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Top 10 OWASP Vulnerabilities in 2022
26 Jul 2022

The modern-day web apps depend on a shorter delivery time with fewer cost expectations. Thus, API usage has been highly boosted in the past few years. While there are obvious cost, time, and effort-related benefits for the developers, there are some security concerns.

OWASP API Security (Open Web Application Security Project) is an online non-profit and collaborative community that provides cyber security best practices and recommendations. Here we will discuss what it is all about.

Top 10 OWASP Vulnerabilities in 2022

Website, Mobile and API security is extremely important for a business as the web application relies on different APIs for different functions. Here are the Top 10 OWASP vulnerabilities where you can learn about the top 10 application security concerns and how to deal with them.

1.      Broken Object Level Authorization

APIs use object-level authorization for validating their resources. It is necessary for accessing permissions for legitimate users. When broken, hackers can manipulate the endpoint API used for authorization, and then API will fail to validate. Thus, the hacker can get unauthorized access to the software and data.

2.      Broken User Authentication

Hackers can manipulate the authentication by compromising the authentication tokens for legit users. It helps them get access to sensitive information. Broken user authentication usually happens because of weak passwords, insecure internal APIs, invalid tokens, weak API keys, and poor password management.

3.      Excessive Data Exposure

Data filtering happens on the client user interface end because the API returns the whole data object. When the APIs are coded as generic data sources, excessive data exposure can happen. The attackers can easily carry out breaches to access that data by bypassing that client-end UI-based data filtering.

4.      Lack of Resource and Rate Limiting

APIs lacking the technique to limit user request frequency often become the victim of DDoS attacks. These attacks make the hardware run out of resources like:

·        Memory

·        CPU

·        Bandwidth, etc.

Thus, the buffer overflows, making the website inaccessible for legit users on the platform.

5.      Broken Function Level Authorization

Function level authorization is responsible for different users having access to different functionalities. Broken function-level authorization is similar to broken object-level authorization. Here the app fails to restrict only a few users to access sensitive functions. Thus, attackers can access those sensitive functions and get all the data they want.

A common example is a regular user accessing administrator rights using their account.

6.      Mass Assignment

If the APIs do not use proper content assignment techniques, they can bind the data provided by the client with the application backend. It happens when there are no proper data filtering techniques implemented. Thus, hackers can explore such vulnerabilities within an application. It lets them modify the properties of sensitive attributes within the app resulting in unauthorized access and privileges.

7.      Security Misconfiguration

There could be several security misconfigurations within an application present on different layers like:

·       API resource

·       Application infrastructure

·       Transport Protocol

Those misconfigurations may include data leakage, open cloud storage, HTTPS issues, weak authentication, etc. With any of these issues, the whole system's security is compromised.

8.      Injection

API endpoints sometimes do not have a mechanism to differentiate between the trusted and untrusted data. In such cases, the hackers can inject malicious data input into the application. It then allows them to gain access to sensitive data. Thus, the result is an injection attack, usually because of a lack of input data validation.

9.      Improper Assets Management

Today because of the short delivery time, most modern app developers use more APIs. This increasing usage of APIs in production raises asset management issues. The DevOps usually leave the old version of those APIs operational to provide backward compatibility. If those older versions have any security issues, that can be an attraction for attackers because they usually benefit from outdated security checks.

10.  Insufficient Logging and Monitoring

Most of the API attacks happen after a specific time. Attackers become a part of the system and plan their strategies. When there is insufficient logging and monitoring in the API, user behavior and data cannot be analyzed, which results in those attackers planning successful strategies.

With most developers focusing on API usage and API developers not focusing on authentication and validation, insufficient logging and monitoring can be a huge issue.


Knowing different API attacks can help you learn how to prevent your API against them and exploit any security vulnerability. It is what Top 10 OWASP Vulnerabilities is all about. With continuous challenges in the API security world, any developer or business can maintain different API security practices to enhance the integrity of their system and data.

Protectumus protects against TOP 10 OWASP Vulnerabilities. Some of these are: SQLi (sql injection), XSS (Cross site scripting), CSRF (cross site request forgery), DDOS (Distributed denial of service) attacks, Broken access control, Insecure deserialization and more.

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