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Why Its Insane To Trust Static Analysis
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cwysopal
cwysopal,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/22/2015 | 12:42:47 PM
SAST, DAST, and IAST all important testing technologies

IAST is a great testing technique that has some advantages that SAST and DAST do not have. But there are clearly strengths that SAST and DAST have that don't exist in IAST.  It's not time to throw away your SAST and DAST investment. A mature app sec program combines approaches to maximize strengths an minimize weaknesses.

SAST doesn't require a running system with test data and automated test suites.  This allows SAST to be used earlier in the dev cycle when it is least expensive to fix flaws.  DAST doesn't require modifying the production environment so you don't need find the server the app is running on, get the approval, schedule a change and contact an administrator to modify it. This allows DAST to be used more easily in production. Web apps can be scanned by just knowing the URL of the application. Finding the best way to combine techniqes will give you the best application security.

-Chris

Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 9:09:07 PM
What would a benchmark against Coverity show?
Author Jeff Williams uses OWASP benchmark results against FindBugs to disparage the effectiveness of static analsysis of code, and I haven't heard much about FindBugs. I'd be more interested in what a benchmark against Coverity or one of the other more prominent static analysis tools might show. I suspect static analysis has done too much good for too long for it to be dismissed as easily as Willaims does, with his confidence in the brilliance of Contrast Security's interactive application security testing. Might they each excel at different things?
planetlevel
planetlevel,
User Rank: Author
9/23/2015 | 12:14:57 AM
Re: What would a benchmark against Coverity show?
The OWASP Benchmark Project supports for many different commercial and open source tools, including: 
  • Findbugs
  • HP Fortify
  • PMD
  • IBM AppScan
  • Veracode
  • CheckMarx
  • Synopsys Coverity
  • Parasoft
  • SonarQube

The picture in the article is FindBugs (security) but that's just one example of (pretty poor) static analysis capability.  The Benchmark also looks at many dynamic scanning tools.  The results are fascinating.

And as I mentioned, easily reproduceable.  If you have Coverity, just clone the benchmark project and run Coverity on it.  Then feed the results into the Benchmark scoring tool and get a report on exactly what you want to see.

I appreciate your optimism, but it's amazing what you find out when you actually measure.
planetlevel
planetlevel,
User Rank: Author
9/23/2015 | 12:34:36 PM
Re: What would a benchmark against Coverity show?
In reponse to a few private inquiries I want to make very clear that I think static analysis for many kinds of *quality* issues is fantastic.  FindBugs in particular has an excellent accuracy record for non-security bugs and it has helped me improve my code in the past.
johannacuriel
johannacuriel,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/1/2015 | 8:02:51 AM
OWASP Benchmark official review at OWASP
I did a review of this project as part of the Project review team at OWASP. It has never been my impression that the OWASP Benchmark project has been promoted within the OWASP community as a 'ready' to use tool but rather as a tool in development stage. It is clear to me that the tool still needs a lot of testing and even so, it will not be able to 'benchmark' all the features of a SAST tool for example, if the tool being benchmarked in not able to produce a complete XML output reports with all its results.

More details about OWASP Benchmark Project review:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B28S4R_cON7JZGtNZVRrMDl3NzQ/view?pli=1

https://groups.google.com/a/owasp.org/forum/?hl=en#!topic/projects-task-force/h1leFW8e8zE
KevGreene_Cyber
KevGreene_Cyber,
User Rank: Author
11/29/2015 | 4:11:11 PM
Re: SAST, DAST, and IAST all important testing technologies
I agree... SAST and DAST are too important to dismiss. We have to find a way to leverage the strength of each, at the same time work to continually evolve and raise the bar for these tools.  


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