The OWASP Top 10 is a powerful awareness document for web application security. It represents a broad consensus about the most critical security risks to web applications.
A primary aim of the OWASP Top 10 is to educate developers, designers, architects, managers, and organizations about the consequences of the most common and most important web application security weaknesses. The Top 10 provides basic techniques to protect against these high risk problem areas, and provides guidance on where to go from here.
Adopting the OWASP Top 10 is perhaps the most effective first step towards changing the software development culture within your organization into one that produces secure code.
OWASP Top 10 Most Critical Web Application Security Risks – 2017
In this new release, OWASP has completely refactored the OWASP Top 10, revamped the methodology, utilized a new data call process, worked with the community, reordered the risks, re-written each risk from the ground up, and added references to frameworks and languages that are now commonly used.
The top 10 most critical web application security risks in 2017 are listed below.
- A1:2017 – Injection
Injection flaws 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)
- 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.