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Secure Coding in C and C++

Secure Coding in C and C++

Robert Seacord

Sep 2005, Paperback, 368 pages
ISBN13: 9780321335722
ISBN10: 0321335724
This product has been replaced by Secure Coding in C and C++
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"The security of information systems has not improved at a rate consistent with the growth and sophistication of the attacks being made against them. To address this problem, we must improve the underlying strategies and techniques used to create our systems. Specifically, we must build security in from the start, rather than append it as an afterthought. That's the point of Secure Coding in C and C++. In careful detail, this book shows software developers how to build high-quality systems that are less vulnerable to costly and even catastrophic attack. It's a book that every developer should read before the start of any serious project."
--Frank Abagnale, author, lecturer, and leading consultant on fraud prevention and secure documents

Learn the Root Causes of Software Vulnerabilities and How to Avoid Them

Commonly exploited software vulnerabilities are usually caused by avoidable software defects. Having analyzed nearly 18,000 vulnerability reports over the past ten years, the CERT/Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has determined that a relatively small number of root causes account for most of them. This book identifies and explains these causes and shows the steps that can be taken to prevent exploitation. Moreover, this book encourages programmers to adopt security best practices and develop a security mindset that can help protect software from tomorrow's attacks, not just today's.

Drawing on the CERT/CC's reports and conclusions, Robert Seacord systematically identifies the program errors most likely to lead to security breaches, shows how they can be exploited, reviews the potential consequences, and presents secure alternatives.

Coverage includes technical detail on how to

  • Improve the overall security of any C/C++ application
  • Thwart buffer overflows and stack-smashing attacks that exploit insecure string manipulation logic
  • Avoid vulnerabilities and security flaws resulting from the incorrect use of dynamic memory management functions
  • Eliminate integer-related problems: integer overflows, sign errors, and truncation errors
  • Correctly use formatted output functions without introducing format-string vulnerabilities
  • Avoid I/O vulnerabilities, including race conditions

Secure Coding in C and C++ presents hundreds of examples of secure code, insecure code, and exploits, implemented for Windows and Linux. If you're responsible for creating secure C or C++ software--or for keeping it safe--no other book offers you this much detailed, expert assistance.



"The security of information systems has not improved at a rate consistent with the growth and sophistication of the attacks being made against them. To address this problem, we must improve the underlying strategies and techniques used to create our systems. Specifically, we must build security in from the start, rather than append it as an afterthought. That's the point of Secure Coding in C and C++. In careful detail, this book shows software developers how to build high-quality systems that are less vulnerable to costly and even catastrophic attack. It's a book that every developer should read before the start of any serious project."
--Frank Abagnale, author, lecturer, and leading consultant on fraud prevention and secure documents

Learn the Root Causes of Software Vulnerabilities and How to Avoid Them

Commonly exploited software vulnerabilities are usually caused by avoidable software defects. Having analyzed nearly 18,000 vulnerability reports over the past ten years, the CERT/Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has determined that a relatively small number of root causes account for most of them. This book identifies and explains these causes and shows the steps that can be taken to prevent exploitation. Moreover, this book encourages programmers to adopt security best practices and develop a security mindset that can help protect software from tomorrow's attacks, not just today's.

Drawing on the CERT/CC's reports and conclusions, Robert Seacord systematically identifies the program errors most likely to lead to security breaches, shows how they can be exploited, reviews the potential consequences, and presents secure alternatives.

Coverage includes technical detail on how to

  • Improve the overall security of any C/C++ application
  • Thwart buffer overflows and stack-smashing attacks that exploit insecure string manipulation logic
  • Avoid vulnerabilities and security flaws resulting from the incorrect use of dynamic memory management functions
  • Eliminate integer-related problems: integer overflows, sign errors, and truncation errors
  • Correctly use formatted output functions without introducing format-string vulnerabilities
  • Avoid I/O vulnerabilities, including race conditions

Secure Coding in C and C++ presents hundreds of examples of secure code, insecure code, and exploits, implemented for Windows and Linux. If you're responsible for creating secure C or C++ software--or for keeping it safe--no other book offers you this much detailed, expert assistance.



Foreword.

Preface.

About the Author.

1. Running with Scissors.

Gauging the Threat

Security Concepts

C and C++

Development Platforms

Summary

Further Reading

2. Strings.

String Characteristics

Common String Manipulation Errors

String Vulnerabilities

Process Memory Organization

Stack Smashing

Code Injection

Arc Injection

Mitigation Strategies

Notable Vulnerabilities

Summary

Further Reading

3. Pointer Subterfuge.

Data Locations

Function Pointers

Data Pointers

Modifying the Instruction Pointer

Global Offset Table

The .dtors Section

Virtual Pointers

The atexit() and on_exit() Functions

The longjmp() Function

Exception Handling

Mitigation Strategies

Summary

Further Reading

4. Dynamic Memory Management.

Dynamic Memory Management

Common Dynamic Memory Management Errors

Doug Lea's Memory Allocator

RtlHeap

Mitigation Strategies

Notable Vulnerabilities

Summary

Further Reading

5. Integer Security.

Integers

Integer Conversions

Integer Error Conditions

Integer Operations

Vulnerabilities

Nonexceptional Integer Logic Errors

Mitigation Strategies

Notable Vulnerabilities

Summary

Further Reading

6. Formatted Output.

Variadic Functions

Formatted Output Functions

Exploiting Formatted Output Functions

Stack Randomization

Mitigation Strategies

Notable Vulnerabilities

Summary

Further Reading

7. File I/O.

Concurrency

Time of Check, Time of Use

Files as Locks and File Locking

File System Exploits

Mitigation Strategies

Summary

8. Recommended Practices.

Secure Software Development Principles

Systems Quality Requirements Engineering

Threat Modeling

Use/Misuse Cases

Architecture and Design

Off-the-Shelf Software

Compiler Checks

Input Validation

Data Sanitization

Static Analysis

Quality Assurance

Memory Permissions

Defense in Depth

TSP-Secure

Summary

Further Reading

References.

Acronyms.

Index.

A code companion developers will turn to again and again as they seek to protect their systems from attackers.

Important book because so many programs continue to be written in C/C++ -- languages that do not include any built-in security safeguards for programmers and the resulting code.

Contains hundreds of examples of secure and insecure code as well as sample exploits.

This book taps into invaluable CERT work in identifying, analyzing, and overcoming software vulnerabilities.

Robert Seacord began programming (professionally) for IBM in 1982 and has been programming in C since 1985, and in C++ since 1992. Robert is currently a Senior Vulnerability Analyst with the CERT/Coordination Center at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). He is coauthor of Building Systems from Commercial Components (Addison-Wesley, 2002) and Modernizing Legacy Systems (Addison-Wesley, 2003). The CERT/CC, among other security-related activities, regularly analyzes software vulnerability reports and assesses the risk to the Internet and other critical infrastructure.



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