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What is OWASP?

Are you interested in performing security testing, even if you have no prior experience? You are at the right place. This tutorial is an easy guide that will help to learn security testing quickly. All you want to learn about the internet group OWASP to prevent cyberattacks are covered in this tutorial. Here, we have packed the basics of Security Testing, OWASP Penetration Testing, and many more.

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Cybersecurity enthusiast Mark Curphey founded the internet group OWASP to prevent cyberattacks. The Open Web Application Security Project is known by the acronym OWASP. Although the name only refers to security for web apps, OWASP's focus is not just on web applications.

A list of the top 10 assaults for various technologies, including web applications, the cloud, mobile security, etc., has been compiled by OWASP under the moniker OWASP Top 10 to aid the internet community in the fight against cyberattacks and vulnerabilities. OWASP Penetration Testing is the process of testing the top 10 security risks listed in OWASP's top 10. A set of security testing tools are included in the penetration testing framework, which serves as a manual for conducting pentests.

Table of Contents: OWASP Tutorial

Security Testing Basics

The process of evaluating and testing a system to identify security risks and vulnerabilities of the system and its data is known as software security testing. While there is no single language that applies to all situations, for our purposes, we describe assessments as the analysis and identification of vulnerabilities without making any attempt to actually exploit them. Finding vulnerabilities and attempting to exploit them are what we mean by testing.

According to either the type of vulnerability being examined or the sort of testing being done, security testing is frequently divided up, rather arbitrarily. One frequent breakout is:

  • Assessment of Vulnerabilities: The system is examined and scanned for security flaws.
  • Penetration testing: It involves analysing the system and attacking it with fictitious malicious attackers.
  • Runtime testing: An end user analyses and tests the system's security.
  • Code Review: The system code is thoroughly examined and analysed with a focus on security flaws.

Notably absent from this list is risk assessment, which is frequently mentioned as a component of security testing. This is due to the fact that a risk assessment isn't really a test but rather an analysis of the perceived seriousness of various risks (such as those related to software security, personnel security, hardware security, etc.) and any risk mitigation measures.

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Penetration Testing

Penetration testing, also known as pentesting, is done with the intention of breaking into the system and either stealing data or launching some form of denial-of-service attack. Pentesting can take a lot of time to run, but it has the advantage of being more accurate because it produces fewer false positives (results that indicate a vulnerability that isn't actually present). Pentesting is also used to check the effectiveness of reaction strategies, defence systems, and security policies. The continuous integration validation process includes automated pentesting. In a rapidly changing environment where development may be extremely distributed and collaborative, it aids in the discovery of new vulnerabilities as well as regressions for existing vulnerabilities.

Pentesting Process

To test servers, networks, devices, and endpoints, both human and automated pentesting is frequently employed in tandem. Pentesting for websites or web applications is the main topic of this publication. Pentesting typically happens after these steps:

  • Explore: The tester makes an effort to become familiar with the system under test. This entails attempting to identify the programme being used, the endpoints that are present, the patches that are installed, etc. It also include examining the website for undiscovered material, security holes, and other signs of weakness.
  • Attack: The tester makes an effort to use the known or potential vulnerabilities to show that they exist.
  • Report: The tester summarises the testing's findings, including the vulnerabilities, how they were exploited, how challenging those exploits were, and how serious the exploitation was.

What is OWASP penetration testing?

The evaluation of online applications to find vulnerabilities listed in the OWASP Top Ten is known as OWASP pen testing. An OWASP pen test is made to find, safely exploit, and assist in fixing these vulnerabilities so that any flaws found may be fixed right away.

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What advantages does OWASP pen testing offer?

An OWASP penetration test has a lot of significant advantages for businesses, especially those who use in-house developed online applications or specialised third-party software. Pen testing benefits businesses by:

  • Spotting and resolving vulnerabilities before thieves have a chance to exploit them
  • Lowering the potential for data breaches, service damage, and service disruption
  • Supplying an unbiased assessment of the efficiency of security procedures and higher assurance for compliance with PCI DSS, ISO 27001, and GDPR
  • Giving knowledge about cybersecurity issues to assist in improving software development and quality assurance procedures
  • Supporting better-informed choices for next security investments

When should an OWASP pen test be performed?

It is recommended that every organisation that creates online applications run a penetration test at least once a year. When distributing big software upgrades or making significant modifications to infrastructure, this should be done more regularly. For compliance with rules with the PCI DSS and ISO 27001, as well as highly suggested in the GDPR and NIS Directive, regular penetration testing is necessary.

   Check out the Top OWASP Interview Questions and Answers that help you grab high-paying jobs

What vulnerabilities does an OWASP pen test find?

Key vulnerabilities like those identified in the OWASP Top Ten can be found with the use of an OWASP security pentest

1. Security Misconfiguration

This risk category, which rises from the sixth spot, now includes the former category for external entities. Configuration errors or configuration flaws can result in security misconfigurations, which are design errors.

Example: Since the default account and its outdated password are still in use, the system is vulnerable to attacks.

Solution: A checker in products like Coverity SAST can identify the information exposure accessible through an error message. During application runtime testing, dynamic technologies such as Seeker IAST can find information exposure and erroneous HTTP header setups.

2. Server-Side Request Forgery 

A web application might make a request for a remote resource without checking the user-supplied URL, which is known as a server-side request forgery (SSRF), a new classification this year. An attacker can exploit this to force the programme to submit a specific request to an unexpected destination even when the system is protected by a firewall, VPN, or additional network access control list. An increase in the intensity and frequency of SSRF assaults is being caused by both cloud services and the complexity of infrastructures.

Example: If a network design is not separated, attackers can map internal networks and determine which ports on internal servers are open or closed by exploiting connection outcomes or elapsed time to accept or deny SSRF payload connections.

Solution: Seeker, one of the modern AST tools, can track, monitor, and detect SSRF without the need for additional scanning and triaging. Due to its extensive instrumentation and agent-based technologies, Seeker is also able to identify any potential SSRF exploits.

3. Cryptographic Failures

To better emphasise its role as a cause instead of a symptom, Critical data exposure, which was earlier stated in position 3, has been changed to cryptographic failures. When crucial information is stolen and communicated or stored, there are cryptographic failures.

Example: If a financial firm does not sufficiently protect its critical data, it becomes a big target for identity theft and credit card fraud.

Solution: Hardcoded or weak cryptographic keys and Inadequate strength of encryption can both be found using seeker's checkers, which can also detect any dangerous or flawed cryptographic techniques. The Black Duck® cryptography module exposes the OSS encryption techniques, enabling a more thorough assessment of their robustness. The component and code levels are both "point in time" snapshots offered by SCA and SAST. Combining IAST with other external and internal software components is crucial for enabling verification and continuous monitoring while ensuring that sensitive data is not compromised while performing integrated testing.

4. Insecure Design

The new category of "insecure design" for 2021 addresses the risk posed by design flaws. As businesses continue to "shift left,", principles and safeguard design patterns, threat modelling and architectures references are insufficient.

Example: For parties of more than 15, a chain of movie theatres that offers discounts for group reservations requests a deposit. Attackers analyse this flow using threat modelling to see whether numerous theatres in the chain can have hundreds of seats reserved, costing the business thousands of dollars in missed income.

Solution: Seeker IAST identifies flaws and exposes every incoming and outgoing API, service, and function call in extremely complex online, applications based on microservices and the cloud. Giving a visual representation of the data flow and relevant endpoints helps with threat modelling and pen testing by highlighting any design faults in the programme.

5. Software and Data Integrity Failures

This is a new category for 2021 that focuses on software upgrades, significant data changes, and CI/CD pipelines that are utilised without validating integrity. This page now additionally addresses insecure deserialization, a deserialization problem that makes it possible for an attacker to remotely execute code in the system.

Example: Applications become vulnerable when hostile objects given by an adversary are deserialized.

Solution: Application security tools make it easier to locate deserialization problems, and penetration testing can prove the problem. Seeker IAST can be used to detect unsafe deserialization, unsafe redirection, and any tampering with token access techniques.

6. Injection 

Since this category now includes cross-site scripting, injection falls from first to third. Injection of code basically happens when an attacker puts fictitious data into a web application to make it perform an activity for which it was not supposed.

Example: A vulnerable SQL call is created by a programme using data which is not trusted

Solution: By incorporating IAST and SAST tools into your CI/CD pipeline, injection issues can be identified both statically in the code and dynamically during runtime testing of the application. In addition to SQL injections, AST like Seeker can assist in protecting the software programme and search for additional injection attacks during various test phases. It is capable of identifying, among other things, LDAP injections, NoSQL injections, commands, log injections and template injections. With its unique Active Verification engine, The only tool that provides a unique and specialised checker designed exclusively to identify vulnerabilities of Log4Shell and check how Log4J is set up, check how it actually operates, and verify those findings is Seeker.

7. Broken Access Control

In 2021, the ranking of broken access control, a vulnerability that allows an attacker to access user accounts, went from number five to number one. The attacker might use the system in this case as a user or an administrator.

Example: When a primary key is changed in an application to another user's record, the account of that user can be seen or amended.

Solution: An interactive application security testing (IAST) tool like Seeker® can help you quickly spot cross-site request forgery or incorrect storing of your sensitive data. It also identifies any JSON Web Token processing code that is deficient or nonexistent. Penetration testing, as a manual complement to IAST efforts, can help in locating unauthorised access controls. It may be essential to make changes to the architecture and design in order to establish trust limits for data access.

8. Security Logging and Monitoring Failures 

Position 10 was previously occupied by this entry, which has since moved up and been expanded to cover more failure types. It was previously known as insufficient logging and monitoring. The failure to perform regular logging and monitoring operations leave a website vulnerable to more serious compromising activities.

Example: Failure to record events that could be audited, such as successful and unsuccessful login attempts and other critical processes, leads to a vulnerable programme.

Solution: After penetration testing is finished, developers can look over test logs to identify any faults and vulnerabilities. Using Seeker IAST and Coverity SAST unlogged security exceptions can be located.

9. Identification and Authentication Failures

Previously known as faulty authentication, this item has dropped to number 2 and now includes CWEs for identity problems. Attackers can compromise passwords, keywords, and sessions in particular when processes related to authentication and session management are carried out improperly. This can lead to stolen user identities and other things.

Example: Unsecure or easily guessed passwords, like "password1," are allowed to be used on an online application.

Solution: The detection of such issues is greatly aided by automated static analysis, while human static analysis can strengthen the analysis of specialised authentication methods. The risk of accounts being compromised can be reduced with the aid of multifactor authentication. Broken authentication vulnerabilities are found by a checker in the Coverity SAST. The Seeker IAST can spot hardcoded credentials and passwords, inefficient authentication, and the lack of essential authentication procedures.

10. Outdated and Vulnerable Components

Previously ranked at position 9, this category is now higher and deals with elements that present both known & potential security threats, not just the former. Instead of finding and patching known vulnerabilities like CVEs, It is important to assess the viability and potential risk of malicious or stale components. 

Example: The team who created the software might not be knowledgeable about or comprehend all the elements that went into it. since there are so many of them, some of them can be outdated and attackable..

Solution: SCA  techniques like Black Duck can be combined with IAST and static analysis to locate and identify old and dangerous parts in a programme. SCA and IAST work together in order to expose how outdated or vulnerable parts are actually being used. Together, Black Duck SCA and  Seeker IAST go beyond simple vulnerability identification to learn things like if the vulnerable part is actively loaded by the application being tested. Additionally, by looking at signs like contributor reputation, developer activity, and version history, Users can obtain a sense of the possible harm that an outdated or malicious component can pose.

Who does the OWASP pen tests? 

OWASP pentests are carried out by certified ethical hackers with a specialised understanding of the most recent methods for creating web applications as well as the most recent security risks. While the requirements for ethical hackers might vary, common ones are CREST CRT and CCT APP, OCP, CEH, and QSTM.


OWASP penetration testing verifies that the applications don't contain any security issues. OWASP penetration testing will look for any application vulnerabilities. At Astra, we consider it our responsibility to assist companies in developing secure apps. Businesses must be sure that their apps are secure enough when it comes to application security.

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Last updated: 26 Feb 2024
About Author


Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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