Verify the application uses a single and well-vetted access control mechanism for accessing protected data and resources. All requests must pass through this single mechanism to avoid copy and paste or insecure alternative paths. ([C7](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that attribute or feature-based access control is used whereby the code checks the user's authorization for a feature/data item rather than just their role. Permissions should still be allocated using roles. ([C7](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that industry proven or government approved cryptographic algorithms, modes, and libraries are used, instead of custom coded cryptography. ([C8](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that random number, encryption or hashing algorithms, key lengths, rounds, ciphers or modes, can be reconfigured, upgraded, or swapped at any time, to protect against cryptographic breaks. ([C8](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that known insecure block modes (i.e. ECB, etc.), padding modes (i.e. PKCS#1 v1.5, etc.), ciphers with small block sizes (i.e. Triple-DES, Blowfish, etc.), and weak hashing algorithms (i.e. MD5, SHA1, etc.) are not used unless required for backwards compatibility.
Verify that nonces, initialization vectors, and other single use numbers must not be used more than once with a given encryption key. The method of generation must be appropriate for the algorithm being used.
Verify that if the application has a client or server auto-update feature, updates should be obtained over secure channels and digitally signed. The update code must validate the digital signature of the update before installing or executing the update.
Verify that the application employs integrity protections, such as code signing or subresource integrity. The application must not load or execute code from untrusted sources, such as loading includes, modules, plugins, code, or libraries from untrusted sources or the Internet.
Verify that the application has protection from subdomain takeovers if the application relies upon DNS entries or DNS subdomains, such as expired domain names, out of date DNS pointers or CNAMEs, expired projects at public source code repos, or transient cloud APIs, serverless functions, or storage buckets (*autogen-bucket-id*.cloud.example.com) or similar. Protections can include ensuring that DNS names used by applications are regularly checked for expiry or change.
Verify the use of unique or special low-privilege operating system accounts for all application components, services, and servers. ([C3](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that communications between application components, including APIs, middleware and data layers, are authenticated. Components should have the least necessary privileges needed. ([C3](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application uses a single vetted authentication mechanism that is known to be secure, can be extended to include strong authentication, and has sufficient logging and monitoring to detect account abuse or breaches.
Verify that all authentication pathways and identity management APIs implement consistent authentication security control strength, such that there are no weaker alternatives per the risk of the application.
Verify system generated initial passwords or activation codes SHOULD be securely randomly generated, SHOULD be at least 6 characters long, and MAY contain letters and numbers, and expire after a short period of time. These initial secrets must not be permitted to become the long term password.
Verify that the application build and deployment processes are performed in a secure and repeatable way, such as CI / CD automation, automated configuration management, and automated deployment scripts.
Verify that compiler flags are configured to enable all available buffer overflow protections and warnings, including stack randomization, data execution prevention, and to break the build if an unsafe pointer, memory, format string, integer, or string operations are found.
Verify that the application, configuration, and all dependencies can be re-deployed using automated deployment scripts, built from a documented and tested runbook in a reasonable time, or restored from backups in a timely fashion.
Verify that the application monitors for unusual events or activity from a business logic perspective. For example, attempts to perform actions out of order or actions which a normal user would never attempt. ([C9](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify the application encrypts communications between components, particularly when these components are in different containers, systems, sites, or cloud providers. ([C3](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that application components verify the authenticity of each side in a communication link to prevent person-in-the-middle attacks. For example, application components should validate TLS certificates and chains.
Verify the segregation of components of differing trust levels through well-defined security controls, firewall rules, API gateways, reverse proxies, cloud-based security groups, or similar mechanisms.
Verify that the build pipeline contains a build step to automatically build and verify the secure deployment of the application, particularly if the application infrastructure is software defined, such as cloud environment build scripts.
Verify that application deployments adequately sandbox, containerize and/or isolate at the network level to delay and deter attackers from attacking other applications, especially when they are performing sensitive or dangerous actions such as deserialization. ([C5](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that cookie-based session tokens utilize the 'SameSite' attribute to limit exposure to cross-site request forgery attacks. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that if the application is published under a domain name with other applications that set or use session cookies that might disclose the session cookies, set the path attribute in cookie-based session tokens using the most precise path possible. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify forgotten password, and other recovery paths use a secure recovery mechanism, such as time-based OTP (TOTP) or other soft token, mobile push, or another offline recovery mechanism. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that passwords are stored in a form that is resistant to offline attacks. Passwords SHALL be salted and hashed using an approved one-way key derivation or password hashing function. Key derivation and password hashing functions take a password, a salt, and a cost factor as inputs when generating a password hash. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the salt is at least 32 bits in length and be chosen arbitrarily to minimize salt value collisions among stored hashes. For each credential, a unique salt value and the resulting hash SHALL be stored. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that if PBKDF2 is used, the iteration count SHOULD be as large as verification server performance will allow, typically at least 100,000 iterations. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that if bcrypt is used, the work factor SHOULD be as large as verification server performance will allow, with a minimum of 10. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that an additional iteration of a key derivation function is performed, using a salt value that is secret and known only to the verifier. Generate the salt value using an approved random bit generator [SP 800-90Ar1] and provide at least the minimum security strength specified in the latest revision of SP 800-131A. The secret salt value SHALL be stored separately from the hashed passwords (e.g., in a specialized device like a hardware security module).
Verify that cryptographic keys used in verification are stored securely and protected against disclosure, such as using a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) or Hardware Security Module (HSM), or an OS service that can use this secure storage.
Verify that regulated private data is stored encrypted while at rest, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive personal information, or data assessed likely to be subject to EU's GDPR.
Verify that regulated financial data is stored encrypted while at rest, such as financial accounts, defaults or credit history, tax records, pay history, beneficiaries, or de-anonymized market or research records.
Verify that all protection levels have an associated set of protection requirements, such as encryption requirements, integrity requirements, retention, privacy and other confidentiality requirements, and that these are applied in the architecture.
Verify that the attack surface is reduced by sandboxing or encapsulating third party libraries to expose only the required behaviour into the application. ([C2](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application correctly restricts XML parsers to only use the most restrictive configuration possible and to ensure that unsafe features such as resolving external entities are disabled to prevent XML eXternal Entity (XXE) attacks.
Verify that a generic message is shown when an unexpected or security sensitive error occurs, potentially with a unique ID which support personnel can use to investigate. ([C10](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that exception handling (or a functional equivalent) is used across the codebase to account for expected and unexpected error conditions. ([C10](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that Relying Parties (RPs) specify the maximum authentication time to Credential Service Providers (CSPs) and that CSPs re-authenticate the user if they haven't used a session within that period.
Verify that the web tier is configured to serve only files with specific file extensions to prevent unintentional information and source code leakage. For example, backup files (e.g. .bak), temporary working files (e.g. .swp), compressed files (.zip, .tar.gz, etc) and other extensions commonly used by editors should be blocked unless required.
Verify that user-submitted filename metadata is validated or ignored to prevent the disclosure or execution of remote files via Remote File Inclusion (RFI) or Server-side Request Forgery (SSRF) attacks.
Verify that the application protects against Reflective File Download (RFD) by validating or ignoring user-submitted filenames in a JSON, JSONP, or URL parameter, the response Content-Type header should be set to text/plain, and the Content-Disposition header should have a fixed filename.
Verify that the principle of least privilege exists - users should only be able to access functions, data files, URLs, controllers, services, and other resources, for which they possess specific authorization. This implies protection against spoofing and elevation of privilege. ([C7](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that anti-automation controls are effective at mitigating breached credential testing, brute force, and account lockout attacks. Such controls include blocking the most common breached passwords, soft lockouts, rate limiting, CAPTCHA, ever increasing delays between attempts, IP address restrictions, or risk-based restrictions such as location, first login on a device, recent attempts to unlock the account, or similar. Verify that no more than 100 failed attempts per hour is possible on a single account.
Verify that the use of weak authenticators (such as SMS and email) is limited to secondary verification and transaction approval and not as a replacement for more secure authentication methods. Verify that stronger methods are offered before weak methods, users are aware of the risks, or that proper measures are in place to limit the risks of account compromise.
Verify that secure notifications are sent to users after updates to authentication details, such as credential resets, email or address changes, logging in from unknown or risky locations. The use of push notifications - rather than SMS or email - is preferred, but in the absence of push notifications, SMS or email is acceptable as long as no sensitive information is disclosed in the notification.
Verify impersonation resistance against phishing, such as the use of multi-factor authentication, cryptographic devices with intent (such as connected keys with a push to authenticate), or at higher AAL levels, client-side certificates.
Verify that authorization decisions are made at both the URI, enforced by programmatic or declarative security at the controller or router, and at the resource level, enforced by model-based permissions.
Verify that a query allow list or a combination of depth limiting and amount limiting is used to prevent GraphQL or data layer expression Denial of Service (DoS) as a result of expensive, nested queries. For more advanced scenarios, query cost analysis should be used.
Verify that the application server only accepts the HTTP methods in use by the application/API, including pre-flight OPTIONS, and logs/alerts on any requests that are not valid for the application context.
Verify that the Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) Access-Control-Allow-Origin header uses a strict allow list of trusted domains and subdomains to match against and does not support the "null" origin.
Verify that every HTTP response contains a Content-Type header. Also specify a safe character set (e.g., UTF-8, ISO-8859-1) if the content types are text/*, /+xml and application/xml. Content must match with the provided Content-Type header.
Verify that the content of a web application cannot be embedded in a third-party site by default and that embedding of the exact resources is only allowed where necessary by using suitable Content-Security-Policy: frame-ancestors and X-Frame-Options response headers.
Verify that the application has defenses against HTTP parameter pollution attacks, particularly if the application framework makes no distinction about the source of request parameters (GET, POST, cookies, headers, or environment variables).
Verify that frameworks protect against mass parameter assignment attacks, or that the application has countermeasures to protect against unsafe parameter assignment, such as marking fields private or similar. ([C5](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that structured data is strongly typed and validated against a defined schema including allowed characters, length and pattern (e.g. credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or validating that two related fields are reasonable, such as checking that suburb and zip/postcode match). ([C5](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that serialization is not used when communicating with untrusted clients. If this is not possible, ensure that adequate integrity controls (and possibly encryption if sensitive data is sent) are enforced to prevent deserialization attacks including object injection.
Verify that the application does not log credentials or payment details. Session tokens should only be stored in logs in an irreversible, hashed form. ([C9, C10](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application logs security relevant events including successful and failed authentication events, access control failures, deserialization failures and input validation failures. ([C5, C7](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that each log event includes necessary information that would allow for a detailed investigation of the timeline when an event happens. ([C9](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that time sources are synchronized to the correct time and time zone. Strongly consider logging only in UTC if systems are global to assist with post-incident forensic analysis. ([C9](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application source code and third party libraries do not contain unauthorized phone home or data collection capabilities. Where such functionality exists, obtain the user's permission for it to operate before collecting any data.
Verify that the application source code and third party libraries do not contain back doors, such as hard-coded or additional undocumented accounts or keys, code obfuscation, undocumented binary blobs, rootkits, or anti-debugging, insecure debugging features, or otherwise out of date, insecure, or hidden functionality that could be used maliciously if discovered.
Verify that a source code control system is in use, with procedures to ensure that check-ins are accompanied by issues or change tickets. The source code control system should have access control and identifiable users to allow traceability of any changes.
Verify that sensitive data and APIs are protected against Insecure Direct Object Reference (IDOR) attacks targeting creation, reading, updating and deletion of records, such as creating or updating someone else's record, viewing everyone's records, or deleting all records.
Verify that the application or framework enforces a strong anti-CSRF mechanism to protect authenticated functionality, and effective anti-automation or anti-CSRF protects unauthenticated functionality.
Verify that directory browsing is disabled unless deliberately desired. Additionally, applications should not allow discovery or disclosure of file or directory metadata, such as Thumbs.db, .DS_Store, .git or .svn folders.
Verify the application has additional authorization (such as step up or adaptive authentication) for lower value systems, and / or segregation of duties for high value applications to enforce anti-fraud controls as per the risk of application and past fraud.
Verify that output encoding preserves the user's chosen character set and locale, such that any Unicode character point is valid and safely handled. ([C4](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that context-aware, preferably automated - or at worst, manual - output escaping protects against reflected, stored, and DOM based XSS. ([C4](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that data selection or database queries (e.g. SQL, HQL, ORM, NoSQL) use parameterized queries, ORMs, entity frameworks, or are otherwise protected from database injection attacks. ([C3](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that where parameterized or safer mechanisms are not present, context-specific output encoding is used to protect against injection attacks, such as the use of SQL escaping to protect against SQL injection. ([C3, C4](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application protects against LDAP injection vulnerabilities, or that specific security controls to prevent LDAP injection have been implemented. ([C4](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application protects against OS command injection and that operating system calls use parameterized OS queries or use contextual command line output encoding. ([C4](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that passwords submitted during account registration, login, and password change are checked against a set of breached passwords either locally (such as the top 1,000 or 10,000 most common passwords which match the system's password policy) or using an external API. If using an API a zero knowledge proof or other mechanism should be used to ensure that the plain text password is not sent or used in verifying the breach status of the password. If the password is breached, the application must require the user to set a new non-breached password. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that there are no password composition rules limiting the type of characters permitted. There should be no requirement for upper or lower case or numbers or special characters. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the user can choose to either temporarily view the entire masked password, or temporarily view the last typed character of the password on platforms that do not have this as built-in functionality.
Verify that RESTful web services that utilize cookies are protected from Cross-Site Request Forgery via the use of at least one or more of the following: double submit cookie pattern, CSRF nonces, or Origin request header checks.
Verify that the message headers and payload are trustworthy and not modified in transit. Requiring strong encryption for transport (TLS only) may be sufficient in many cases as it provides both confidentiality and integrity protection. Per-message digital signatures can provide additional assurance on top of the transport protections for high-security applications but bring with them additional complexity and risks to weigh against the benefits.
Verify that all random numbers, random file names, random GUIDs, and random strings are generated using the cryptographic module's approved cryptographically secure random number generator when these random values are intended to be not guessable by an attacker.
Verify that random GUIDs are created using the GUID v4 algorithm, and a Cryptographically-secure Pseudo-random Number Generator (CSPRNG). GUIDs created using other pseudo-random number generators may be predictable.
Verify that all untrusted HTML input from WYSIWYG editors or similar is properly sanitized with an HTML sanitizer library or framework feature. ([C5](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that the application avoids the use of eval() or other dynamic code execution features. Where there is no alternative, any user input being included must be sanitized or sandboxed before being executed.
Verify that the application protects against SSRF attacks, by validating or sanitizing untrusted data or HTTP file metadata, such as filenames and URL input fields, and uses allow lists of protocols, domains, paths and ports.
Verify that the application sanitizes, disables, or sandboxes user-supplied Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) scriptable content, especially as they relate to XSS resulting from inline scripts, and foreignObject.
Verify that a secrets management solution such as a key vault is used to securely create, store, control access to and destroy secrets. ([C8](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that key material is not exposed to the application but instead uses an isolated security module like a vault for cryptographic operations. ([C8](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that user-uploaded files - if required to be displayed or downloaded from the application - are served by either octet stream downloads, or from an unrelated domain, such as a cloud file storage bucket. Implement a suitable Content Security Policy (CSP) to reduce the risk from XSS vectors or other attacks from the uploaded file.
Verify that all user stories and features contain functional security constraints, such as "As a user, I should be able to view and edit my profile. I should not be able to view or edit anyone else's profile"
Verify implementation of centralized, simple (economy of design), vetted, secure, and reusable security controls to avoid duplicate, missing, ineffective, or insecure controls. ([C10](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that users are provided clear language regarding collection and use of supplied personal information and that users have provided opt-in consent for the use of that data before it is used in any way.
Verify that all sensitive data created and processed by the application has been identified, and ensure that a policy is in place on how to deal with sensitive data. ([C8](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that sensitive or private information that is required to be encrypted, is encrypted using approved algorithms that provide both confidentiality and integrity. ([C8](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
Verify that connections to and from the server use trusted TLS certificates. Where internally generated or self-signed certificates are used, the server must be configured to only trust specific internal CAs and specific self-signed certificates. All others should be rejected.
Verify that encrypted communications such as TLS is used for all inbound and outbound connections, including for management ports, monitoring, authentication, API, or web service calls, database, cloud, serverless, mainframe, external, and partner connections. The server must not fall back to insecure or unencrypted protocols.
Verify that if passwords are required for service authentication, the service account used is not a default credential. (e.g. root/root or admin/admin are default in some services during installation).
Verify passwords, integrations with databases and third-party systems, seeds and internal secrets, and API keys are managed securely and not included in the source code or stored within source code repositories. Such storage SHOULD resist offline attacks. The use of a secure software key store (L1), hardware TPM, or an HSM (L3) is recommended for password storage.
Verify that logout and expiration invalidate the session token, such that the back button or a downstream relying party does not resume an authenticated session, including across relying parties. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
If authenticators permit users to remain logged in, verify that re-authentication occurs periodically both when actively used or after an idle period. ([C6](https://owasp.org/www-project-proactive-controls/#div-numbering))
30 days12 hours or 30 minutes of inactivity, 2FA optional12 hours or 15 minutes of inactivity, with 2FA
Verify that the application gives the option to terminate all other active sessions after a successful password change (including change via password reset/recovery), and that this is effective across the application, federated login (if present), and any relying parties.