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OWASP Alchemist Project

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While there are extensive resources on the Internet about secure architecture and security practices that when implemented effectively across an SDLC produce highly secure and defensible applications. One must acknowledge that their adoption has challenged project teams, one constraint being lack of reference implementations that demonstrate effective realization of highly secure and defensible applications.

Alchemist aims to bridge this gap. Alchemist is a free, open source, enterprise web application security resource that enables software development teams build high secure and defensible applications. Alchemist is structured for easier adoption and learning for software architects and programmers, allowing them to implement strong security practices into their applications.

The focus is to achieve this objective by architecting and developing a highly secure and defensible enterprise web application. The outcome of this exercise is targeted as a reference implementation for development houses. The overall objective is to showcase, leveraging secure architecture and practices, secure development implementations with leading technologies and frameworks. In its first exercise, Alchemist proposes to demonstrate a secure J2EE web application that is developed using Spring framework.

OWASP lists a number of common application security vulnerabilities. These apply to most of the programming languages and platforms. The notable exception being buffer overflow and related issues that do not apply to J2EE. .Net and the likes. Alchemist is designed to demonstrate effective mitigation of most of these issues in its reference implementations.

More details on the project, including the high level road-map can be found in the Project About tab. If you'd like to contribute join the mailing list and share your ideas and suggestions on the ongoing progress, and of course your proposal for contribution for the ongoing work or work for other programming languages.

Project About

What does this OWASP project offer you?
What releases are available for this project?
what is this project?
Name: OWASP Alchemist Project (home page)
Purpose: Alchemist enables a software development team in realization of highly secure and defensible application with built-in defenses/controls against security‐related design, coding and implementation flaws.

Alchemist is focused to present this solution by architecting a real-life high stakes application with security built into it right from the inception, step-by-step as it falls under an SDLC. The current exercise is targeted at demonstrating this on a J2EE based web application that is developed using Spring framework. Spring framework was chosen due to its widespread adoption in the financial products. However, it is important note that Alchemist is not limited to J2EE or more specifically Spring framework. The idea is to demonstrate the upper spectrum of security practices that are often neglected or are done in bits and pieces by picking a well known widely adopted technology. Since the emphasis is on security architecture and defensibility, the future road-map is to demonstrate the same for applications built using other leading programming languages and frameworks.

Although this project is more than useful for existing/already developed applications, Alchemist is not the ideal solution to retrofit security into existing applications. It is aimed at offering more to applications that are at least in development, most in design phase. Allowing for language-specific differences, Alchemist builds this application with a strong foundation of security architecture that covers following main practices:

  • Security Requirements
  • Threat Risk Modeling
  • Use and Abuse Cases
  • Secure Coding Guideline
License: GNU General Public License
who is working on this project?
Project Leader(s):
how can you learn more?
Project Pamphlet: View
Project Presentation:
Mailing list: Mailing List Archives
Project Roadmap: View
Key Contacts
current release
Alchemist Secure J2EE Spring v1.0 - 13th January 2011 - (no download available)
Release description: A real-world banking application with 5 dynamic pages.
Rating: Yellow button.JPG Not Reviewed - Assessment Details
last reviewed release
Not Yet Reviewed

other releases