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Web Based Attacks and OWASP 10

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit organization focused on improving the security of software. One of their most well-known projects is the OWASP Top 10, which is a list of the most critical web application security risks. The Top 10 project aims to raise awareness and provide businesses, developers, and security teams with guidance on how to address these risks effectively.

The OWASP Top 10 is updated periodically, with the most recent version released in 2021. Here is a brief summary of the current top 10 security risks:

  • Injection: Injection flaws, such as SQL, NoSQL, or OS command injection, occur when untrusted data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query, allowing an attacker to execute malicious commands or access unauthorized data.

  • Broken Authentication: Application functions related to authentication and session management are often implemented incorrectly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or exploit other implementation flaws to assume users’ identities.

  • Sensitive Data Exposure: Many web applications and APIs do not properly protect sensitive data, such as financial, healthcare, or personally identifiable information (PII). Attackers can steal or modify this data to conduct crimes like identity theft or credit card fraud.

  • XML External Entities (XXE): Poorly configured XML parsers can be vulnerable to external entity attacks, allowing attackers to access unauthorized data, perform server-side request forgery (SSRF), or launch denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

  • Broken Access Control: Restrictions on what authenticated users are allowed to do often fail to be properly enforced. Attackers can exploit these flaws to access unauthorized functionality or data, modify user access, or perform other unauthorized actions.

  • Security Misconfiguration: Insecure default configurations, incomplete or ad hoc configurations, misconfigured HTTP headers, and verbose error messages can provide attackers with valuable information to exploit vulnerabilities.

  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): XSS flaws occur when an application includes untrusted data in a web page without proper validation or escaping. Attackers can execute malicious scripts in the context of the user’s browser, leading to account takeover, defacement, or redirection to malicious sites.

  • Insecure Deserialization: Insecure deserialization flaws can enable an attacker to execute arbitrary code, conduct injection attacks, elevate privileges, or perform other malicious actions.

  • Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities: Applications and APIs using components with known vulnerabilities may compromise the system if those vulnerabilities are exploited.

  • Insufficient Logging & Monitoring: Insufficient logging and monitoring, coupled with inadequate integration with incident response, allow attackers to maintain their presence within a system, move laterally, and exfiltrate or tamper with data.

To mitigate these risks, the OWASP Top 10 project provides detailed information, including how to test for each risk, code examples for various programming languages, and specific steps to prevent or remediate the issues. By understanding and implementing the recommended practices, organizations can improve their web application security and protect their users’ data.

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