Enforce trust boundaries


ID: java-security/trust-boundaries

Language: Java

Severity: Error

Category: Security


The “Enforce trust boundaries” rule is a critical security principle that ensures all data crossing the trust boundary of an application is properly validated. Trust boundaries can be defined as the points in a program where data is transferred from a trusted to an untrusted source or vice versa.

This rule helps prevent various security vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and remote code execution which could occur if untrusted data is not correctly validated or sanitized.

Good coding practices to avoid violating this rule include validating all incoming data, encoding data that will be output, and using parameterized queries or prepared statements for database interactions. For instance, in the provided compliant code sample, the cookie value is URL decoded and then HTML encoded before it is output to the user, ensuring that any potentially malicious script tags are not executed. Additionally, the use of HttpOnly cookies can prevent client-side script from accessing sensitive data.

Non-Compliant Code Examples

 * OWASP Benchmark v1.2
 * <p>This file is part of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Benchmark Project. For
 * details, please see <a
 * href="https://owasp.org/www-project-benchmark/">https://owasp.org/www-project-benchmark/</a>.
 * <p>The OWASP Benchmark is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms
 * of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 2.
 * <p>The OWASP Benchmark is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
 * WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
 * PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
 * @author Dave Wichers
 * @created 2015
package org.owasp.benchmark.testcode;

import java.io.IOException;
import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;

@WebServlet(value = "/trustbound-00/BenchmarkTest00004")
public class BenchmarkTest00004 extends HttpServlet {

    private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

    public void doGet(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
            throws ServletException, IOException {
        javax.servlet.http.Cookie userCookie =
                new javax.servlet.http.Cookie("BenchmarkTest00004", "color");
        userCookie.setMaxAge(60 * 3); // Store cookie for 3 minutes
        userCookie.setDomain(new java.net.URL(request.getRequestURL().toString()).getHost());
        javax.servlet.RequestDispatcher rd =
        rd.include(request, response);

    public void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
            throws ServletException, IOException {
        // some code

        javax.servlet.http.Cookie[] theCookies = request.getCookies();

        String param = "noCookieValueSupplied";
        if (theCookies != null) {
            for (javax.servlet.http.Cookie theCookie : theCookies) {
                if (theCookie.getName().equals("BenchmarkTest00004")) {
                    param = java.net.URLDecoder.decode(theCookie.getValue(), "UTF-8");

        // javax.servlet.http.HttpSession.setAttribute(java.lang.String^,java.lang.Object)
        request.getSession().setAttribute(param, "10340");

                        "Item: '"
                                + org.owasp.benchmark.helpers.Utils.encodeForHTML(param)
                                + "' with value: '10340' saved in session.");
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