-group

  • Peter Vogt – Sentrix
  • Erwin Huber – Ergon
  • Mark Kraynak – Imperva
  • Raphael Chileshe – Radware
  • Ido Breger – F5

If you are a prior contributor and want to participate in renewed efforts at WAFEC 2.0 and beyond please contact Tony Turner.

Current Needs include

  • Web App Pentesters experienced with WAF Bypasses
  • WAF Implementers
  • WAF Developers
  • WAF Vendor Liaisons
  • Metrics and standardization professional
  • Copy edit ninjas
  • Graphics designer

If you are interested, please contact WAFEC project leader Tony Turner.

What does this OWASP project offer you?
What releases are available for this project?
what is this project?
Name: WASC OWASP Web Application Firewall Evaluation Criteria Project (home page)
Purpose: WAFEC is a joined industry effort to define what Web Application Firewalls are and provide the application security community with a tool to learn about WAFs and evaluate the suitability of different WAFs for their needs.
License: Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5
who is working on this project?
Project Leader(s):
how can you learn more?
Project Pamphlet: Not Yet Created
Project Presentation:
Mailing list: Mailing List Archives
Project Roadmap: [Roadmap View]
Main links:
Key Contacts
  • Contact the GPC to report a problem or concern about this project or to update information.
current release
Version 1.0 of WAFEC was released in 2006 and is heavily used in the industry featuring in an estimated 50% of WAF RFPs. WAFEC 1.0 is available for download in the following formats:
last reviewed release
Not Yet Reviewed

other releases