Thursday, March 11, 2010

#6 of the Top Vulnerability Discoverers of 2009

As I was last year, I am again pleased to report that the vulnerabilities I've been happily and responsibly disclosing and posting have resulted in 6th place on the list of Top Vulnerability Discoverers of 2009. Thanks to Scott Moore of the IBM ISS Frequency X Blog who compiled the list for 2009.
I remain both pleased and disconcerted to find myself on this list and wish to convey a few thoughts on the subject.

1) First, a reminder that my work has focused entirely on vulnerable web apps and pales in comparison to the likes of others named on both the all-time list and the list for 2009. Congratulations and well done to you all.

2) My efforts resulted in what the Frequency X post indicates is 48 unique web application vulnerabilities in 2009. This again serves as a stark reminder of what a challenged state of affairs the development process is for so many web application vendors. May the SDL and its ilk prevail.

3) I will continue my discovery and reporting efforts with the intention of somehow making a dent in the statistics (unrealistic, I know). I focused heavily on cross-site request forgery (CSRF) issues in 2009 and was not surprised to find that the average number of days for CSRF vulnerabilities to be resolved increased by 37 days to 93 days.

The above figure can be found on page 7 of the 8th Edition of WhiteHat's Website Security Statistics Report.
I believe, as the report states, that much of the reason CSRF issues linger unabated is that "no one at the organization knows about, understands, or respects the issue."
I can tell you from personal experience, I heard this many times in 2009.
It should therefore surprise no one that CSRF is number four on the 2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors.
Hopefully, each application discovered and reported as vulnerable to this issue leads to a downward statistical trend in the likes of the WhiteHat report.

I look forward to continued discussions of these issues with you, dear readers, and hope we can make a difference.

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