Of course security is one of the most important aspects of DevSecOps, it takes 1/3rd of the term ‘DevSecOps’!

Today we are going to talk about security vulnerabilities. The question that immediately comes to mind is what are the different types of security vulnerabilities that my application can have. Or what are the security vulnerabilities I should check for. In an attempt to answer the question, a great place to start is the OWASP Top 10.

What is OWASP?

OWASP stands for Open Web Application Security Project. They are a nonprofit organization whose focus is to improve the security of software. OWASP operates as a community and issues software tools and knowledge-based documentation on application security. The OWASP Top 10 list is one of the the closest thing the development community refers to as standards on keeping applications and products secure. The list was created after looking at more than 50,000 applications and analyzing over 2,000,000 vulnerabilities. It’s not a comprehensive list of all the possible vulnerabilities that your software might have, it’s a list that helps teams avoid common security mistakes when building applications. The link to the page is provided at the bottom. Their documentation is very comprehensive and gives a lot of details and explanation about each of the vulnerabilities listed below.

The OWASP Top 10 Security Vulnerabilities

  1. Injection. Injection flaws, such as SQL, NoSQL, OS, and LDAP injection, occurs 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.
  2. Broken Authentication. Application functions related to authentication and session management are often implemented incorrectly. This allows attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens. Additionally they exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities temporarily or permanently.
  3. 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. This includes encryption at rest or in transit, and requires special precautions when exchanged with the browser.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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/upgraded in a timely fashion.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Useful Links

Hope this was helpful. Following are links to the OWASP page and the GitHub page

OWASP – https://owasp.org/www-project-top-ten/

GitHub – https://github.com/OWASP/www-project-top-ten/blob/master/index.md