Exploring the KONTRA OWASP Top 10 for Web: A Developer’s Guide to Secure Coding

Exploring the KONTRA OWASP Top 10 for Web: A Developer’s Guide to Secure Coding

Threats to the digital realm are growing daily and evolving with each new piece of technology released to market. Developers often have to create secure applications without first-hand experience of the many possible attacks and violations that could be used against the created services. The KONTRA OWASP Top 10 for Web brings together the most relevant web security vulnerabilities in a practical training environment, designed to give developers hands-on experience dealing with security challenges that mirror real-life experiences. Each module in the KONTRA training set is inspired by real-world events.

Understanding the Importance of OWASP Top 10

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) releases an updated list of the top 10 most critical web application security risks every few years. This list serves as a guideline for developers to understand and mitigate common vulnerabilities effectively. KONTRA’s training modules are directly inspired by this list, addressing each vulnerability with hands-on exercises that are both instructive and engaging.

Key Vulnerabilities Covered in KONTRA OWASP Top 10

  1. Injection Flaws: This includes SQL, NoSQL, OS, and LDAP injection, where untrusted data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. The attacker’s hostile data tricks the interpreter into executing unintended commands or accessing unauthorized data.
  2. Broken Authentication: Application functions related to authentication and session management are often implemented incorrectly, allowing attackers to compromise passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to exploit other implementation flaws to assume other users’ identities.
  3. Sensitive Data Exposure: Many web applications do not properly protect sensitive data, such as credit cards, tax IDs, and authentication credentials, with encryption or hashing. Attackers could steal or modify such weakly protected data to conduct credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes.
  4. XML External Entities (XXE): Poorly configured XML processors evaluate external entity references within XML documents. External entities can be used to disclose internal files, internal file scans, remote code execution, and denial of service attacks.
  5. Broken Access Control: Flaws in the authorization logic of the application allow attackers to access functionality and/or data without proper authorization. For example, an attacker may be able to access other users’ accounts, view sensitive files, modify other users’ data, change access rights, etc.
  6. Security Misconfiguration: This is the most common issue. What constitutes secure configuration must be defined, implemented, and maintained, as defaults are typically insecure. Software should also be kept up-to-date.
  7. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): XSS flaws result from an application’s inclusion of untrusted data in a new web page created for the user, without proper validation or escaping, or via an insecure update using a browser API that can create HTML or JavaScript, of existing web pages the user can see or interact with using user-supplied data. An attacker can craft an XSS vulnerability that can execute script in the victim’s browser, which can hijack user sessions, deface websites, or redirect the user to malicious sites.
  8. Insecure Deserialization: Usually server side and involves remote code execution. Sometimes it is not remote code execution, yet it is still exploitable and opens the door for attacks, such as replay attacks, injection attacks, and privilege escalation attacks.
  9. Components with Known Vulnerabilities: Components are libraries, frameworks and other reusable software modules, and they are usually executed with the same privileges of the application. This means that an attack on a vulnerable component can lead to major data loss, or even the takeover of the server.
  10. Insufficient Logging and Monitoring: Together, these form a feedback loop with incomplete or improper logging, or a lack of integration with incident response, where attackers can continue to target the same systems, maintain a foothold, pivot to more systems, and tamper with, exfiltrate, or destroy data.

Real-World Inspired Training with KONTRA

KONTRA, for example, has mandated the design of its modules in order to mimic these vulnerabilities, based on actual examples of incidents that illustrate the risks associated with secure coding practices. Here is an overview of specific vulnerabilities and the crafted modules that train against them:

  • Clickjacking: Users are persuaded to click on something different from what they think they’re clicking on, maybe leaking confidential information or allowing someone else to control their computer while clicking on apparently innocuous Web pages.
  • Command Injection: Occurs when a user can inject some kind of command into a program that uses an interpreter.
  • DOM XSS: Unlike reflected or stored XSS, DOM-based XSS is possible if the user data submitted to the web application’s client-side scripts is written to the Document Object Model.
  • Server Side Request Forgery (SSRF): Allows attacker to make the server-side application make a request to somewhere he (attacker) shouldn’t be able to, even behind a firewall. Each module includes guided, hands-on sample engagements that each developer must navigate in order to understand the dynamics of the vulnerability they are examining and to learn how to mitigate it.

Conclusion: Why Developers Should Engage with KONTRA OWASP Top 10

Learn the KONTRA OWASP Top 10 for Web training steps to identify and mitigate common, critical vulnerabilities in your application. With threats changing everyday, there’s never been a better time to take the initiative and start securing your application today. The free, hands-on secure code training online at application.security will help you get the most out of application security resources. Start training today to strengthen your safe code skills and stop hackers from breaching your application. Help secure user data by taking action sooner rather than later. Get involved in creating secure applications and be a leader in secure development.