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ASVS V2 Authentication

Revision as of 20:01, 5 December 2017 by Mark Burnett (talk | contribs) (Made it a bit more human-readable)

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V2: Authentication Verification Requirements

Control Objective

Authentication is the act of establishing, or confirming, something (or someone) as authentic, that is, that claims made by or about the thing are true. Ensure that a verified application satisfies the following high level requirements:

  • Verifies the digital identity of the sender of a communication.
  • Ensures that only those authorised are able to authenticate and credentials are transported in a secure manner.

Security Verification Requirements

# Description L1 L2 L3 Since
2.1 Verify all pages and resources are protected by server-side authentication, except those specifically intended to be public. 3.1
2.2 Verify that the application does not automatically fill in credentials – either as hidden fields, URL arguments, Ajax requests, or in forms, as this implies plain text, reversible or de-cryptable password storage. Random time limited nonces are acceptable as stand ins, such as to protect change password forms or forgot password forms. 3.1
2.6 Verify all authentication controls fail securely to ensure attackers cannot log in. 1.0
2.7 Verify password entry fields allow, or encourage, the use of passphrases, and do not prevent long passphrases or highly complex passwords being entered. 3.0.1
2.8 Verify all identity functions (e.g. forgot password, change password, change email, manage 2FA token, etc.) have the security controls, as the primary authentication mechanism (e.g. login form). 2.0
2.9 Verify that the changing password functionality includes the old password, the new password, and a password confirmation. 1.0
2.12 Verify that all authentication decisions can be logged, without storing sensitive session identifiers or passwords. This should include requests with relevant metadata needed for security investigations. 3.0.1
2.13 Verify that account passwords are one way hashed with a salt, and there is sufficient work factor to defeat brute force and password hash recovery attacks. 3.0.1
2.16 Verify that all application data is transmitted over an encrypted channel (e.g. TLS). 3.1
2.17 Verify that the forgotten password function and other recovery paths do not reveal the current password and that the new password is not sent in clear text to the user. A one time password reset link should be used instead. 2.0
2.18 Verify that information enumeration is not possible via login, password reset, or forgot account functionality. 2.0
2.19 Verify there are no default passwords in use for the application framework or any components used by the application (such as “admin/password”). 2.0
2.20 Verify that anti-automation is in place to prevent breached credential testing, brute forcing, and account lockout attacks. 3.0.1
2.21 Verify that all authentication credentials for accessing services external to the application are encrypted and stored in a protected location. 2.0
2.22 Verify that forgotten password and other recovery paths use a TOTP or other soft token, mobile push, or other offline recovery mechanism. The use of SMS has been deprecated by NIST and should not be used. 3.0.1
2.23 Verify that account lockout is divided into soft and hard lock status, and these are not mutually exclusive. If an account is temporarily soft locked out due to a brute force attack, this should not reset the hard lock status. 3.0
2.24 Verify that if secret questions are required, the questions do not violate privacy laws and are sufficiently strong to protect accounts from malicious recovery. 3.0.1
2.25 Verify that high value applications can be configured to disallow the use of a configurable number of previous passwords. 3.1
2.26 Verify that sensitive operations (e.g. change password, change email address, add new biller, etc.) require re-authentication (e.g. password or 2FA token). This is in addition to CSRF measures, not instead. 3.0.1
2.27 Verify that measures are in place to block the use of commonly chosen passwords and weak pass-phrases. 3.0
2.28 Verify that all authentication challenges, whether successful or failed, should respond in the same average response time. 3.0
2.29 Verify that secrets, API keys, and passwords are not included in the source code, or online source code repositories. 3.0
2.31 Verify that users can enrol and use TOTP verification, two-factor, biometric (Touch ID or similar), or equivalent multi-factor authentication mechanism that provides protection against single factor credential disclosure. 3.1
2.32 Verify that access to administrative interfaces are strictly controlled and not accessible to untrusted parties. 3.0
2.33 Verify that the application is compatible with browser based and third party password managers, unless prohibited by risk based policy. 3.1


For more information, see also: