web application vulnerabilities represented by man holding light bulb

Top 10 Web Application Vulnerabilities

Scanning for web application vulnerabilities involves setting up a program that communicates with your system’s web application via the website’s front end. Next, this scanner program interacts with the back-end databases and other resources. Essentially, the goal of this program is to determine if there any vulnerabilities in the web application or architecture. Notably, identifying these vulnerabilities before an issue occurs can save the business money and its reputation.

Major Types of Vulnerabilities

There are ten major web application security vulnerabilities as defined by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). Unfortunately, many businesses do not protect against these vulnerabilities.

  1. Injection

    First on our list is an injection flaw. Essentially, this flaw allows hackers to send untrusted data or code to an interpreter. This code can fool the interpreter into believing that it’s a real system call. Consequently, if enabled, the attacker can access private data or even execute commands.

  2. Broken Authentication and Session Management

    Next is a broken authentication and session management vulnerability. This catch-all category incorporates a variety of security threats. Primarily, it focuses on determining and maintaining a user’s identity.

  3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

    Another vulnerability occurs with cross-site scripting. An XSS flaw happens when an application captures and sends untrusted data to a browser without first validating it.

  4. Insecure Direct Object References

    Insecure direct object references are next on the list of common software vulnerabilities. It occurs when a developer unknowingly exposes references to internal implementation objects. Often, attackers use this information to access unauthorized data in files, directories, or database keys.

  5. Security Misconfiguration 

    A fifth vulnerability occurs when there is a security misconfiguration. Specifically, poorly configured security controls allow attackers to access private data, change files, or even manipulate your website.

  6. Sensitive Data Exposure

    Next, we discuss sensitive data exposure. Failure to adequately protect sensitive data like social security numbers, credit cards, or credentials could allow attackers to steal or change this information.

  7. Missing Function Level Access Control

    Though many users interact with a website or software program, not all of them should see specific links, buttons, or pages. However, if control checks on the server are misplaced or unused, attackers could access these UI functions without proper authorization.

  8. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

    Next on the list is a cross-site request forgery or CSRF. Essentially, a CSRF is an attack occurs when a malicious website sends a request to a web application that already has logged in users. Then, when the attacker generates requests, the applicant thinks it’s from the authorized user.

  9. Using Known Vulnerable Components

    Number nine on our list of vulnerabilities is the use of known vulnerable components. For example, if a component like a framework or a library runs without full privileges, attackers can use this vulnerability to access sensitive data.

  10. Unvalidated Redirects/Forwards

    Finally, unvalidated redirects and forwards can be the source of vulnerabilities. For example, web applications may redirect or forward users to different pages or websites. However, if these redirects or forwards are not adequately validated, attackers can redirect or send users to a malicious website or page.

iBeta tests for these vulnerabilities and many more. Contact us to learn how we can improve your software quality assurance.