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Hybrid Security Assessment Methodology for Web Applications

Roddy A. Correa1, Juan Ramón Bermejo Higuera2, Javier Bermejo Higuera2, Juan Antonio Sicilia Montalvo2, Manuel Sánchez Rubio2, Á. Alberto Magreñán3,*

1 Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano Alto, Loja, Ecuador
2 Escuela Superior de Ingeniería y Tecnología, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, Logroño, 26006, Spain
3 Universidad de la Rioja, Logroño, 26006, Spain

* Corresponding Author: Á. Alberto Magreñán. Email: email

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2021, 126(1), 89-124.


This study presents a methodology to evaluate and prevent security vulnerabilities issues for web applications. The analysis process is based on the use of techniques and tools that allow to perform security assessments of white box and black box, to carry out the security validation of a web application in an agile and precise way. The objective of the methodology is to take advantage of the synergies of semi-automatic static and dynamic security analysis tools and manual checks. Each one of the phases contemplated in the methodology is supported by security analysis tools of different degrees of coverage, so that the results generated in one phase are used as feed for the following phases in order to get an optimized global security analysis result. The methodology can be used as part of other more general methodologies that do not cover how to use static and dynamic analysis tools in the implementation and testing phases of a Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDLC). A practical application of the methodology to analyze the security of a real web application demonstrates its effectiveness by obtaining a better optimized vulnerability detection result against the true and false positive metrics. Dynamic analysis with manual checking is used to audit the results, 24.6 per cent of security vulnerabilities reported by the static analysis has been checked and it allows to study which vulnerabilities can be directly exploited externally. This phase is very important because it permits that each reported vulnerability can be checked by a dynamic second tool to confirm whether a vulnerability is true or false positive and it allows to study which vulnerabilities can be directly exploited externally. Dynamic analysis finds six (6) additional critical vulnerabilities. Access control analysis finds other five (5) important vulnerabilities such as Insufficient Protected Passwords or Weak Password Policy and Excessive Authentication Attacks, two vulnerabilities that permit brute force attacks.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Correa, R.A., Higuera, J.R.B., Higuera, J.B., Montalvo, J.A.S., Rubio, M.S. et al. (2021). Hybrid security assessment methodology for web applications. Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 126(1), 89-124.
Vancouver Style
Correa RA, Higuera JRB, Higuera JB, Montalvo JAS, Rubio MS, Magreñán ÁA. Hybrid security assessment methodology for web applications. Comput Model Eng Sci. 2021;126(1):89-124
IEEE Style
R.A. Correa, J.R.B. Higuera, J.B. Higuera, J.A.S. Montalvo, M.S. Rubio, and Á.A. Magreñán "Hybrid Security Assessment Methodology for Web Applications," Comput. Model. Eng. Sci., vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 89-124. 2021.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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