Application Security
12/19/2013
12:00 AM
Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail

Secure Code Starts With Measuring What Developers Know

I recently discovered I've been teaching blindly about application security. I assumed that I know what students need to learn. Nothing could be further from the truth.
2 of 2

2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
M1ch43L
100%
0%
M1ch43L,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/22/2013 | 2:19:33 PM
SQL Injection
In my experience there are still a large number of developers who do not have a grasp on the SQL injection threat and proper coding techniques to prevent it. You'll hear "we use stored procedures so we're not vulnerable". Stored procedures just move the problem around. You'll also hear a variety of escape character strategies. In reality to properly prevent SQL injection vulnerabilities in your web applications you need to follow two important coding principles. First, never concatenate dynamic SQL from external input and second always use parameterized SQL anytime you must use external input in the application. 

However, even if you follow the above rules you're still potentially vulnerable to SQL injection. This is because 3rd party code running on your system could be vulnerable. Also, hackers can install malware to make your system vulnerable. Those who believe that simply fixing the applications will eliminate the SQL injection threat don't truly understand the threat.
Marilyn Cohodas
100%
0%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
12/19/2013 | 5:01:45 PM
More bang for the buck
Very interesting article, Jeff. You make a strong case about where the emphasis in application security should begin and the numbers seem to bear you out:  

We found that projects where more than half the team members had received secure coding training, the number of vulnerabilities plummeted by 73 percent. That result is far superior to anything penetration testing programs or automated tools could hope to achieve.

Your point about each organization having it's own strengths and weaknesses is also somewhat of surprise.

So let me through this out to the communiity? What's holding you back from expanding your developer application security training? Let's talk more in the comments.  

Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
Managing the interdependency between software and infrastructure is a thorny challenge. Often, it’s a “developers are from Mars, systems engineers are from Venus” situation.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4692
Published: 2015-07-27
The kvm_apic_has_events function in arch/x86/kvm/lapic.h in the Linux kernel through 4.1.3 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and system crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact by leveraging /dev/kvm access for an ioctl call.

CVE-2015-1840
Published: 2015-07-26
jquery_ujs.js in jquery-rails before 3.1.3 and 4.x before 4.0.4 and rails.js in jquery-ujs before 1.0.4, as used with Ruby on Rails 3.x and 4.x, allow remote attackers to bypass the Same Origin Policy, and trigger transmission of a CSRF token to a different-domain web server, via a leading space cha...

CVE-2015-1872
Published: 2015-07-26
The ff_mjpeg_decode_sof function in libavcodec/mjpegdec.c in FFmpeg before 2.5.4 does not validate the number of components in a JPEG-LS Start Of Frame segment, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds array access) or possibly have unspecified other impact via craft...

CVE-2015-2847
Published: 2015-07-26
Honeywell Tuxedo Touch before 5.2.19.0_VA relies on client-side authentication involving JavaScript, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by removing USERACCT requests from the client-server data stream.

CVE-2015-2848
Published: 2015-07-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Honeywell Tuxedo Touch before 5.2.19.0_VA allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests associated with home-automation commands, as demonstrated by a door-unlock command.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!