Mitigation of OWASP API Security Risk: BOPLA using F5 XC Platform


OWASP API Security Top 10 - 2019 has two categories “Mass Assignment” and “Excessive Data Exposure” which focus on vulnerabilities that stem from manipulation of, or unauthorized access to an object's properties. For ex: let’s say there is a user information in json format {“UserName”: ”apisec”, “IsAdmin”: “False”, “role”: ”testing”, “Email”: “”}. In this object payload, each detail is considered as a property, and so vulnerabilities around modifying/showing these sensitive properties like email/role/IsAdmin will fall under these categories.  

These risks shed light on the hidden vulnerabilities that might appear when modifying the object properties and highlighted the essence of having a security solution to validate user access to functions/objects while also ensuring access control for specific properties within objects. As per them, role-based access, sanitizing the user input, and schema-based validation play a crucial role in safeguarding your data from unauthorized access and modifications.

Since these two risks are similar, the OWASP community felt they could be brought under one radar and were merged as “Broken Object Property Level Authorization” (BOPLA) in the newer version of OWASP API Security Top 10 – 2023.


Mass Assignment:

Mass Assignment vulnerability occurs when client requests are not restricted to modifying immutable internal object properties. Attackers can take advantage of this vulnerability by manually parsing requests to escalate user privileges, bypass security mechanisms or other approaches to exploit the API Endpoints in an illegal/invalid way.

For more details on F5 Distributed Cloud mitigation solution, check this link: Mitigation of OWASP API6: 2019 Mass Assignment vulnerability using F5 XC


Excessive Data Exposure:

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) don’t have restrictions in place and sometimes expose sensitive data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Credit Card Numbers (CCN) and Social Security Numbers (SSN), etc. Because of these issues, they are the most exploited blocks to gain access to customer information, and identifying the sensitive information in these huge chunks of API response data is crucial in data safety. 

For more details on this risk and F5 Distributed Cloud mitigation solution, check this link: Mitigating OWASP API Security Risk: Excessive Data Exposure using F5 XC



Wrapping up, this article covers the overview of the newly added category of BOPLA in OWASP Top 10 – 2023 edition. Finally, we have also provided minutiae on each section in this risk and reference articles to dig deeper into F5 Distributed Cloud mitigation solutions.


Reference links or to get started:

Updated Dec 01, 2023
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