WASC WHID Semi-Annual Report for 2010: July - December

SpiderLabs just released our WASC Web Hacking Incident Database (WHID) Semiannual Report for 2010 (July - December). You can download the full report here (registration required). In this report, we analyze the WHID events from the 2nd half of the year and provide information such as top:

  • Outcomes
  • Attacks
  • Application Weaknesses
  • Attacked Vertial Markets
  • Vertical Market Breakdown

Report Summary Findings

An analysis of 75 Web hacking incidents from the second half of 2010 conducted by Trustwave's SpiderLabs team shows the following trends and findings:

  • A steep rise in attacks aimed at causing downtime – currently the new no. 1 outcome (up 21% from previous reporting period). This is mainly a result of ideological hacking efforts utilizing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks as part of the Anonymous Group versus Anti-Piracy and WikiLeaks events.
  • Corresponding to downtime outcomes, denial of service attacks made the largest jump for Attack Methods to no. 1 (up 22% from the previous reporting period).
  • Organizations have not properly implemented nor tested anti-automation defenses for their Web application architecture to ensure application availability during denial of service (DoS) attacks.

Vertical Market Breakdown

The most valuable way to use WHID data is to apply a vertical market view. This will give you a much closer view of what issues are effecting your market. To this, you can utilize the Real-time Statistics interface on the WHID Project Site and choose your vertical market from the drop-down list. Here is quick breakdown of the top vertical markets from 2010:


  • Outcome – Defacement
  • Attack Method – SQL Injection
  • Application Weakness – Improper Input Handling


  • Outcome – Monetary Loss
  • Attack Method – Stolen Credentials
  • Application Weakness – Insufficient Authentication


  • Outcome – Credit Card Leakage
  • Attack Method – SQL Injection
  • Application Weakness – Improper Input Handling

    WHID Top 10 Risks for 2010

    As part of the WHID analysis, here is a current Top 10 listing for 2010 of the application weaknesses that are actively being exploited (with example attack method mapping in parentheses). Hopefully this data can be used by organizations to re-prioritize their remediation efforts.

    WHID Top 10 for 2010


    Insufficient Anti-Automation (Brute Force and DoS)


    Improper Output Handling (XSS and Planting of Malware)


    Improper Input Handling (SQL Injection)


    Insufficient Authentication (Stolen Credentials/Banking Trojans)


    Application Misconfiguration (Detailed error messages)


    Insufficient Process Validation (CSRF and DNS Hijacking)


    Insufficient Authorization (Predictable Resource Location/Forceful Browsing)


    Abuse of Functionality (CSRF/Click-Fraud)


    Insufficient Password Recovery (Brute Force)


    Insecure Indexing (Search Engines)

    Attack Likelihood Metrics

    Another use for WHID data is to help provide event likelihood data for various industry web application security efforts such as:

    Both of the reports have historically been heavily weighted towards vulnerability prevalence. Hopefully, WHID data can assist both of these efforts when creating future versions by providing data on event likelihood which in turn would help to re-prioritize the rankings of issues.

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