Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

01:01 PM
Connect Directly

New OWASP Top 10 Reflects Unchanged State Of Web Security

Injection flaws still rank No. 1 in Web application vulnerabilities

The oft-cited and oft-debated OWASP Top 10 list of the most critical vulnerabilities in Web applications got an update this week with the most prevalent flaw -- injection -- remaining at the No. 1 slot.

Injection, broken authentication and session management, cross-site scripting (XSS), insecure direct object references, security misconfiguration, sensitive data exposure, missing function-level access control, cross-site request forgery (CSRF), using known vulnerable components, and unvalidated redirects and forwards round out the Top 10 list, respectively. XSS actually dropped down a slot from the No. 2 position in 2012, and broken authentication/session management moved up.

According OWASP, the jump in broken authentication and session management is most likely due to these bugs being scrutinized more closely. "We believe this is probably because this area is being looked at harder, not because these issues are actually more prevalent," OWASP wrote in its report on the new list of Web app flaws.

CSRF dropped from No. 5 to 8, mainly due to developers doing a better job in eliminating those flaws, according to OWASP.

"The OWASP Top 10 never has looked substantially different from one year to the next. Usually one category is added, one category is removed, and a few categories are repositioned. There isn't much of a difference between the 2003 and 2013 list -- and that right there is the story of Web security: We don't seem to be outright solving anything," says Jeremiah Grossman, co-founder and CTO at WhiteHat Security.

Dave Wichers, OWASP contributer and founder and chief operating officer at Aspect Security, says Web security is actually getting worse. He says "the only way out is to figure out some way to have a bigger influence on software development culture."

"The security community, including OWASP, needs to bring security into that culture, like the way Agile changed software culture," Wicher says. "We can't keep commenting from the outside, which is what we have been doing for the most part."

The OWASP Top 10 is considered the go-to list for Web application weaknesses, but some organizations lean too heavily on it without taking a bigger picture approach to application security, security experts say. "... just because something shows up at the top of the OWASP Top 10 doesn't mean it's the most important problem facing your organization," Vincent Liu, partner with Bishop Fox, recently blogged.

But OWASP says the Top 10 isn't just about eliminating bugs in Web apps. "The Top 10 is about managing risk, not just avoiding vulnerabilities," OWASP said in a post on its website. "To manage these risks, organizations need an application risk management program, not just awareness training, app testing and remediation."

"We need to encourage organizations to get off the penetrate and patch mentality," OWASP wrote.

[SQL injection drops out of WhiteHat Security's top 10 website vulnerability list. See Websites Harbor Fewer Flaws, But Most Have At Least One Serious Vulnerability.]

The 2013 OWASP Top 10 has a few other notable changes. OWASP expanded the former Failure to Restrict URL Access to the new, broader category of Missing Function Level Access Control. "There are many ways to specify which function is being accessed, not just the URL," OWASP said.

The Sensitive Data Exposure category is a merger of the vulns formerly known as Insecure Cryptographic Storage and Insufficient Transport Layer Protection. "This new category covers sensitive data protection ... from the moment sensitive data is provided by the user, sent to and stored within the application, and then sent back to the browser again," OWASP says.

OWASP also created a new category, Using Known Vulnerable Components, that previously was part of Security Misconfiguration.

"The Top 10 provides basic techniques to protect against these high risk problem areas – and also provides guidance on where to go from here," OWASP said.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
10 Ways to Keep a Rogue RasPi From Wrecking Your Network
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  7/10/2019
The Security of Cloud Applications
Hillel Solow, CTO and Co-founder, Protego,  7/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A Reflected Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in Apache Roller. Roller's Math Comment Authenticator did not property sanitize user input and could be exploited to perform Reflected Cross Site Scripting (XSS). The mitigation for this vulnerability is to upgrade to the latest version of ...
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A CWE-119 Buffer Errors vulnerability exists in Modicon M580 CPU - BMEP582040, all versions before V2.90, and Modicon Ethernet Module BMENOC0301, all versions before V2.16, which could cause denial of service on the FTP service of the controller or the Ethernet BMENOC module when it receives a FTP C...
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A Use After Free: CWE-416 vulnerability exists in Zelio Soft 2, V5.2 and earlier, which could cause remote code execution when opening a specially crafted Zelio Soft 2 project file.
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A CWE-94: Code Injection vulnerability exists in ProClima (all versions prior to version 8.0.0) which could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system in all versions of ProClima prior to version 8.0.0.
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-15
A CWE-119: Buffer Errors vulnerability exists in ProClima (all versions prior to version 8.0.0) which allows an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system in all versions of ProClima prior to version 8.0.0.