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10 Common Software Security Design Flaws
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Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 3:51:35 PM
Re: Secure Software Design
Great perspective, @GonzSTL. The go-to-market/release pressures are the biggest issue with much of app development, for sure. But you raise another good point about a lack of oversight and enforcement of good secure coding practices.
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 2:22:29 PM
Secure Software Design
I received my CompSci degree quite a while back, and even then, the practice of input validation and communication comparmentalization was stressed in all my programming classes. My involvement in IT throughout the years encompasses software development, network architecture, server infrastructure, storage architecture, desktop standardization, virtualization, etc., so I can pretty much see things from a broad picture as well as from individual areas. In all those IT domains, the vast majority of exploits come from software design security flaws, and secondly, improper configurations.

What I believe is that there is tremendous pressure to deliver applications and technology, and sometimes that leads to shortcuts or bypassing certain aspects of development. If security considerations are part of the whole development process, and rigidly enforced from inception to delivery, then perhaps we would see a dramatic drop in exploitable software flaws. The question is, why are the shortcuts and bypasses allowed, and who allows them? Improper oversight seems to be the culprit, either due to lacck of knowledge or understanding, or faulty risk management in the development process. Simply stated, security considerations should be enforced from beginning to end.
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 11:35:27 AM
Re: Nah
Good point about the Mitre, OWASP and other models. What I thought was particularly interseting with the IEEE report was that the recommendations come from real-world design flaws the participants themselves experienced -- Twitter, Google, etc. 
Robert McDougal
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Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/28/2014 | 11:18:44 AM
Re: Nah
I must disagree with your assessment wholeheartedly. I can tell you from direct experience that secure coding practices are not taught in our colleges currently. What that leads to is developers who don't understand the importance of using stored procedures and prepared statements. This in turn leads to applications which have easily preventable vulnerabilities.


Secure coding will not fix all vulnerabilities but if done correctly it will prevent known vulnerabilities such as SQL injection or XSS from making its way into future applications.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 9:34:21 AM
Re: Nah> "little value can come from this conversation"
Well said,  @Stratustician. Narrowing down the field of code vulnerabiliies is definitely a valuable endeavor. 
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Moderator
8/28/2014 | 9:25:10 AM
Re: Nah> "little value can come from this conversation"
I think there is definitely some value with really reminding folks that security is closely tied to application development.  While yes, many flaws will come up as part of a security attack, if you have strong code at the onset, especially if groups like these industry folks are able to start to identify "here are where we are seeing code vulnerabilities", it will hopefully lead to better code overall for these applications and reduce the risks.  You can't eliminate every potential threat, but at least you've narrowed the attack field by closing known vulnerabilities.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 8:16:02 AM
Re: Nah> "little value can come from this conversation"
@anon9106759839 -- Are you saying that there is no significant relationship between security and appdev? Or that the conversation will not lead to a viable solution. 
anon9106759839
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anon9106759839,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/27/2014 | 6:51:54 PM
Nah
Big names, but little value can come from this conversation.

Application security problems stem from attacks. MITRE CAPEC describes the underlying model for attacks, while PTES, OSSTMMv4, and OWASP guides such as the Testing Guide and ASVS 2.0 standards cover the open methods.

There are also models (CWE) and methods (OWASP Dev Guide, SAFEcode, Microsoft SDL, etc) for building secure software, but this is where security and appdev activities are split.

On Twitter, someone important today said, "a design flaw is a property of the design that allows an attacker to violate one of your security objectives".
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