AppSec Blog: Category - Architecture

AppSec Blog:

Ask the Expert - John Steven

John Steven is the Internal CTO of Cigital. John's expertise runs the gamut of software security from threat modeling and architectural risk analysis, through static analysis (with an emphasis on automation), to security testing. As a consultant, John has provided strategic direction to many multi-national corporations, and his keen interest in automation keeps Cigital technology at the cutting edge.

This is the last in a series of interviews with appsec experts about threat modeling.

1. Threat Modeling is supposed to be one of the most effective and fundamental practices in secure software development. But a lot of teams that are trying to do secure development find threat modeling too difficult and too expensive. Why is threat modeling so hard - or do people just think it is hard because they don't understand it?

"Effective in what regard?" The world's conception of what threat modeling is, what it produces, and what it

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Ask the Expert - James Jardine

James Jardine is a senior security consultant at Secure Ideas and the founder of Jardine Software. James has spent over twelve years working in software development with over seven years focusing on application security. His experience includes penetration testing, secure development lifecycle creation, vulnerability management, code review, and training. He has worked with mobile, web, and Windows development with the Microsoft .NET framework. James is a mentor for the Air Force Association's Cyber Patriot competition. He currently holds the GSSP-NET, CSSLP, MCAD, and MCSD certifications and is located in Jacksonville, Florida.


This is the second in a series of interviews with appsec experts about threat modeling.


1. Threat Modeling is supposed to be one of the most effective and fundamental practices in secure software development. But a lot of teams that are trying to do secure development ...

Ask the Expert - Rohit Sethi

Rohit Sethi is a specialist in building security controls into the software development life cycle (SDLC). He has helped improve software security at some of the world's most security-sensitive organizations in financial services, software, ecommerce, healthcare, telecom and other industries. Rohit has built and taught SANS courses on Secure J2EE development. He has spoken and taught at FS-ISAC, RSA, OWASP, Secure Development Conference, Shmoocon, CSI National, Sec Tor, Infosecurity, CFI-CIRT, and many others. Mr. Sethi has written articles for InfoQ, Dr. Dobb's Journal, TechTarget, Security Focus and the Web Application Security Consortium (WASC), has appeared on Fox News Live, and has been quoted as an expert in application security for ITWorldCanada and Computer World. He also created the OWASP Design Patterns Security Analysis project.

1. Threat Modeling is supposed to be one of the most effective and fundamental practices in secure software

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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 ...

The C14N challenge

Failing to properly validate input data is behind at least half of all application security problems.In order to properly validate input data, you have to start by first ensuring that all data is in the same standard, simple, consistent format — a canonical form. This is because of all the wonderful flexibility in internationalization and data formatting and encoding that modern platforms and especially the Web offer. Wonderful capabilities that attackers can take advantage of to hide malicious code inside data in all sorts of sneaky ways.

Canonicalization is a conceptually simple idea: take data inputs, and convert all of it into a single, simple, consistent normalized internal format before you do anything else with it. But how exactly do you do this, and how do you know that it has been done properly? What are the steps that programmers need to take to

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