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Too Cool For Secure Code?

5 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Apr 17, 2003 3:15 AM by Vincent O'Sullivan

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Jakob Eg Larsen

Posts: 18
Nickname: jlarsen
Registered: Jan, 2002

Too Cool For Secure Code? Posted: Apr 9, 2003 6:37 AM
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Advertisement
Are software security problems here to stay? In this article it is argued that part of the problem is programmers "love for low-level programming languages"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/29958.html

Here's an excerpt from this The Register article by Jon Lasser:

Most of these bugs are buffer overflows, format string vulnerabilities and input validation errors. In short, these are the same sort of holes that we've seen over and over again for years. [...] Until Unix and Linux programmers get over their macho love for low-level programming languages, the security holes will continue to flow freely.

What do you think of the author's comments?


Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Too Cool To Read Posted: Apr 15, 2003 2:52 AM
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Bill,

I went to the link you offered only to find the text obscured by some stupid advert for a telephone. I can't believe anyone would deliberately place an advert that has animation that deliberately obscures the text! I could say a lot more because it really hacked me off but I'll simply summarise:

1) The advert made the article unreadable.
2) I didn't wait for the advert to complete doing its thing because it seemed in no hurry to do so.
3) As a result, I didn't read the article.
4) I won't visit The Register again any time soon.
5) You're guilty by association since you recommended the page. (I also recognise that your own pages are very well designed, particularly in the way you yourself handle adverts.)

So please, no more links like that one!

Vince.

Lee Graba

Posts: 1
Nickname: lgraba
Registered: Apr, 2003

Re: Too Cool To Read Posted: Apr 15, 2003 9:54 AM
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<i>I went to the link you offered only to find the text obscured by some stupid advert for a telephone.</i>

I went to the link and had no problem reading it. Either the page has been fixed, or your browser is not displaying it properly. I am using Mozilla 1.3 on Windows 2000.

Matt Gerrans

Posts: 1153
Nickname: matt
Registered: Feb, 2002

Re: Too Cool To Read Posted: Apr 15, 2003 1:27 PM
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It does seem the that "macho" love of detail is more prevalent on the Linux platform. I guess it is a self-selected population. I remember when I used to think that I would lose something even by using C++ instead of C, because C++ was doing "mysterious stuff" beyond your control, whereas C only does exactly what you tell it to. At some point, I realized that I would rather not waste my time mucking around in the bits. Now I would much rather write Python, Java or C# code than assembly, C or C++.

Vince, you might consider turning off JavaScript on your browser. I have mine configured to confirm before running any JavaScript, so that I only allow it on sites where want it.

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Too Cool To Read Posted: Apr 17, 2003 3:15 AM
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> Vince, you might consider turning off JavaScript on your
> browser...

That's a possibility but I really don't like to have to reconfigure my system because of others inept actions, though sometimes it's unavoidable. Far better, I think, to have a quick rant about it and remind people who lay out web pages that when it comes to slapping adverts all over the place, often 'less is more'.

Vince.

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Too Cool To Read Posted: Apr 17, 2003 3:15 AM
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> Vince, you might consider turning off JavaScript on your
> browser...

That's a possibility but I really don't like to have to reconfigure my system because of others inept actions, though sometimes it's unavoidable. Far better, I think, to have a quick rant about it and remind people who lay out web pages that when it comes to slapping adverts all over the place, often 'less is more'.

Vince.

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