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
There's lots of advice on designing and building secure software. All you need to do is: Think like an attacker. Minimize the Attack Surface. Apply the principles of Least Privilege and Defense in Depth and Economy of Mechanism. Canonicalize and validate all input. Encode and escape output within the correct context. Use encryption properly. Manage sessions in a secure way.
But how are development teams actually supposed to do all of this? How do they know what's important, and what's not? What frameworks and libraries should they use? Where are code samples that they can review and follow? How can they test the software to see if they did everything correctly?
There aren't as many resources to help developers answer these questions. Here are the best that I have found so far.
First, there are the OWASP Prevention Cheat Sheets, which provide clear, practical advice
We have to make it easier for developers to build secure apps, especially Web apps. We can't keep forcing everybody who builds an application to understand and plug all of the stupid holes in how the Web works on their own — and to do this perfectly right every time. It's not just wasteful: it's not possible.
What we need is implementation-level security issues taken care of at the language and framework level. So that developers can focus on their real jobs: solving design problems and writing code that works.
Security Frameworks and Libraries
One option is to get developers to use secure libraries that take care of application security functions like authentication, authorization, data validation and encryption. There are some good, and free, tools out there to help you.
If you're a Microsoft .NET developer, there's Microsoft's Web Protection Library which provides functions and a runtime engine
There are practical applications of checklists in many different fields. Aviation, project engineering, now even surgery. But what about software? Sure, checklists are sometimes used in code reviews, to good effect. But can we do more, can we get the same thing out of checklists that pilots do, or that surgeons do?
Originally posted as Taming the Beast
The recent multi-language numerical parsing DOS bug has been named the "Mark of the Beast". Some claim that this bug was first reported as early as 2001.This is a significant bug in (at least) PHP and Java. Similar issues have effected Ruby in the past. This bug has left a number of servers, web frameworks and custom web applications vulnerable to easily exploitable Denial of Service.