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OWASP Summer of Code 2008 Applications - for majority vote

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Soc 08 proposals for direct vote

OWASP Code review guide, V1.1

  • Eoin Keary,

Code Review Guide Proposal:

Introduction:The code review guide is currently at version RC 2.0 and the second best selling OWASP book. I have received many positive comments regarding this initial version and believe it’s a key enabler for the OWASP fight against software insecurity.

It has even inspired individuals to build tools based on its information and I have convinced such people (Alessio Marziali) to open source their tool and make it an OWASP project.

The combination of a book on secure code review and a tool to support such an activity is very powerful as it gives the developer community a place to start regarding secure application development.

Proposal: I am proposing that I improve the code review guide from a number of aspects. This should place the guide as a de facto secure code review guide in the application security industry.

Additional and expanded Chapters:

Transactional analysis
Expand chapter.
Examples via diagrams.

Threat Modeling and Analysis
The approach to examining an application to be reviewed.
Focusing on areas of interest.

Example reports and how to write one
How to determine the risk level of a finding.

Automated code review
Code crawler documentation and usage.

Rich Internet Applications
Expanded chapters on Flash, Ajax.

The OWASP ESAPI (Enterprise Security API)
What it is, Why use it. What to review.

Code review Metrics:
How to compile, use and analyse metrics.
Rolling out metrics in the Enterprise.

Integrating Code review with an existing SDLC Integration of Secure Code review with an existing SDLC.
Secure Code review roadmap definition.
Documentation requirements.
Scope definition.
SDLC steering comittee establishment.
Performace criteria, benchmarks and metrics.
Integration of SDLC results into key IT governance areas.
Critical success factors.

The Ruby on Rails Security Guide v2

Heiko Webers

The last security guide for Rails [1] was a great success, with a lot of more secure web applications and continued awareness in the community of security issues. The Ruby on Rails Security Project [2] is the one and only source of information about Rails security topics, and I keep the community up-to-date with blog posts and conference talks in Europe. The Guide and the Project has been mentioned in several Rails books and web-sites.

Version 1 of the Ruby on Rails Security Guide was sponsored by the SpoC 07, set the standard for OWASP programming language specific guides in terms of the topic outline and has been published as a book [3]. Nevertheless I'm convinced that a more compact design and a "question-and-answer" style of writing will reach an even larger audience. Of course the new Guide will still include answers to the OWASP Top Ten security vulnerabilities.

A lot has changed since the publishing of the first Guide. Some new security holes have been found, there are new advises and most importantly Rails version 2.0 has been released. The new Ruby on Rails Security Guide aims at providing an up-to-date coding and configuration guide for the Rails community.

In the new Rails Security Guide I'd like to

  • update the entire book to match Rails 2.0
  • cover new topics, including, but not limited to:
    • Intranet and administration interface security,
    • phishing,
    • real-world attack situations,
    • short excursus on server monitoring,
    • the new CookieStore session management,
    • vulnerabilities in popular plug-ins,
    • denial-of-service attacks
  • cover all OWASP Top Ten security vulnerabilities
  • a more compact writing style, more examples and "questions-and-answers"
  • introduce the OWASP and Rails security to a greater audience

P028 - OWASP UI Component Verification Project (a.k.a. OWASP JSP Testing Tool)

Submitted by Jason Li

Personal Background

Jason is an Application Security Engineer at Aspect Security during which time he has performed code reviews, penetration testing and training at a variety of financial, commercial, and government institutions. He is a certified GIAC Secure Software Programmer in Java and before joining Aspect, he was a Java Software Developer and a Java course instructor for Johns Hopkins University. He also assisted Arshan Dabirsiaghi with the coding of OWASP AntiSamy. Jason received his Master's and B.S from Cornell University (both in Computer Science). He has recently completed the degree requirements for his Post-Master's in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Security, which will be conferred in May 2008 by Johns Hopkins University.

Project Motivation

Cross-site scripting is one of the most pervasive web application security vulnerabilities present in today's applications, ranking at the top of the most recent OWASP Top Ten (2007). Recently, UI frameworks have emerged that allow application developers to create web components quickly and effortlessly. Java EE facilitates this ability by providing JSP tags that can be conglomerated as a tag library, such as was done with Java Server Faces (JSF). These tags allow developers to create rich user interfaces by parameterizing attributes of the web component. With the advent of this design, a unique opportunity arises to prevent cross-site scripting. If tag libraries offered built-in protection from cross-site scripting, then using parameterized web components to prevent cross-site scripting could become analogous to using parameterized queries to prevent SQL injection. However, security is not always in mind when such tag libraries are developed and thus it is not clear which libraries, if any, offer such built-in protection. This project would allow developers to quickly determine the protection mechanisms provided by any tag libraries they develop or of any third-party tag libraries they are considering using for their application. This will enable a push to parameterize web components which will serve to make web applications safer.


The goal of this project is to create an easy to use, freely available tool that can be used to quickly ascertain the level of protection that each component of a JSP tag library offers. This information can serve two purposes:

  1. It provides a means for projects to create a coding standard. By identifying which components are safe or unsafe, a project can establish a preference order of useable components. For those components identified as unsafe, extra security requirements can be imposed on any pages using those components
  2. It provides tag library providers development guidance. Providers can target security enhancements to the components that are most susceptible to cross-site scripting attacks. They can also use these results to demonstrate their performance relative to other competing tag libraries. It also provides feedback for developers that create small custom tag libraries for internal development usage.

Ideally, the input to the tool will be the Tag Library Descriptor file along with a compiled version of the tag library. The resulting output will be a report of all tags in the library and their associated attributes with annotations for each attribute indicating whether or not it safely handles tainted input. Additionally, the framework for this tool should be robust enough to enable the functionality indicated by the future work section.

Development Stages

The following initial steps should be made to create a first run draft of the project:

  • Identify or Create Tag Library Parser: The first step of this project is to determine a way to parse tag libraries and instantiate tag objects for testing. The Java EE API includes interfaces to parse and instantiate JSP tags so an initial investigation into existing implementations of tag parsers may yield an adequate source. However, since the interfaces are specified as protected and application server implementation specific, the interdependencies may require the creation of such a parser from scratch
  • Basic Test of Tags: The second step is to use the parser and apply some basic initial test cases to test the protection of attributes from tainted input
  • Design Report Format: The third step is to tabulate the results and create a simple format to convey those results.

After this step, the project should be considered halfway towards its goals. Additionally, the following steps should be made to move towards project completion:

  • Refine Tag Testing: After initial proof of concept, significant effort should be made to vary the testing of tag attributes to give a reasonable level of assuredness regarding the accuracy of the results
  • Refine Report Format: Feedback should be solicited and improvements incorporated to the design of the report
  • Documentation and Release: Once test cases and report format have been improved, documentation for the project should be created and the project source code prepared for release.

Future Vision

While tag libraries offer a means to parameterize web components and potentially better protection from XSS, there are still applications that use raw JSPs and scriptlets. With the insight gained from generating test cases, the JSP Testing Tool should be enhanced to test not only pages using JSP tag libraries, but also basic JSPs as well. One possible strategy is to create a wrapper HttpServletRequest class that overrides methods to provide input directly from test cases generated from the earlier stages of this project. A similar wrapper HttpServletResponse class can then be used to test the results. The tool could then be used to quickly test the XSS protection level of any Java EE application that uses JSP technology. Unlike automated web scanners, this tool enhancement would have the benefit of internal insight to the application to determine injectable parameters. Additionally, this tool enhancement would be an improvement to static code analysis as it could reduce the number of false positives with the ability to invoke actual rendering of the HTTP response.

Internationalization Guidelines and OWASP-Spanish Project

  • Juan Carlos Calderon

Executive Summary
The main goal of OWASP is to spread the word about security (“Our mission is to make application security "visible," so that people and organizations can make informed decisions about application security risks.”) and OWASP has done great work so far :). And now it’s time for a next big step.

The number of native and secondary speakers in the world for Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Indi languages are estimated in similar number to English speaking or even more (Some References at Ethnologue, Encarta, Wikipedia). I think is a good time for OWASP to reach those that do not speak English to have full access to all the OWASP materials, not just a couple of documents.

OWASP, while open to translations, do not have clear guidelines on how to translate OWASP contents and (AFAIK) there is no multi-language support in site. This is understandable as there is no formal project for internationalization so far.

Oportunity and Effort
This is great opportunity to make Spanish the first language on which the OWASP site and documentation is fully translated and at the same time share the experience with other people interested in the same objective, Bring OWASP to the world. And this is something I’ve being pushing for some time ago and that could be possible “at once” via SoC 2008.

I understand this is significant effort so to have it done I will count with the help of 6 people (friend of mine, all of them Security auditors with excellent English level) plus a few well known contributors from OWASP-Spanish effort, so the founding will be divided among the people involved in the same proportion of the work they do for the completion of this effort. This, to encourage delivery.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Team up with Larry Casey to implement Multilanguage support in Mediawiki.
  • General Guidelines on minimum/recommended requirements to start a new language translation for OWASP Document and Site Pages
  • General Guidelines on minimum/recommended requirements to implement internationalization and localization (i18n) on OWASP Software
  • Full translation to Spanish of all the release-level document projects. Those are:
    • Top 10 2007
    • Guide 2 (Already translated)
    • Testing Guide (Already Translated)
    • Legal
    • FAQ
  • Full Translation of major sections of OWASP Site
    • Project Main Pages (Release, Beta and Alpha levels for both documents and tools projects)
    • Principles
    • References Section
    • Conferences
    • News (Those currently displayed in OWASP site)
    • About OWASP
  • Evaluation of Spanish translation approach for WebGoat and WebScarab and delivery of this document to Bruce and Rogan for possible implementation in near future.
  • Leverage for deploy of, the domain already exists but is not redirecting correctly.
  • Create a Communication strategy to help and keep track on new pages or changes in significant pages so all the translations are in sync.

Out of Scope
Translation of the following sections are NOT in Scope

  • Local Chapters Pages
  • Presentations
  • Conferences
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • All the projects deliverables in Alpha and Beta Stages
  • All the documentation “on development” like Guide Version 3.0
  • Translation of Pages, documentation or tools to other language other than Spanish according to the stated in above section.

Why should I be sponsored for the project?
I’ve being part of contributions to OWASP documents on the translation arena since 2005 [4], a few of them by making possible the translation of OWASP Top 10 2004 [5] and OWASP Testing Guide V1.17 [6] to Spanish. It is time to make the full job done :).

I have 10 years of experience on Web technologies. During 8 years I have performed and leaded hundreds of Security Source Code Reviews and Black box testing on Web Applications. On my current job I lead 30 people in diverse locations all of them working on the Application Security arena, so I am accustomed to execute and deliver.

The Application Security Desk Reference - ASDR

  • Leonardo Cavallari Militelli
  • Proposal: Make OWASP ASDR Project a release quality document.

The ASDR is a reference volume that contains basic information about all the foundational topics in application security. It intends to replace and refresh Honeycomb Project with a new structure for articles and relationship between categories, thus making it a release quality doc.

This idea raised when finished the Attack Reference Guide for OWASP Spring Of Code 2007, where it was identified that OWASP reference articles need some special attention. Jeff Williams is totally supporting this project.

We already have defined which type of article we should include on Desk Reference, as follows:

  • Road Map: A complete project roadmap can be found on ASDR Table of Contents. Basically, the following activities should be performed, some of them already started:
    • Define articles templates for each reference type
    • Define subcategories for articles classification
    • Compile first DRAFT version of ASDR Book
    • Articles development & Call for Volunteers
    • Articles revision
    • First version of OWASP ASDR book

OWASP .NET Project Leader

  • Mark Roxberry

Project Proposal

This proposal is to request approval for leading the OWASP .NET project. The project will contain information, materials and software that are relevant to building secure .NET web applications and services. The goal of the project is to provide deep content for all roles related to .NET web applications and services including:

  • Architectural guidance
  • Developer tools, information and checklists
  • IT professional content (for those that deploy and maintain .NET websites)
  • Penetration testing resources
  • Incident response resources

The OWASP .NET Project Leader will actively recruit .NET contributors, including personnel from Microsoft, but others throughout the .NET ecosystem. Including experts from communities from large companies to ISVs, from enterprise architects to ALT.NET developers will be important for the overall reach of the OWASP .NET project. Other communities to consider include developers who use Mono (.NET for Linux), including Moonlight (Silverlight for Linux).

The OWASP .NET Project Leader will actively contribute to the OWASP projects that require .NET resources, by recruiting resources or contributing to the project.


April 2, 2008 - May 3, 2008

  • Project site layout reorganization
  • Presentation materials for OWASP chapters for integrating the OWASP .NET project tools and references into a project life cycle
  • Bullet points for community and media outreach plans

April 13, 2008 - May 16, 2008

  • Community outreach - contact .NET user groups, OWASP chapters to get feedback about tools and references that are needed for security in their fields of expertise. Distribute materials for integrating OWASP .NET into their project plans and toolboxes.
  • Media outreach - contact .NET media resources to talk about the .NET project and request content and contributors
  • Start a special projects section for emerging projects in the .NET space, including Silverlight (Moonlight), WPF XBAP applications, Windows Communication Foundation, ADO.NET Data Services, Enterprise Library 4.0, Policy and Dependency Injection, Agile methodologies.

May 17, 2008 - June 14, 2008

  • Reach out to other SoC .NET projects, try to find resources if the projects need them.
  • Contribute to other SoC .NET projects, where needed.
  • Gather feedback and follow up from first round of outreach effort.

June 15, 2008

  • Status report for Project

June 16, 2008 - August 31, 2008

  • Expand community and media outreach efforts.
  • Continue to recruit and help other OWASP projects with resources.
  • Update promotional materials to include emerging projects.

August 31, 2008

  • Retrospective of the first 5 months of the OWASP .NET Project.

Long Term Vision

The OWASP .NET Project will be a valuable resource for securing .NET applications and services. I want people to think of this project first when they need to gather information or find tools for designing, developing, maintaining, pen-testing software developed with .NET. This project will be the hub for all .NET security resources, and of course with content created and maintained by the Open Source community.

Why I should be sponsored for the project

I have previously contributed to the OWASP Test Guide v2 project, providing content and reviewed content. I have used the OWASP Top 10 to teach developers about vulnerabilities in web applications and the OWASP WebScarab tool for vulnerability analysis. As a security practictioner, I care about the OWASP mission and I want to contribute to securing the Internet for everyone.

I have 15 years of technical leadership experience using Microsoft technologies. I have lead software development teams as a technical lead, lead developer and architect on small and large projects. I am a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH). I am on top of current trends and I am required to be up to speed regarding .NET web development and security. I am personally interested in providing security resources to .NET developers globally, specific and applicable to their projects.

OWASP Education Project

Dinis Comment: Please take into account the materials created here: 
 and the PPTs in the ' OWASP Education Presentations' section of
  • Martin Knobloch

OWASP Education Project / OWASP Boot Camp

The project will continuously deliver education material about OWASP tooling and documentation. This aims to create an easy entrance towards understanding application security and usage of the OWASP tooling. By creating education documentation papers, screen scrape video courses and setting up an OWASP Boot camp, a controlled education process of a standardized quality can be created continuously. With the setup of a OWASP Boot camp, the OWASP word can be spread in a controlled manner and deliver high quality training., both inside and outside of the OWASP community. The OWASP Education Project will setup and standardize OWASP trainings manuals and materials to ensure a certain level of quality of the trainings. Trainings about the OWASP tooling and projects will have to be reviewed by the Projects.

Complexity - What is the project Complexity and Size?

Deliverables to focus on are, in first place, to set up an OWASP Boot camp. For this the project will create a training and video (screen scrape) training material about Application Security basics, using the OWASP WebGoat and OWASP WebScarab tooling on the OWASP Top Ten vulnerabilities. Next, creating training material on the main OWASP Project's as the OWASP Guide and OWASP Testing Guide.

Member Value - How big is the potential added value to OWASP Members?

The OWASP Education project ensures a common shared set of knowledge about application security in general and the OWASP tooling in detail. The OWASP Boot camp helps new OWASP members to get on track fast and on a guaranteed quality level.

Brand Value - How big is the potential added value to the OWASP Brand?

The OWASP Education projects Boot camp deliverable can help to spread the OWASP word beyond the OWASP community. Holding OWASP Boot camps can generate additional venue. The OWASP Education project will extend the knowledge about the OWASP tooling and the usage of those. In the current discussion of the OWASP certification, the OWASP Education project can support and certify training. The OWASP certification can be supported by special OWASP Certification Boot camps.

On the Candidate:

Past Work - Value of past contributions to OWASP Projects; previously, as OWASP On The Move project lead, I was involved in setting up the OWASP On The Move rules. I am involved in the Dutch local chapter inside the chapter board, focusing on the content, speakers and feedback of the local chapter meeting. On the AppSec Australia conference I was speaker on the subject on what to consider when implementing a Secure Development Process. On my daily job, being Software Architect at Sogeti Nederland B.V., I have set up a Secure Development Taskforce. I have succeeded to make Sogeti Nederland B.V. and member of the OWASP community. Sogeti sponsored previous local Dutch chapter meetings and my trip to Australia. The deliverables of the Sogeti Secure Development Taskforce (PaSS, Proactive Security Strategy) are given to the OWASP community, as we will continue to do in the future.

The OWASP Testing Guide v3

  • Matteo Meucci
  • The OWASP Testing Guide v2 was a great success, with thousand downloads and many many Companies that have adopted it as standard for a Web Application Penetration Testing.

Now it's time to begin a new project that is based on v2 but improve it and complete it.

In the OWASP Testing Guide v2 we have split the set of tests in 8 sub-categories:

   * Information Gathering
   * Business logic testing
   * Authentication Testing
   * Session Management Testing
   * Data Validation Testing
   * Denial of Service Testing
   * Web Services Testing
   * AJAX Testing 

The following are my thoughts about the new OWASP Testing Guide v3:

1) Authorization testing missing. As Jeff and Dave said many time before it's important to create a new category. 2) Information gathering is not a set of vulnerabilities --> not in report --> new category: Passive mode analysis 3) Infrastructural test --> new category 4) Web Services section needs improvement 5) AJAX Testing section needs improvement 6) New category: Client side Testing. AJAX and Flash Testing

  • This document analyze the OWASP Testing Guide v2 vulnerabilities and a plan for create the new v3.

OWASP Application Security Verification Standard

  • Mike

OWASP Application Security Verification Standard Proposal

Educational and professional background

The applicant is a hands-on senior professional services manager with a trademark of developing creative solutions to complex application security-related technical problems.

Application security experience and accomplishments

The applicant has a background in trusted product evaluation:

  • CC evaluation
  • CC evidence development, including operating system test code development
  • CC project management
  • TCSEC evaluation
  • TCSEC project management
  • TEF management
  • CCTL management

The applicant also has a background in security-related software development and integration:

  • PKI toolkit development
  • PK-E application integration
  • Secure web portal application development
  • Secure web portal integration
  • Secure instant messaging application development, including three patents

The applicant also has a background in cryptomodule testing:

  • FIPS 140 evaluation
  • FIPS 140 evidence development

Participation and leadership in open communities

The applicant does not have experience in contributing to open communities.

The opportunity, challenges, issues or need your proposal addresses

OWASP is looking for a commercially-workable open standard for performing application security verification efforts. The problem is that there is a huge range in the coverage and level of rigor available in the market, and consumers have no way to tell the difference between someone just running a grep tool, and someone doing painstaking code review and manual testing. So, a standard is needed.

Objectives or ways in which you will meet the goal(s)

The applicant’s proposal will address the above challenges as follows:

  • The applicant will define an evaluation framework that may be used to conduct OWASP Application Security Verification Standard certifications.
  • The applicant will define an OWASP Application Security Verification Standard which defines levels that applications may be certified against.

Specific activities and who will carry out these activities

The applicant will carry out these activities. Please see below for a proposed list of specific deliverables.

Specific deliverables and a rough project schedule so we can track progress

The applicant proposes the following deliverables:

  • Scheme Overview document. This will define the overall framework with roles, responsibilities, and processes.
  • Evaluation and Certification document. This will describe the evaluation and certification process.
  • Conditions for the Use of Trademarks. This will describe OWASP’s name, logo, and certificate may be used and referenced.
  • Evaluation Report Content Requirements. This will describe the content requirements of evaluation reports.
  • OWASP Application Security Verification Standard. This will define the levels that applications may be certified against.
  • OWASP Application Security Verification Standard Appendix A. This will define the required content of the OWASP Application Security Verification Standard Security Policy.
  • Policy Letter #1. Acceptance of Security Policies into OWASP Evaluation This will define the requirements to be listed as in evaluation on the OWASP web site.

The applicant proposes the following rough project schedule:

  • 2nd April. Project kickoff.
  • 15th June. Alpha Quality drafts of Scheme Overview document and of OWASP Application Security Verification Standard document completed.
  • 31st August. Project completion. Beta Quality drafts of all documents completed.

Long-term vision for the project

The long-term vision for the project is to normalize the range in the coverage and level of rigor available in the market when it comes to performing application security verification.

Any other reasons why you and your project should be selected.

The applicant has a uniquely-qualified perspective given his experience with TCSEC, TTAP, CC, FIPS 140-1, and FIPS 140-2 evaluation programs, and his real-world perspective as a developer and integrator of security-related applications.

Online code signing and integrity verification service for open source community (OpenSign Server)

by Phil Potisk and Richard Conway

It is the opinion of this pair that there is a decided lack of code signing and integrity checking support for the open source community. The purpose of this project would be to build and host a feature-rich server and suite of client utilities with adequate secure hardware to ensure the integrity of code modules.


The service will allow all .NET and Java code modules to be uploaded to the service to be signed by a community code signing key. Each community (such as OWASP) will have a key and corresponding Software Publishing Certificate (SPC) which can optionally be embedded in the code module itself. Generally, however, the service is intended for developers and the wider community of concerned users that want to ensure that their downloaded portable executable is exactly what it purports to be. The root key will be stored in an HSM and will sign an SPC from a locally generated key-pair of which the public key will be sent to the service. Key pair generation can be made and submitted using standard .NET delay signing and jar signing tools distributed with the SDKs, however, the project remit will ensure that a client-side graphical tool for each environment is available to generate the keys pairs needed to sign code with and allow submission to the code signing service for signing and generation of SPC by the server's proprietary CA. Anonymity will not be allowed so the project will include a database of users which will be the basis of directory for SPCs.

There will be a web and web services interface using an online login and WS-Security respectively which will allow the code to be uploaded on demand and signed by a code signing key with the option to embed the certificate or not.

Problem domain

- Current download of portable executables inherently insecure with only a CRC/MD5 check
- No open source standard for code signing and delivery of portable executables between developers to test for tamper evidence
- No managed service for code signing outside of verisign or other paid for X509 signing service
- Process currently very mechanical with use of command line tools or PKCS#10 software requests which should be abstracted from developer

Ideal Solution

- Ensure third party verification of code modules through a dedicated PKI backbone
- Educate the OWASP and wider open source community in the use of code signing
- Replace standard CRC/MD5 hash usage with some more secure that can be repudiated if challenged - Use an internet infrastructure to allow the dissemination of certificates (potentially multipurpose in later versions)
- Ensure accountability through actions logging and authentication
- Standardise a set of open source client tools for the creation of keys and manipulation of certificates

Graphical Interfaces

- Client tool to generate RSA key pair and request signing certificate by return via a secure connection, secure connection will authenticate user after a dedicated registration process and also use mutual authentication SSL to avoid man-in-the-middle - returning certificate to user in real time. Registered developer can then submit their SPC online to verify the SPC.
- Client tool to download software that will do a proper verification on the software against the code signing service
- Website interface for the code signing service
- Set of Admin tools to manage the code signing service, user and certificate repository

Added advantage

Environment can be secured and tested regularly by members of Owasp to ensure the security of the server and infrastructure haven't been hijacked! The project will only be as secure the server environment!

Breakdown of tasks

- Server setup and installation of OpenLDAP
- Installation of Mock HSM (eAladdin token)
- Creation of PKCS#11 for key management and key creation activities
- Installation of Java/.NET SDKs
- Development of codebase for signing using SDK tools (later versions will reverse engineer this into jar/assemblies directly)
- Library for creating SPC (CA)
- User registration, authentication, activity logging, database support
- OpenLDAP user/certificate repository, access using mutual-authentication SSL
- Development of client tool suite
- Development of administrator tools
- Procurement of FIPs compliant HSM and installation
- Administrator/user manuals
- Pen testing of solution by OWASP members
- Go live!

Post July completion tasks

- Support for Microsoft office documents with macros and others
- Full support for community management (i.e. OWASP differentiated from other developer communities)

Background and Experience of project team

Richard Conway has 13 years commercial development experience in messaging and financial/investment banking systems having managed teams to deliver complex Agile solutions. He has degrees and PGDip in computer science and another in physics (finishing 2009) and has taught at Westminster university and written 7 books 3 of which are on security related topics (and numerous articles).

Phil Potisk has an academic background from Graz university, degree and masters and is currently looking at doing a pHD in the UK all on computer science/information security. He has several years commercial experience all in the security space for major companies in Austria and the UK.

Both Richard and Phil have worked together for 4 years in the space of ePassports/smart cards where they have an impact on ICAO standards and have fulfilled consultancy and product development in the area of passport inspection, cryptography, ePassport/smart card protocols testing and more. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience in PKI and development of applications using secure hardware and cryptography.

Securing WebGoat using ModSecurity

Submitted by Stephen Evans

Background: ModSecurity is an open source web application firewall that can work either embedded in an Apache web server or as a reverse proxy. The new features in version 2.0 and version 2.5 (released in February 2008) allow for a highly configurable capability that can address vulnerabilities (e.g. discovered during black-box penetration testing) on a per-application basis. ModSecurity provides for free a broad set of generic Core Rulesets ( that cover areas such as protocol compliance, malicious client software detection, XML protection, error detection, and generic attack detection ("Detect application level attacks such as described in the OWASP top 10"). However, the Core Set rule documentation (see README in modsecurity-core-rules_2.5-1.6.0.tar.gz) cautions that since attackers may examine the freely-available core rules to get around them, some core rules should be viewed more as a "nuisance reduction" mechanism instead of a security mechanism.

The lessons in WebGoat 5.1 detail over 30 different types of attacks on the WebGoat application (see the WebGoat v5 User & Install Guide).

Purpose: The purpose of my project is to create custom Modsecurity rulesets that, in addition to the Core Set, will protect WebGoat 5.1 from as many of its vulnerabilities as possible (the goal is 90%) without changing one line of source code. To ensure that it will be a complete 'no touch' on WebGoat and its environment, ModSecurity will be configured on Apache server as a remote proxy server.

For those vulnerabilities that cannot be prevented (partially or not at all), I will document my efforts in attempting to protect them. Business logic vulnerabilities will be particularly challenging to solve.

The opportunity, challenges, issues or need your proposal addresses:

    • Provides application-level protection for those web applications that cannot be touched
    • New custom rulesets can be added as new attack types are discovered
    • This solution is programming language and platform agnostic
    • With outside help from consultants, this solution can be used by companies that have zero knowledge of software security
    • A possible unintended side-effect: introduce software security awareness into an organization, which may lead to software security development lifecycle practices for future projects
    • An attempt will be made to address business logic vulnerabilities which will be a challenge

Schedule, tasks and deliverables:

April 01 to April 06: Set up and test the development environment. The initial Reverse Proxy server OS will be Kubuntu 7.10.

April 07 to May 04: Identify WebGoat vulnerabilities and exploitation methods. Publish to WIKI for review, feedback, and modification.

May 5 to May 25: Develop rulesets for 50% of the vulnerabilities, starting with the low-hanging fruit. Deliver user documentation. Publish progress to WIKI as each vulnerability is addressed. [Milestone 1]

May 26 to June 15: Develop rulesets for the 2nd 50% of the vulnerabilities. Publish progress to WIKI as each vulnerability is addressed.

June 16 to June 22: Test final rulesets and Modsecurity Reverse Proxy on 2 other Linux distros (Fedora Core and ???).

June 23 to June 29: Produce final rulesets and documentation.

June 30 to July 13: Peer review, feedback, modification, deliver final product [Project completion]

Future development:

    • Demonstrate the same capability for a vulnerable, well-known ASP.NET application such as Hacme Bank
    • Add custom rulesets that address attack types not represented in WebGoat but identified in the OWASP 2007 Top 10 (e.g. CSRF) or any newly-discovered attack types

Long term vision:

    • Instead of only protection mechanisms, add alerting and forensic capabilities (this functionality is presently available in ModSecurity) which would move closer to the goal of an application being self-defending

Proposed project reviewer: Dinis Cruz Dinis seems to have a special passion for Web Application Firewalls.

Stephen’s background and experience:

    • BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
    • 20+ years software developer
    • 4 years “officially” intensive information security professional since getting CISSP and joining a Big Security Vendor
    • Well-rounded infosec experience in areas such as CERT, security product deployment and training, vulnerability threat management, incident handling/response, antivirus scan engine customization.
    • Started up Big Security Vendor’s Secure Application Services (as sole consultant) for APAC region
    • Technical lead for a large APAC government project, building a software package assessment framework and workflow application based on an excellent, mature proprietary pentesting methodology
    • Numerous pentests/security assessments/risk assessments, mostly in the government space
    • Several SDLC projects, including a current one with an APAC government agency as the software security consultant throughout the entire SDLC for a field service type of mobile application using WinCE 5 & C#

Participation and leadership in open communities: A founding member of Singapore chapter of IASA (International Association of Architects); gave “Security throughout the SDLC” presentation at IASA regional conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2006.

Any other reasons why you and your project should be selected:

    • This project is a huge “big-bang-for-the-buck” contribution from OWASP to the software development community
    • The results of this project, along with ModSecurity, can be a big aid to organizations that need a (free) Web Application Firewall to meet PCI-DSS requirements
    • I am very passionate about:
      • Making about 75% of the “security researchers” look for a new line of work
      • Altering the focus of software security from “audit mode” towards software security during the SDLC
      • Software security

OWASP Book Cover & Sleeve Design

DINIS Comment: I propose that for this first phase we only handle the OWASP Book Cover (and leave the Sleeve Design for later stage) 

Book Cover Design Series Brief:

LXstudios has had the pleasure of speaking with Dinis Cruz about OWASP (book) publications. We discussed the current scenario and the potential for stronger OWASP brand identity across publication lines, and the packaging of these publications into book sleeves. We discussed the importance of this effort as OWASP is growing exponentially. OWASP produces many publications a year. Currently, the publications have cover designs and good content. The cover designs are all different. There is a lot of potential for these covers to look consistent from a brand perspective, and adding end-user value to the purchase of a book. There is also functional reason for the redesign, as Dinis would like to identify the different release versions of a book and it’s quality of content. As OWASP grows and produces more literature, a scalable cover design strategy must be employed so that the publications stay organized, easy to implement, easy to understand, increase brand identity, and sell.

Book Sleeve Design Brief:

Dinis and I also discussed the delivery of these books in professionally-produced book sleeves. This book sleeve would house between 6-8 OWASP publications and create an identity for a suite of books on a reader’s book shelf. As a reader’s collection of OWASP literature grows, the organization of these books comes into play. The other valuable reason to create a book sleeve is the individual and corporate membership. When these members buy into OWASP, the professional delivery of the publications is paramount. Bottom line -- in addition to functional book covers and securing shelf space -- OWASP has an increasing and critical need to look as good or better than other industry publications in circulation.


  • Goal A Book Cover Series: Develop a scalable book cover series strategy for the OWASP publications that communicates content in a clear, clever and provoking manner. The strategy is also to simplify the design process so subsequent publications can work off a template design – thus saving time and money (and increasing brand image).
  • Goal B Book Sleeve: Develop a house to deliver the book series. The initial thoughts are around a chip-board produced book sleeve that works off the design cover strategy and can hold up to 10 publications. The actual size needs to be determined.

Why should OWASP invest in this project?

Many reasons. The two most important:

  1. Make the publication production process simpler and over time more cost effective for the OWASP team. As the organization is growing, members need to spend time doing what they do best. Recreating artwork and cover designs on the fly is not the best use of time and money. The current approach is also diluting/damaging the OWASP brand.
  2. Increase awareness of OWASP brand identity in the industry. As the OWASP organization continues to grow in size and value (monetary and value to the industry), there is an increasing and critical need to look as good or better than competitor and affiliate publications in circulation. A consistent approach to publications will increase brand recognition and create brand stability - increasing product and organization perceived, intrinsic, and actual value.

Proposed Design Budget

  • Book Cover Series Design:$ 5,600 Design Development/Layout OWASP Brand Identity Book Cover Series; Layout 3 book covers in series identifying levels of quality “Release”, “Beta”, Alpha; 4th in series is “Bundle” - let’s discuss if this bundle would need it’s own identity or if it could be packaged in book sleeve; Image Research; Concept yields 3-4 ideas for presentation; Revisions; Production/Mechanicals - deliver high resolution book cover PDF files for OWASP implementation (through LuLu); Fee includes first 6 books; Project Management
    • Additional book cover high resolution PDF files, estimated: $ 325 (text and/or color revisions only)
    • Materials, proofs, storage media: $ 150

Book Sleeve/Box Design: $ 3,360

  • Book cover concept application to Box Sleeve; Box sleeve design construction; Prepare Mechanical files for box production; prepare graphic files for printed graphic wrap; Proof reviews; Project Management:
    • Materials, proofs, storage media: $ 10

LXstudios inc

[LXstudios] inc provides competitive branding, corporate identity, collateral and web design solutions for technology, financial services, medical, and management consulting clients. Capabilities include, from concept through to production:

  • Branding, Restructuring, Key Messaging
  • Corporate Identity/Logos
  • Collateral (direct mail, brochures, event materials, newsletters)
  • Advertising
  • Tradeshow Design and Support
  • Web Design & Implementation/Development
  • Original Illustration & Photography
  • Electronic Presentation Media
  • Media Relations with strategic PR affiliates

OWASP Individual & Corporate Member Packs, Conference Attendee Packs Brief

As OWASP increases to have more presence in the community, more and more people are realizing the benefits of the organization and are interested in becoming members. As OWASP reaches out to the community and continues to communicate it’s messages via conferences, more and more people are attending conferences. All of this visibility is driving a growing need for a stronger OWASP brand identity across individual member, corporate member and conference attendee audiences. The current scenario is a good start with premiums including pens, tshirts, sweatshirts and OWASP publications. How these items are packaged, delivered and managed will support our umbrella campaign strategy to:

  • stay organized;
  • easily implement (stay cost effective and produce easily) packs;
  • increase OWASP brand identity;
  • increase OWASP perceived, intrinsic, and actual value;
  • increase memberships and conference attendance.

Individual/Member Packs, Detail & Deliverable:

The concept around the Individual and Member Pack is to deliver and house 6-7 OWASP book publications, Member card, Tshirt(s), Pens, USB, DVD and Welcome Letter/Card. We are hypothesizing all member kits are delivered in a Tote Bag, big enough to house a large book sleeve (10 inch x 10 inch x 10 inch) – although specifications are still rough and details need to be worked out. The other option is to shrink wrap book sleeves and other content (gracefully) and ship out to individual and corporate addresses not in totes.

Conference Attendee Packs, Detail & Deliverable:

The concept around the Attendee Pack is to provide fewer OWASP book publications (4-6), Tshirt, & Pen. We are hypothesizing all attendee kits are delivered in a Tote Bag. Specifications are still rough and details need to be worked out. We are researching bags with a look and feel that are as forward-thinking as OWASP.

Why should OWASP invest in this project?

  1. Enhance the value of individuals and corporations becoming OWASP members. Make the publication production process simpler and over time more cost effective for the OWASP team. As the organization is growing, members need to spend time doing what they do best. Procuring and creating materials on the fly is not the best use of time and money. The current approach could be stronger at supporting OWASP brand.
  2. Increase awareness of OWASP brand identity in the industry. As the OWASP organization continues to grow in size and value (monetary and value to the industry), there is an increasing and critical need to look as good or better than competitor and affiliates. A consistent and professionally-produced approach to member and attendee communications will increase brand recognition and create brand stability - increasing product and organization perceived, intrinsic, and actual value.

Proposed Design Budget

  • Tote Bag - Procurement: Fees determined after quantity is established
  • Member Cards: $ 840 - Design Development/Layout OWASP Brand Identity to Member Cards; Color code; Revisions; Test sheets to OWASP; Production/Mechanicals - Project Management:
    • Materials, proofs, storage media: $ 35
  • Welcome Letter/Diecut Circle Cards: $ 840 - Design Development/Layout OWASP Brand Identity to Welcome Letter/Card; Production/Mechanicals - Project Management:
    • Materials, proofs, storage media: $ 35

LXstudios inc

[LXstudios] inc provides competitive branding, corporate identity, collateral and web design solutions for technology, financial services, medical, and management consulting clients. Capabilities include, from concept through to production:

  • Branding, Restructuring, Key Messaging
  • Corporate Identity/Logos
  • Collateral (direct mail, brochures, event materials, newsletters)
  • Advertising
  • Tradeshow Design and Support
  • Web Design & Implementation/Development
  • Original Illustration & Photography
  • Electronic Presentation Media
  • Media Relations with strategic PR affiliates