The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has distributed another revision of its Top 10 vulnerabilities for 2017, as an update to their ranking last 2013.

The OWASP Top 10 is a public security-awareness document that has been widely adopted as a guideline for classifying the severity of web-based security bugs, and is currently used by many developers, bug bounty platforms and enterprise security teams to assess bug reports.

The following are the top ten vulnerabilities according to OWASP:

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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.

Top 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 temporarily or permanently.

Top 1 – Injection

Injection flaws, such as SQL, NoSQL, OS, and LDAP injection, occur 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.

Despite the OWASP Top Ten being unofficial, it serves at a good basis on developing formidable cyber-security.  Government institutions, private companies, and security companies should always consider the trends in vulnerabilities to establish a better line of defense against attackers.

Last 2013, the OWASP Top Ten garnered outstanding critics in their list.  However, this year’s list has yet to acquire decent reviews.  Unlike the former list, the 2017 list is collated from a wider set of sources, and was ranked using a different criteria.  The 2017 list is more general and based on majority of bug-bounty programs offered by popular developers.


Manny Cuevas

My name is Manny Cuevas a Security Researcher / Engineer for about 15 years that focuses on Web and Mobile applications and other platforms from the Island of Sulu, Philippines. I’m also a scientist, inventor and a top ranked hacker in the world that bypass all security systems.


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