Earlier this week I heard that my talk about vulnerability severity ratings has been accepted for OWASP AppSec Research 2012 in Athens in July. The title of the presentation is "Tricolour Alphanumerical Spaghetti" which I need to explain.
Do you know your "A, B, Cs" from your "1, 2, 3s"? Is "red" much worse than "orange", and why is "yellow" used instead of "green"? Just what is a "critical" vulnerability? Is "critical" the same as "very high"? How do PCI DSS "level 4 and 5" security scanning vulnerabilities relate to application weaknesses? Does a "tick" mean you passed? Are you using CWE and CVSS? Is a "medium" network vulnerability as dangerous as a "medium" application vulnerability? Can CWSS help? What is FIPS PUB 199? Does risk ranking equate to prioritisation? What is "one" vulnerability?
Are you drowning in a mess of unrelated classifications, terminology and abbreviations? If you are a security verifier and want to know more about ranking your findings more meaningfully, or receive test reports and want to better understand the results, or are just new to ranking weaknesses/vulnerabilities and want an overview, come along to this presentation. It will also explain why the unranked information-only ("grey" or "blue"?) findings might contain some of the best value information.
In the presentation, I will outline techniques commonly used, or referenced, to rank application security weaknesses including:
- Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)
- Common Weakness Scoring System (CWSS)
- Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments (NIST SP 800-30 Rev. 1 DRAFT)
- Microsoft's STRIDE and DREAD
- OWASP Risk Rating Methodology
- OWASP Top Ten
- PCI DSS Security Scanning Procedure vulnerability classification
- Software Engineering Institute (SEI) OCTAVE
- Standard for Security Categorization of Federal Information Systems (FIPS PUB 199)
- Custom methods (and tester's experience)
The relevance to application security, advantages and disadvantages of each will be compared. The relatively new Common Weakness Scoring System (CWSS), co-sponsored by the Software Assurance Program in the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will be described in some detail. This will include an explanation of the Common Weakness Risk Analysis Framework (CWRAF).
The presentation will also examine how impact is calculated and discuss why the direct business impact may not be the only thing you need to worry about. In this part, the counting of weaknesses will be discussed and why all of this is important from a compliance perspective. Five contrasting issues (system information leakage, personal data exposure, cross-site scripting, SQL injection and a non-security PCI DSS compliance issue) will be used to calculate example rankings using the OWASP Risk Rating Methodology, CVSS and CWSS. The methods and results will be compared and contrasted for different types of applications (website, web service and mobile app) in different business contexts. Finally the presentation will provide a list of issues to check before you commission assessments to make sure the results are meaningful.
Conference and training registration is now open. AppSec Research 2012 is being held at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications at the University of Athens. The nearest metro station is Evangelismos.
Posted on: 25 May 2012 at 07:31 hrs