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OWASP Top 10 – 2017

The Ten Most Critical Web Application Security Risks

What changed from 2013 to 2017?

Change has accelerated over the last four years, and the OWASP Top 10 needed to change. The OWASP Team has completely refactored the OWASP Top 10, revamped the methodology, utilized a new data call process, worked with the community, re-ordered the risks, rewritten each risk from the ground up, and added references to frameworks and languages that are now commonly used.

Over the last few years, the fundamental technology and architecture of applications has changed significantly:

  • Microservices written in node.js and Spring Boot are replacing traditional monolithic applications. Microservices come with their own security challenges including establishing trust between microservices, containers, secret management, etc. Old code never expected to be accessible from the Internet is now sitting behind an API or RESTful web service to be consumed by Single Page Applications (SPAs) and mobile applications. Architectural assumptions by the code, such as trusted callers, are no longer valid.
  • Single page applications, written in JavaScript frameworks such as Angular and React, allow the creation of highly modular feature-rich front ends. Client-side functionality that has traditionally been delivered server-side brings its own security challenges.
  • JavaScript is now the primary language of the web with node.js running server side and modern web frameworks such as Bootstrap, Electron, Angular, and React running on the client.
  • New issues, supported by data:
    • A4:2017-XML External Entities (XXE) is a new category primarily supported by source code analysis security testing tools (SAST) data sets.
  • New issues, supported by the community: The community has provided the insights into two forward looking weakness categories. After over 500 peer submissions, and removing issues that were already supported by data (such as Sensitive Data Exposure and XXE), the two new issues are:
    • A8:2017-Insecure Deserialization, which permits remote code execution or sensitive object manipulation on affected platforms.
    • A10:2017-Insufficient Logging and Monitoring, the lack of which can prevent or significantly delay malicious activity and breach detection, incident response, and digital forensics.
  • Merged or retired, but not forgotten:
    • A4-Insecure Direct Object References and A7-Missing Function Level Access Control merged into A5:2017-Broken Access Control.
    • A8-Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), as many frameworks include CSRF defenses, it was found in only 5% of applications.
    • A10-Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards, while found in approximately 8% of applications, it was edged out overall by XXE.

What changed from 2004 till 2017?

Lets take a look at the the OWASP Top 10 Categories starting from the year 2004. There have been publications in the years 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and the latest 2017 which is the 5 generations of OWASP Top 10 evolution.

20172013201020072004
InjectionInjectionInjectionCross-Site Scripting (XSS)Unvalidated Input
Broken AuthenticationBroken Authentication and Session ManagementCross-Site Scripting (XSS)Injection FlawsBroken Access Control
Sensitive Data ExposureCross-Site Scripting (XSS)Broken Authentication and Session ManagementMalicious File ExecutionBroken Authentication and Session Management
XML External Entities (XXE)Insecure Direct Object ReferencesInsecure Direct Object ReferencesInsecure Direct Object ReferenceCross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Broken Access ControlSecurity MisconfigurationCross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)Buffer Overflow
Security MisconfigurationSensitive Data ExposureSecurity MisconfigurationInformation Leakage and Improper Error HandlingInjection Flaws
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)Missing Function Level Access ControlInsecure Cryptographic StorageBroken Authentication and Session ManagementImproper Error Handling
Insecure DeserializationCross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)Failure to Restrict URL AccessInsecure Cryptographic StorageInsecure Storage
Using Components with Known VulnerabilitiesUsing Components with Known VulnerabilitiesInsufficient Transport Layer ProtectionInsecure CommunicationsApplication Denial of Service
Insufficient Logging & MonitoringUnvalidated Redirects and ForwardsUnvalidated Redirects and ForwardsFailure to Restrict URL AccessInsecure Configuration Management
All the data above has been summarized from OWASP Website!

Brief summary of each threat:

A1:2017- Injection:

Injection flaws, such as SQL, NoSQL, OS, and LDAP injection, occur when untrusted data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. The attacker’s hostile data can trick the interpreter into executing unintended commands or accessing data without proper authorization.

A2:2017-Broken Authentication:

Application functions related to authentication and session management are often implemented incorrectly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities temporarily or permanently.

A3:2017- Sensitive Data Exposure:

Many web applications and APIs do not properly protect sensitive data, such as financial, healthcare, and PII. Attackers may steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. Sensitive data may be compromised without extra protection, such as encryption at rest or in transit, and requires special precautions when exchanged with the browser.

A4:2017-XML External Entities (XXE):

Many older or poorly configured XML processors evaluate external entity references within XML documents. External entities can be used to disclose internal files using the file URI handler, internal file shares, internal port scanning, remote code execution, and denial of service attacks

A5:2017-Broken Access Control:

Restrictions on what authenticated users are allowed to do are often not properly enforced. Attackers can exploit these flaws to access unauthorized functionality and/or data, such as access other users’ accounts, view sensitive files, modify other users’ data, change access rights, etc.

A6:2017-Security Misconfiguration:

Security misconfiguration is the most commonly seen issue. This is commonly a result of insecure default configurations, incomplete or ad hoc configurations, open cloud storage, misconfigured HTTP headers, and verbose error messages containing sensitive information. Not only must all operating systems, frameworks, libraries, and applications be securely configured, but they must be patched and upgraded in a timely fashion.

A7:2017- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS):

XSS flaws occur whenever an application includes untrusted data in a new web page without proper validation or escaping, or updates an existing web page with user-supplied data using a browser API that can create HTML or JavaScript. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the victim’s browser which can hijack user sessions, deface web sites, or redirect the user to malicious sites.

A8:2017- Insecure Deserialization:

Insecure deserialization often leads to remote code execution. Even if deserialization flaws do not result in remote code execution, they can be used to perform attacks, including replay attacks, injection attacks, and privilege escalation attacks.

A9:2017-Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities:

Components, such as libraries, frameworks, and other software modules, run with the same privileges as the application. If a vulnerable component is exploited, such an attack can facilitate serious data loss or server takeover. Applications and APIs using components with known vulnerabilities may undermine application defenses and enable various attacks and impacts.

A10:2017- Insufficient Logging & Monitoring:

Insufficient logging and monitoring, coupled with missing or ineffective integration with incident response, allows attackers to further attack systems, maintain persistence, pivot to more systems, and tamper, extract, or destroy data. Most breach studies show time to detect a breach is over 200 days, typically detected by external parties rather than internal processes or monitoring.

Further Reading and References:

Please find the complete PDF  or visit the OWASP Website.

 

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