OverviewTeaching: 10 min
Exercises: 0 minQuestions
What is secure coding?
What are some types of attacks that exploit code vulnerabilities?
What are the broader impacts of insecure code?Objectives
Describe the importance of secure and bug-free code
Several cybersecurity flaws can ultimately be traced to a previously undetected vulnerability in computer software. Secure coding is the practice of ensuring that software that works with privileged information does not reveal such information directly, or make it possible to reverse engineer the information. More broadly, it involves avoiding common bugs in software code that can have unintended cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Such bugs can include failure to perform input validation, check for out of bounds errors in array access etc. When such buggy code is used to manage privileged information such as database records, user authentication information on web servers etc., the bugs can be exploited to unearth the privileged information. A malicious user with knowledge of these bugs and the underlying software library can extract privileged information, even when performing activities like any other regular user of the software.
With the burgeoning use of computer software and libraries in every conceivable domain, such vulnerabilities could be introduced from an imported library, without a software developer’s knowledge. Thus, it is vital for both the current and future generation of developers (and not just cybersecurity engineers) to be aware of such vulnerabilities and their solutions. In following lessons, you will learn about two attacks that exploit vulnerable code; SQL Injection attacks and the Heartbleed bug.
Insecure or buggy code can have far-reaching consequences!