Neohapsis is currently accepting applications for employment. For more information, please visit our website www.neohapsis.com or email email@example.com
Re: An Open Letter (and Challenge) to the Application Security Consortium
From: Jeremiah Grossman (jeremiahwhitehatsec.com)
Date: Tue Nov 16 2004 - 10:20:24 CST
Some people may have been under the impression that this letter was
directed towards the "Web Application Security Consortium" (WASC)
http://www.webappsec.org. To clarify, I believe this letter was meant
for ANOTHER group including F5, Imperva, NetContinuum, and Teros.
Specifically a challenge they sent to Check Point, Cisco, Juniper,
McAfee and Symantec. Many industry acronyms are very close.
Reference the following URL's for background.
The press release found here:
further industry coverage here:
On Monday, November 15, 2004, at 07:34 PM, The OWASP Project wrote:
> An Open Letter (and Challenge) to the Application Security Consortium
> Since its inception in late 2000 the Open Web Application Security
> Project (OWASP) has provided free and open tools and documentation to
> educate people about the increasing threat of insecure web
> applications and web services. As a not-for-profit charitable
> foundation, one of our community responsibilities is to ensure that
> fair and balanced information is available to companies and consumers.
> Our work has become recommended reading by the Federal Trade
> Commission, VISA, the Defense Information Systems Agency and many
> other commercial and government entities.
> The newly unveiled Application Security Consortium recently announced
> a "Web Application Security Challenge" to other vendors at the
> Computer Security Institute (CSI) show in Washington, D.C. This group
> of security product vendors proposes to create a new minimum criteria
> and then rate their own products against it.
> The OWASP community is deeply concerned that this criteria will
> mislead consumers and result in a false sense of security. In the
> interest of fairness, we believe the Application Security Consortium
> should disclose what security issues their products do not address.
> As a group with a wide range of international members from leading
> financial services organizations, pharmaceutical companies,
> manufacturing companies, services providers, and technology vendors,
> we are constantly reminded about the diverse range of vulnerabilities
> that are present in web applications and web services. The very small
> selection of vulnerabilities you are proposing to become a testing
> criteria are far from representative of what our members see in the
> real world and therefore do not represent a fair or suitable test
> criteria. In fact, it seems quite a coincidence that the issues you
> have chosen seem to closely mirror the issues that your technology
> category is typically able to detect, while ignoring very common
> vulnerabilities that cause serious problems for companies.
> Robert Graham, Chief Scientist at Internet Security Systems, recently
> commented on application firewalls in an interview for CNET news. When
> asked the question "How important do you think application firewalls
> will become in the future?" his answer was "Not very."
> "Let me give you an example of something that happened with me. Not
> long ago, I ordered a plasma screen online, which was to be shipped by
> a local company in Atlanta. And the company gave me a six-digit
> shipping number. Accidentally, I typed in an incremental of my
> shipping number (on the online tracking Web site). Now, a six-digit
> number is a small number, so of course I got someone else's user
> account information. And the reason that happened was due to the way
> they've set up their user IDs, by incrementing from a six-digit
> number. So here's the irony: Their system may be so cryptographically
> secure that (the) chances of an encrypted shipping number being
> cracked is lower than a meteor hitting the earth and wiping out
> civilization. Still, I could get at the next ID easily. There is no
> application firewall that can solve this problem. With applications
> that people are running on the Web, no amount of additive things can
> cure fundamental problems that are already there in the first place."
> This story echoes some of the fundamental beliefs and wisdom shared by
> the collective members of OWASP. Our experience shows that the
> problems we face with insecure software cannot be fixed with
> technology alone. Building secure software requires deep changes in
> our development culture, including people, processes, and technology.
> We challenge the members of the Application Security Consortium to
> accept a fair evaluation of their products. OWASP will work with its
> members (your customers) to create an open set of criteria that is
> representative of the web application and web services issues found in
> the real world. OWASP will then build a web application that contains
> each of these issues. The criteria and web application will be
> submitted to an independent testing company to evaluate your products.
> You can submit your products to be tested against the criteria
> (without having prior access to the code) on the basis that the
> results are able to be published freely and will unabridged.
> We believe that this kind of marketing stunt is irresponsible and
> severely distracts awareness from the real issues surrounding web
> application and web services security. Corporations need to understand
> that they must build better software and not seek an elusive silver
> We urge the Consortium not to go forward with their criteria, but to
> take OWASP up on our offer to produce a meaningful standard and test
> environment that are open and free for all.
> Contact: owaspowasp.org
> Website: www.owasp.org