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Re: Securing PHP or finding PHP alternatives
From: Crispin Cowan <crispin () novell com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 21:58:15 -0700

SkyFlash wrote:
2.) From a security standpoint what is a better, open-source
to PHP?
Ruby, Python, Java, C#, all of which are type safe, and therefore much
more secure. All have open source implementations, including C#

Being type safe does not mean you can't screw up when validating user
True; it does not block all kinds of bugs, just some broad classes of them.

Also, PHP can be type safe, if you choose to use it that way.
You can write secure programs in any programming language if you are
sufficiently disciplined. But that fails to distinguish between
programming languages, some of which are more error prone than others.

None of these languages will fix badly written code for you, so they
aren't more safe. You don't need to secure the specific programming
language, you need to secure your own lazy ass producing bad code.
Also, there is no better, open source replacement for PHP.
Yes they are more safe, precisely because they *do* block some broad
classes of vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows and integer
underflows (assuming you haven't disabled array bounds checking). What
the aren't is *totally* safe, but no one ever said they were. In fact,
when I raised this issue of Turing-completeness in this thread, that was
exactly my point: no Turing-complete language can ever be totally safe.

If you write code, it will have bugs, and it will have security holes,
so live with it. No matter how many graphs you draw and talk about
it... in the end, it will still have bugs, and you won't be able to
quantify them.
Where do you get this assertion that vulnerabilities cannot be quantified?


Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.                      http://crispincowan.com/~crispin/
Director of Software Engineering, Novell  http://novell.com
     Hack: adroit engineering solution to an unaticipated problem
     Hacker: one who is adroit at pounding round pegs into square holes

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