Top 25 programming errors revealed

Experts and security vendors around the world finally have a measuring stick to help decide whether software is vulnerable to attack.

Security experts in Europe and the US have joined forces to create a list of the top 25 most dangerous programming errors.

The result of a collaboration between the SANS Institute, MITRE, and experts in software security, the list presents detailed descriptions of the top 25 programming errors, as well as guidance in avoiding and dealing with them.

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The aim of the top 25 list is to prevent vulnerabilities at source, by educating programmers about common mistakes which are made before software has been shipped. Such flaws were dangerous because they frequently allow attackers to take over software and prevent it from working, or let them steal data.

Software managers and CIOs were advised to use the top 25 list as a "measuring stick" which could help them secure their software.

Chief technology officer for Core Security, Ivan Arce, said that the top 25 list was the first serious attempt at building a classification of software security weaknesses and flaws.

"It is a necessary and long overdue step towards creating a common language for the software development and security communities," he said in a statement.

"They are in need of a more rational way to address which are currently the most urgent and relevant software security problems."

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A whole range of vendors - including Microsoft, Symantec, EMC, McAfee and Verisign - gave their support to the project.

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