OWASP API Security Project
Check out the new OWASP API Security Top 10 2023 !
What is API Security?
A foundational element of innovation in today’s app-driven world is the API. From banks, retail and transportation to IoT, autonomous vehicles and smart cities, APIs are a critical part of modern mobile, SaaS and web applications and can be found in customer-facing, partner-facing and internal applications. By nature, APIs expose application logic and sensitive data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and because of this have increasingly become a target for attackers. Without secure APIs, rapid innovation would be impossible.
API Security focuses on strategies and solutions to understand and mitigate the unique vulnerabilities and security risks of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
API Security Top 10 2023
Here is a sneak peek of the 2023 version:
APIs tend to expose endpoints that handle object identifiers, creating a wide attack surface of Object Level Access Control issues. Object level authorization checks should be considered in every function that accesses a data source using an ID from the user. Continue reading.
Authentication mechanisms are often implemented incorrectly, allowing attackers to compromise authentication tokens or to exploit implementation flaws to assume other user’s identities temporarily or permanently. Compromising a system’s ability to identify the client/user, compromises API security overall. Continue reading.
This category combines API3:2019 Excessive Data Exposure and API6:2019 - Mass Assignment, focusing on the root cause: the lack of or improper authorization validation at the object property level. This leads to information exposure or manipulation by unauthorized parties. Continue reading.
Satisfying API requests requires resources such as network bandwidth, CPU, memory, and storage. Other resources such as emails/SMS/phone calls or biometrics validation are made available by service providers via API integrations, and paid for per request. Successful attacks can lead to Denial of Service or an increase of operational costs. Continue reading.
Complex access control policies with different hierarchies, groups, and roles, and an unclear separation between administrative and regular functions, tend to lead to authorization flaws. By exploiting these issues, attackers can gain access to other users’ resources and/or administrative functions. Continue reading.
APIs vulnerable to this risk expose a business flow - such as buying a ticket, or posting a comment - without compensating for how the functionality could harm the business if used excessively in an automated manner. This doesn’t necessarily come from implementation bugs. Continue reading.
Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) flaws can occur when an API is fetching a remote resource without validating the user-supplied URI. This enables an attacker to coerce the application to send a crafted request to an unexpected destination, even when protected by a firewall or a VPN. Continue reading.
APIs and the systems supporting them typically contain complex configurations, meant to make the APIs more customizable. Software and DevOps engineers can miss these configurations, or don’t follow security best practices when it comes to configuration, opening the door for different types of attacks. Continue reading.
APIs tend to expose more endpoints than traditional web applications, making proper and updated documentation highly important. A proper inventory of hosts and deployed API versions also are important to mitigate issues such as deprecated API versions and exposed debug endpoints. Continue reading.
Developers tend to trust data received from third-party APIs more than user input, and so tend to adopt weaker security standards. In order to compromise APIs, attackers go after integrated third-party services instead of trying to compromise the target API directly. Continue reading.
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Jun 5th, 2023
OWASP API Security Top 10 2023 stable version was publicly released.
Feb 14, 2023
OWASP API Security Top 10 2023 Release Candidate is now available.
Aug 30, 2022
Oct 30, 2020
Apr 4, 2020
Mar 27, 2020
Dec 26, 2019
OWASP API Security Top 10 2019 stable version release.
Sep 30, 2019
Sep 13, 2019
May 30, 2019
- API Security Top 10
- API Security Cheat Sheet
- crAPI - Completely Ridiculous API, an intentionally vulnerable API project)