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This article is part of the new OWASP Testing Guide v4.
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Performing the technical side of the assessment is only half of the overall assessment process. The final product is the production of a well written and informative report. A report should be easy to understand and should highlight all the risks found during the assessment phase. The report should appeal to both executive management and technical staff.

The report needs to have three major sections. It should be created in a manner that allows each separate section to be printed and given to the appropriate teams, such as the developers or system managers. The recommended sections are outlined below.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary sums up the overall findings of the assessment and gives business managers and system owners a high level view of the vulnerabilities discovered. The language used should be more suited to people who are not technically aware and should include graphs or other charts which show the risk level. Keep in mind that executives will likely only have time to read this summary and will want two questions answered in plain language: 1) What's wrong? 2) How do I fix it? You have one page to answer these questions.

The executive summary should plainly state that the vulnerabilities and their severity is an input to their organizational risk management process, not an outcome or remediation. It is safest to explain that tester does not understand the threats faced by the organization or business consequences if the vulnerabilities are exploited. This is the job of the risk professional who calculates risk levels based on this and other information. Risk management will typically be part of the organization's IT Security Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) regime and this report will simply provide an input to that process.

2. Test Parameters

The Introduction should outline the parameters of the security testing, the findings and remediation. Some suggested section headings include:

2.1 Project Objective: This section outlines the project objectives and the expected outcome of the assessment.

2.2 Project Scope: This section outlines the agreed scope.

2.3 Project Schedule This section outlines when the testing commenced and when it was completed.

2.4 Targets: This section lists the number of applications or targeted systems.

2.5 Limitations: This section outlines every limitation which was faced throughout the assessment. For example, limitations of project-focused tests, limitation in the security testing methods, performance or technical issues that the tester come across during the course of assessment, etc.

2.6 Findings Summary This section outlines the vulnerabilities that were discovered during testing.

2.7 Remediation Summary This section outlines the action plan for fixing the vulnerabilities that were discovered during testing.

3. Findings

The last section of the report includes detailed technical information about the vulnerabilities found and the actions needed to resolve them. This section is aimed at a technical level and should include all the necessary information for the technical teams to understand the issue and resolve it. Each finding should be clear and concise and give the reader of the report a full understanding of the issue at hand.

The findings section should include:

  • Screenshots and command lines to indicate what tasks were undertaken during the execution of the test case
  • The affected item
  • A technical description of the issue and the affected function or object
  • A section on resolving the issue
  • The severity rating [1], with vector notation if using CVSS

The following is the list of controls that were tested during the assessment:

Test ID Test Description Findings Severity Recommendations
Information Gathering
OTG-INFO-001 Conduct Search Engine Discovery and Reconnaissance for Information Leakage
OTG-INFO-002 Fingerprint Web Server
OTG-INFO-003 Review Webserver Metafiles for Information Leakage
OTG-INFO-004 Enumerate Applications on Webserver
OTG-INFO-005 Review Webpage Comments and Metadata for Information Leakage
OTG-INFO-006 Identify application entry points
OTG-INFO-007 Map execution paths through application
OTG-INFO-009 Fingerprint Web Application Framework
OTG-INFO-009 Fingerprint Web Application
OTG-INFO-010 Map Application Architecture
Configuration and Deploy Management Testing
OTG-CONFIG-001 Test Network/Infrastructure Configuration
OTG-CONFIG-002 Test Application Platform Configuration
OTG-CONFIG-003 Test File Extensions Handling for Sensitive Information
OTG-CONFIG-004 Backup and Unreferenced Files for Sensitive Information
OTG-CONFIG-005 Enumerate Infrastructure and Application Admin Interfaces
OTG-CONFIG-006 Test HTTP Methods
OTG-CONFIG-007 Test HTTP Strict Transport Security
OTG-CONFIG-008 Test RIA cross domain policy
Identity Management Testing
OTG-IDENT-001 Test Role Definitions
OTG-IDENT-002 Test User Registration Process
OTG-IDENT-003 Test Account Provisioning Process
OTG-IDENT-004 Testing for Account Enumeration and Guessable User Account
OTG-IDENT-005 Testing for Weak or unenforced username policy
OTG-IDENT-006 Test Permissions of Guest/Training Accounts
OTG-IDENT-007 Test Account Suspension/Resumption Process
Authentication Testing
OTG-AUTHN-001 Testing for Credentials Transported over an Encrypted Channel
OTG-AUTHN-002 Testing for default credentials
OTG-AUTHN-003 Testing for Weak lock out mechanism
OTG-AUTHN-004 Testing for bypassing authentication schema
OTG-AUTHN-005 Test remember password functionality
OTG-AUTHN-006 Testing for Browser cache weakness
OTG-AUTHN-007 Testing for Weak password policy
OTG-AUTHN-008 Testing for Weak security question/answer
OTG-AUTHN-009 Testing for weak password change or reset functionalities
OTG-AUTHN-010 Testing for Weaker authentication in alternative channel
Authorization Testing
OTG-AUTHZ-001 Testing Directory traversal/file include
OTG-AUTHZ-002 Testing for bypassing authorization schema
OTG-AUTHZ-003 Testing for Privilege Escalation
OTG-AUTHZ-004 Testing for Insecure Direct Object References
Session Management Testing
OTG-SESS-001 Testing for Bypassing Session Management Schema
OTG-SESS-002 Testing for Cookies attributes
OTG-SESS-003 Testing for Session Fixation
OTG-SESS-004 Testing for Exposed Session Variables
OTG-SESS-005 Testing for Cross Site Request Forgery
OTG-SESS-006 Testing for logout functionality
OTG-SESS-007 Test Session Timeout
OTG-SESS-008 Testing for Session puzzling
Input Validation Testing
OTG-INPVAL-001 Testing for Reflected Cross Site Scripting
OTG-INPVAL-002 Testing for Stored Cross Site Scripting
OTG-INPVAL-003 Testing for HTTP Verb Tampering
OTG-INPVAL-004 Testing for HTTP Parameter pollution
OTG-INPVAL-006 Testing for SQL Injection
Oracle Testing
MySQL Testing
SQL Server Testing
Testing PostgreSQL
MS Access Testing
Testing for NoSQL injection
OTG-INPVAL-007 Testing for LDAP Injection
OTG-INPVAL-008 Testing for ORM Injection
OTG-INPVAL-009 Testing for XML Injection
OTG-INPVAL-010 Testing for SSI Injection
OTG-INPVAL-011 Testing for XPath Injection
OTG-INPVAL-013 Testing for Code Injection
Testing for Local File Inclusion
Testing for Remote File Inclusion
OTG-INPVAL-014 Testing for Command Injection
OTG-INPVAL-015 Testing for Buffer overflow
Testing for Heap overflow
Testing for Stack overflow
Testing for Format string
OTG-INPVAL-016 Testing for incubated vulnerabilities
OTG-INPVAL-017 Testing for HTTP Splitting/Smuggling
Error Handling
OTG-ERR-001 Analysis of Error Codes
OTG-ERR-002 Analysis of Stack Traces
OTG-CRYPST-001 Testing for Weak SSL/TSL Ciphers, Insufficient Transport Layer Protection
OTG-CRYPST-002 Testing for Padding Oracle
OTG-CRYPST-003 Testing for Sensitive information sent via unencrypted channels
Business Logic Testing
OTG-BUSLOGIC-001 Test Business Logic Data Validation
OTG-BUSLOGIC-002 Test Ability to Forge Requests
OTG-BUSLOGIC-003 Test Integrity Checks
OTG-BUSLOGIC-004 Test for Process Timing
OTG-BUSLOGIC-005 Test Number of Times a Function Can be Used Limits
OTG-BUSLOGIC-006 Testing for the Circumvention of Work Flows
OTG-BUSLOGIC-007 Test Defenses Against Application Mis-use
OTG-BUSLOGIC-008 Test Upload of Unexpected File Types
OTG-BUSLOGIC-009 Test Upload of Malicious Files
Client Side Testing
OTG-CLIENT-001 Testing for DOM based Cross Site Scripting
OTG-CLIENT-002 Testing for JavaScript Execution
OTG-CLIENT-003 Testing for HTML Injection
OTG-CLIENT-004 Testing for Client Side URL Redirect
OTG-CLIENT-005 Testing for CSS Injection
OTG-CLIENT-006 Testing for Client Side Resource Manipulation
OTG-CLIENT-007 Test Cross Origin Resource Sharing
OTG-CLIENT-008 Testing for Cross Site Flashing
OTG-CLIENT-009 Testing for Clickjacking
OTG-CLIENT-010 Testing WebSockets
OTG-CLIENT-011 Test Web Messaging
OTG-CLIENT-012 Test Local Storage

Here is the report (see for the complete list of tests):


This section is often used to describe the commercial and open-source tools that were used in conducting the assessment. When custom scripts or code are utilized during the assessment, it should be disclosed in this section or noted as attachment. Customers appreciate when the methodology used by the consultants is included. It gives them an idea of the thoroughness of the assessment and what areas were included.