The CERT Oracle Secure Coding Standard for Java

book cover: CERT Oracle Secure Coding Standard for JavaAn essential element of secure coding in the Java programming language is a well-documented and enforceable coding standard. Coding standards encourage programmers to follow a uniform set of rules determined by the requirements of the project and organization, rather than by the programmer's familiarity or preference. Once established, these standards can be used as a metric to evaluate source code (using manual or automated processes).

The CERT Oracle Secure Coding Standard for Java provides rules designed to eliminate insecure coding practices that can lead to exploitable vulnerabilities. Application of the standard's guidelines will lead to higher quality systems—robust systems that are more resistant to attack. Such guidelines are required for the wide range of products coded in Java–for devices such as PCs, game players, mobile phones, home appliances, and automotive electronics.

After a high-level introduction to Java application security, seventeen consistently organized chapters detail specific rules for key areas of Java development. For each area, the authors present noncompliant examples and corresponding compliant solutions, show how to assess risk, and offer references for further information. Each rule is prioritized based on the severity of consequences, likelihood of introducing exploitable vulnerabilities, and cost of remediation.

The standard provides secure coding rules for the Java SE 6 Platform including the Java programming language and libraries, and also addresses new features of the Java SE 7 Platform. It describes language behaviors left to the discretion of JVM and compiler implementers, guides developers in the proper use of Java's APIs and security architecture, and considers security concerns pertaining to standard extension APIs (from the javax package hierarchy). The standard covers security issues applicable to these libraries: lang, util, Collections, Concurrency Utilities, Logging, Management, Reflection, Regular Expressions, Zip, I/O, JMX, JNI, Math, Serialization, and JAXP.

Authors: Fred Long, Dhruv Mohindra, Robert C. Seacord, Dean F. Sutherland, and David Svoboda

Related Training and Products

Secure Coding in C and C++ Training Course
This four-day course provides a detailed explanation of common programming errors in C and C++ and describes how these errors can lead to code that is vulnerable to exploitation. The course concentrates on security issues intrinsic to the C and C++ programming languages and associated libraries. The intent is for this course to be useful to anyone involved in developing secure C and C++ programs regardless of the specific application.

Secure Coding Training Course
An ongoing development effort in collaboration with the Software Engineering Institute's CERT Division, this course focuses on common security issues in C and C++ development. The course addresses a key need in professional education for software developers. Topics to be covered include the secure and insecure use of integers, arrays, strings, dynamic memory, formatted input/output functions, and file I/O. Continued development is being funded by partnerships with industry.

Source Code Analysis Laboratory (SCALe)
SCALe consists of commercial, open source, and experimental analysis that is used to analyze various code bases, including those from the DoD, energy delivery systems, medical devices, and more. SCALe provides value to the customer, but it also aids research into the effectiveness of coding rules and analysis.

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This book provides a meticulous treatment of the most common problems faced by software developers and provides practical solutions. —Richard Pethia, Director, CERT Division