AppSec Blog: Author - Frank Kim

AppSec Blog:

Survey on Application Security Programs - Webcast and Paper

For the second year in a row Jim Bird and I have helped SANS put together a "Survey on Application Security Programs and Practices". We asked some of the same questions as the previous year, just in a different way. Some interesting trends this year, as taken from the executive summary of the soon to be published paper, include the following:


- There was a significant improvement in the number of organizations implementing application security programs and practices. The percentage of organizations that have an active Appsec program increased from 66% last year to 83% this yearand many of the organizations that do not have a program in place yet are at least following some kind of ad hoc security practices.

- Organizations are testing more frequently. In this year's survey, more than one-third are doing continuous, ongoing security testing of their applications, whereas only 23% indicated doing so in our

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How much do developers care about security?

3%

That's about how much developers care about security.

Starting last year I made a concerted effort to speak at developer conferences. The idea was to go directly to people who write actual code and help spread the word about application security. By speaking at technical conferences that appeal to top developers the goal was to reach out to people who really care about development and want to learn and apply everything they can. By getting these developers interested in security my hope was that they would, in some small way, lead by example since many of them are the ones that build the tools and frameworks that other developers rely upon.

It started last year at

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Seven Tips for Picking a Static Analysis Tool

Stephen J, who is a member of our software security mailing list, asked a while back, "Do you have any recommendations on static source code scanners?" James Jardine and I started talking and came up with the following tips.

There are so many commercial static analysis tools from vendors like Armorize, Checkmarx, Coverity, Fortify (HP), Klocwork, IBM, and Veracode that it's hard to recommend a specific product. Instead we'd like to focus on seven tips that can help you maximize your selection.

1) Test before you buy


This probably sounds obvious but, assuming you haven't purchased anything yet, definitely do a bake off and have the vendor run the code against your actual apps. Do *not* simply run the tool on a vendor supplied sample app as the quality of the results, surprisingly, can vary quite a bit across different tools and code bases. Just keep in mind that some vendors will try to avoid this so they can ...

What's in Your iOS Image Cache?

Backgrounding and Snapshots


In iOS when an application moves to the background the system takes a screen shot of the application's main window. This screen shot is used to animate transitions when the app is reopened. For example, pressing the home button while using the logon screen of the Chase App results in the following screen shot being saved to the application's Library/Caches/Snapshots/com.chase directory.

Figure 1: Snapshot showing cached information

Example Application


To further illustrate this point take the following profile page from a fictitious bank app which displays sensitive information like the user's account number, balance, and secret question/answer.

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How Not to Store Passwords in iOS

The WordPress iOS App


I was looking for an open source iOS application and quickly came across the WordPress app. Once you log in to your WordPress blog via the app your credentials are then stored on the device itself. If done correctly this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, the WordPress app's implementation leaves a bit to be desired. Take a look at the following snippet of code from WPcomLoginViewController.m and in Spot the Vuln fashion see if you can find the issue.

Update: The WordPress for iOS team has already committed a change for the next release to address the issue. Check out their comments below.

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