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Re: [Full-disclosure] URI handling woes in Acrobat Reader, Netscape,Miranda, Skype
From: gjgowey () tmo blackberry net
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 03:34:13 +0000

I think that you're both right, but the only solution is the same old, same old: speed, code size, and 
maintainability/complexity versus the padding and added IO checking of a very secure app.  Nothing new, nothing 
different.  It's the same problem that has existed since the dawn of programming.  

Invariably the answer to the question will be a proposal for yet another secure programming language or framework.  So 
far all attempts at either have seemed to have failed miserably or never really gained traction (anyone else here 
remember plan 9 and its more secure brother inferno?).  Now the industry trend du jour is moving more towards 
protecting the rest of the system from unforeseeable vulnerabilities and their exploitation (selinux, dep, etc) when 
things blow up rather than demand that code is 100% bulletproof.  

Bad idea?  I'm not so sure.  The bigger the system, invariably, the harder to debug to absolute stability in a timely 
fashion, but source code analysis tools can help lighten the load a bit.  However, no amount of auditing of your own 
product can prevent the problem of a buggy third party that, even if you pass it input in the exact fashion as 
specified by the manufacture, is still vulnerable.  The point of this rambling? No amount of hyperventalating over the 
security of your own code will ever make it absolutely secure as long as you're placing a reliance on the security of a 
3rd party library (in which case I hope you're planning to write everything from the bios of the computer up to the 
app).

Point?  Mitigating the threat posed by unknown attack vectors is something that may start at the program level, but I'm 
highly doubtful that it can completely be accomplished at just the program level alone.  A secure operating system or 
security framework will pretty much always be a necessity for guaranteeing a completely secure platform.  

If there's a silver lining here it's that even the most novice computer user knows that security is a problem with 
computers as opposed to "security? What's that?" (followed by a deer in the headlights look).  That widespread 
knowledge is what drives budgets to spend on security oriented products rather than the old philosophy that those are 
optional products.  Hopefully, that will eventually materialize in the form of better, cheaper source code auditing 
products that can help fix the problem at where it all starts: insecure code created by innocent oversight of the 
programmer who creates it through either it being abolutely complex, a rushed development cycle, or maybe just the 
infamous ("that looks right"). 

Geoff



 
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Geo." <geoincidents () nls net>

Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2007 22:26:21 
To:<bugtraq () securityfocus com>,<full-disclosure () lists grok org uk>
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] URI handling woes in Acrobat Reader, Netscape,
        Miranda, Skype


----- Original Message -----
From: <Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu>

2) That said program can protect itself against overtly malicious input.

Ok then, I can mark you down as one who believes that all the php exploits
blamed on bad code writing are actually the fault of php and not the
application coded using it's powerful functionality?

Geo.

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