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Two Open Source Security Code Scanners Print E-mail
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Source: David Wheeler / Secure Software Solutions - Posted by Dave Wreski   
Security Projects David Wheeler, author of the Secure Programming HOWTO and the RATS development team from Secure Software Solutions today announced open source source code security flaw scanners. "RATS scans through code, finding potentially dangerous function calls. . . . David Wheeler, author of the Secure Programming HOWTO and the RATS development team from Secure Software Solutions today announced open source source code security flaw scanners. "RATS scans through code, finding potentially dangerous function calls. The goal of this tool is not to definitively find bugs. Instead, this tool aims to provide a reasonable starting point for performing manual security audits." "Flawfinder" states it will "scan source code and identify out potential security flaws, ranking them by likely severity."

Both teams mentioned they will be joining forces to produce a single GPLd 'best of breed' source code scanner.

Currently only capable of scanning C/C++ code, "Flawfinder will miss some security problems, and point out issues that aren't really security problems, but nevertheless I think it can help track down security problems in code so that the code can be fixed."

"Flawfinder is in its very early stages - I'm labelling it version "0.12". It works reliably, but its ruleset is currently small and rudimentary. It can already find some security problems now, but expanding its ruleset will give it much more power."

Rough Auditing Tool for Security, the code analysis effort by SSS, looks also to be promising. "The initial vulnerability database is taken directly from things that could be easily found when starting with the forthcoming book, "Building Secure Software" by Viega and McGraw.

We plan on actively maintaining RATS. We welcome any feedback, bug reports or contributions. Particularly, we would like to incorporate any vulnerability information people contribute. However, we will need to determine that information is public knowledge before we can incorporate it into the release.

Feedback will be useful as we work on new versions of the tool. In the future, we plan on enhancing the tool with better analysis Additionally, we plan on extending the tool to handle other programming languages. We'd appreciate feedback on which languages are most important to people.

The developers can be reached at: rats@securesw.com."

Further information on flawfinder can be found at http://www.dwheeler.com/flawfinder/ The Rough Auditing Tool for Security homepage is at http://www.securesw.com/rats/.

Our feature story interview with David Wheeler some time ago on source code auditing, his background, and more in Linux Security Interview with David A. Wheeler

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