[Owasp-leaders] R: Re: OWASP testing and disclosure levels

dinis cruz dinis.cruz at owasp.org
Wed Dec 23 06:34:02 EST 2009

I think this is a great idea and one that OWASP is uniquely position to make
it happen.

This goes to the heart of what we are trying to do at OWASP since it will
help to improve the visibility of an website's security.

But before you continue reading the rest of this post, if you are not aware
of PayPal's guidelines for external security researchers, please go and read
is linked from

Here is what I like about this schema:

   - (probably the most important) this is NOT dependent on the website's
   collaboration or participation (i.e. we can implement this independently)
   - It promotes good behavior and security awareness from the website's
   - it allows OWASP to raise the bar of entire sections of the online
   industry, since once we have a number of websites that follow the proposed
   guidelines, then their competitors will have 'market pressure' to follow it
   - this is something that the entire OWASP community needs (from member
   companies, to individual members, to owasp leaders, to participants at our
   conferences or mailing lists). For example, I (as a web user) would like to
   know when I use a website about that website's security posture. Another
   good example was when OWASP had to chose a couple months ago which
   Online-Voting provider we used for our board elections. Since we were paying
   for that service, the website's security should had been part of the
   decision making process (and it wasn't since we had no visibility into that
   website's security)
   - this schema also allows to clarify what is the affected website's point
   of view regarding their multiple web applications. Let look at a couple
      - The *Full Disclosure* and *Fully Open* could be used on Sample Apps.
      For example the ones published with the Spring Framework (like
JPetStore or
      - the *Responsible Disclosure *and* Open Code Review* could be used
      for Open Source applications (in fact the different between *Open Code
      Review* and *Fully Open* could be that for Fully Open
      the tests can be executed into the actual live website versus a
locally executed copy of the website (which will be possible when we
have access the source code)
      - the *Responsible Disclosure *and* Open Test* is what PayPal is doing
      - the *Private Disclosure *could be used a first step for companies
      who want to leverage the good guys security knowledge (for
example, a lot of
      us 'accidentally' discover security vulnerabilities in websites
but are not
      comfortable in reporting them since we are not sure how the
website's owner
      would react (in fact in most cases we don't even know who to contact)).
      Another source of security issues for this is the XSSed database, or the
      google searches for the latest Flash/XSS vulnerability.
      - the *No Disclosure* is an interesting one since I don't expect that
      companies will 'officially' embrace, but one we (OWASP) could
apply based on
      that companies past behavior (past examples are: MySpace when it
sued Sammy,
      BT with Daniel, the US Gov departments behind with the Gary McKinnon
      case, etc...)
      - Finally given the current 'hacking laws' the *OWASP “Trust Us”
      Insecurity Program – No testing + no disclosure* is what all public
      websites should be given by default. This would actually be a
great way to
      visually show the current (bad) state of affairs
      - For day to day browsing, a Firefox extension that checked the
      website's status would be a great way to expose this to a wider audience

I'm sure there is a number of tweaks we will need to do to the
classification names, its definitions and the scenarios they cover.

So I would say that the next step is for us to try to implement this, mark
it as Beta for a while, and once it is working, officially launch it.

Who wants to be the project leader?

Dinis Cruz

2009/12/22 <loredana.mancini at business-e.it>

> Hi,
> I am really interested in this project/idea, because my feeling is that it
> is something needed, but when speking with industries about these topics
> lots af doubts arise and it is not easy for them to accept this vision.
> Very often technical/expert people have to struggle with management, legal,
> administrative/ecc. to show the value of these activities and behaviour
> models.
> Microsoft as well,  started from far away to reach this point.....
> So I would like to be involved in this project, please let me know, bye
> Loredana
> Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Jeff Williams" <jeff.williams at owasp.org>
> Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 21:08:53
> To: <owasp-leaders at lists.owasp.org>
> Subject: Re: [Owasp-leaders] OWASP testing and disclosure levels
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