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Testing for Authorization

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OWASP Testing Guide v3 Table of Contents

This article is part of the OWASP Testing Guide v3. The entire OWASP Testing Guide v3 can be downloaded here.

OWASP at the moment is working at the OWASP Testing Guide v4: you can browse the Guide here

4.6 Authorization Testing

Authorization is the concept of allowing access to resources only to those permitted to use them. Testing for Authorization means understanding how the authorization process works and using that information to circumvent the authorization mechanism.
Authorization is a process that comes after a successful authentication, so the tester will verify this point after he holds valid credentials, associated with a well-defined set of roles and privileges. During this kind of assessment, it should be verified if it is possible to bypass the authorization schema, find a path traversal vulnerability, or find ways to escalate the privileges assigned to the tester.

4.6.1 Testing for Path Traversal (OWASP-AZ-001)
First, we test if it is possible to find a way to execute a path traversal attack and access reserved information

4.6.2 Testing for bypassing authorization schema
This kind of test focuses on verifying how the authorization schema has been implemented for each role/privilege to get access to reserved functions/resources.

4.6.3 Testing for Privilege Escalation
During this phase, the tester should verify that it is not possible for a user to modify his or her privileges/roles inside the application in ways that could allow privilege escalation attacks.