OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities

What is OWASP?

OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing software security. OWASP is based on an "open community" approach, allowing anybody to engage in and contribute to projects, events, online conversations, and other activities. OWASP's guiding concept is that all resources and information on its website are free and easily accessible to anyone.

OWASP offers a variety of tools, forums, projects, and events, among other things. In a nutshell, OWASP is a one-stop-shop for everything web application security, supported by the collective wisdom and experience of its open community contributors.

What are the OWASP Top 10 Security Risks?

The OWASP Top 10 is an online publication on the OWASP website that ranks the top 10 most critical web application security vulnerabilities and gives repair assistance. The report is based on an international agreement of security professionals.

The risks are ranked based on the frequency of security flaws disclosed, the severity of the flaws, and the extent of their possible consequences. The goal of the report is to provide insight into the most common security risks so that developers and web application security professionals may adopt the research's findings and suggestions into their security procedures, reducing the prevalence of these recognized hazards in their applications.

What is the Significance of the OWASP Top 10?

OWASP Top 10 is a research effort that ranks the top 10 most dangerous web application security threats and provides repair suggestions. The study is based on a consensus reached by security experts from around the world. The risks are categorized based on the severity of the flaws, the frequency of isolated security flaws, and the magnitude of their potential consequences.

The goal of the research is to give web application security professionals and developers a better understanding of the most frequent security issues so they can incorporate the results into their security procedures. This can assist in limiting the presence of known dangers in their online apps.

OWASP has been in charge of the Top 10 list since 2003. Every 2-3 years, they update the list to reflect changes and advances in the AppSec sector. For many of the world's largest enterprises, OWASP provides actionable information and serves as a crucial checklist and internal Web application development guideline.

Auditors often interpret an organization's failure to address the OWASP Top 10 as a sign that compliance standards aren't up to par. Including the Top 10 in its software development life cycle (SDLC) demonstrates a broad appreciation for the industry's best security standards.

Top 10 Vulnerabilities by OWASP

Following are the top 10 vulnerabilities and web application security threats, as listed by OWASP −

  • SQL Injection

  • Broken Authentication

  • Exposed Sensitive Data

  • XXE Injection

  • Access Control Issues

  • Misconfiguration of security

  • Cross-Site Scripting

  • Unsafe Design

  • Using Vulnerability-Known Components

  • Inadequate Logging and Monitoring

Let's take a look at each of these vulnerabilities in detail.

SQL Injection

The goal of an injection attack is to inject SQL, NoSQL, OS, and LDAP data into the application. It can be done through the application's input interface as SQL queries. If SQL injection is successful, the database's sensitive data may be exposed.

SQL injection can be used to edit database data using Insert, Update, and Delete statements, as well as shut down the DBMS (Database Management System) with merely a SQL injection.

Because of the lack of input validation and data sanitization, which might directly expose input into the query, injection happens when data is entered into a program from an untrusted source. This injection vulnerability may be found on practically any website, demonstrating how serious it is. Anything that accepts parameters as input can be vulnerable to injection.

Broken Authentication

Broken authentication is one of the OWASP top 10 significant vulnerabilities, which attackers can employ to impersonate a valid user online.

Session management and credential management are the two locations where this vulnerability is always present. These two are classified as broken authentication since they can both be used to steal login credentials or hijack session IDs. Attackers use a variety of techniques to exploit these flaws, ranging from credential stuffing to other highly targeted methods of gaining unauthorized access to someone's credentials.

Exposed Sensitive Data

This is one of the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities for data compromise that requires protection. This is often referred to as information disclosure or leakage. This commonly happens when a program or website unintentionally releases sensitive information to people who do not have permission to see or access it.

These are some of the details that could be released to the public, according to OWASP −

  • Information about money

  • Login information

  • Data that is commercial or business-related

  • A medical history

  • Technical information about the app or website

Even if you aren't utilizing DEBUG=True, you must exercise caution while managing the configuration parameter.

XXE Injection

XML external entity injection (also known as XXE) is a security flaw that allows a malicious person to get access to an application that processes XML data or parses XML input, according to the OWASP.

Because XML input containing a reference to an external entity is handled by an XML parse that has been configured incorrectly, this attack is always effective. An attacker can examine files on the application server and interact with any other back end or external system that the application can access if this vulnerability is successfully exploited.

Through Server Side Request Forgery (SSRF) attacks, this XXE attack can be used to compromise other back-end or underlying systems.

The vulnerability is not in the data you give to the server in XML format; rather, it is in the way the XML is parsed.

When XML parsers that support DTD retrieval do not have sufficient input validation of the XML data in place, they may be vulnerable to XXE injection, which allows an attacker to inject commands or content into an XML document.

Access Control Issues

Users cannot behave outside of their intended permissions because access control enforces policy. Failures frequently result in unauthorized information disclosure, modification, or destruction of all data, as well as the execution of a business function outside of the user's capabilities.

Misconfiguration of Security

Security misconfiguration is also one of the Top 10 vulnerabilities that might affect an application today, according to OWASP. An attack on a web server, database, network services, platforms, application server, frameworks, custom code, virtual machines, containers, and even storage can occur at any level of an application stack.

This type of configuration issue can allow attackers to get unauthorized access to some system data or functionality, leading to a complete system compromise and shutdown.

Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-Site Scripting, also known as XSS, is a client-side code injection, according to OWASP. The attacker attempts to inject malicious script into a trustworthy website in this type of attack. This script is in the form of JavaScript code, and it can unknowingly redirect a victim from their genuine site to an attacker site.

An attacker can utilize this flaw in an application to steal cookies and user sessions, obtaining unauthorized access to the system. Cross-Site Scripting can sometimes be combined with additional vulnerabilities to create a more powerful attack on an application.

Unsafe Design

For the creation of secure software, pre-coding tasks are essential. Security needs and model threats should be collected at the design phase of your development lifecycle, and development time should be scheduled to meet these requirements.

Your team should test assumptions and conditions for expected, and failure flows as software evolves to ensure they remain accurate and desirable. Failure to do so will allow crucial information to fall into the hands of attackers, as well as a failure to foresee innovative attack routes.

Using Vulnerability-Known Components

This vulnerability arises as a result of a developer employing a component, framework, library, or some dependencies that have a known weakness that could compromise the entire system.

When such components are run with full rights and are vulnerable, an intruder can easily exploit them, potentially resulting in catastrophic data loss or server takeover.

There's also a get version function that lets you know what version of the library the app is using at all times. You can also Google a library's current version to learn about the POC and vulnerabilities.

Inadequate Logging and Monitoring

Because inappropriate logging can result in information leakage, the need to safeguard a website or application through adequate logging and monitoring cannot be overstated.

Even though there is no such thing as 100 percent security, there are techniques to keep our website or application checked on a regular basis so that if we notice something unusual, we can rapidly take action to prevent an attack. If your website does not have an effective logging and monitoring method, it is vulnerable to being exploited and can harm an application's or website's reputation. As a result, keeping an audit record is critical if we wish to know about or uncover any questionable changes to our program or website.

This audit log is a system that captures every event that occurs on the website so that any irregularities can be identified and immediately corrected.

Where there is no patching available, you can still make do use of virtual patching, which can save your day in the case you are running out of date components on your website or application, according to OWASP.

If you use WordPress for your websites, there are some WordPress security plugins that you can use to record and monitor your sites, which will save you a lot of time and effort in setting up an audit log system.