Which Web Programming Language Is Most Secure?

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New vs. legacy languages

From a vulnerability class perspective, the research team made these discoveries:

  • Cross-site scripting regains the number one spot after being overtaken by information leakage last year in all but one language. .NET has information leakage as the number one vulnerability, followed by cross-site scripting.
  • ColdFusion has a rate of 11 percent SQL injection vulnerabilities, the highest observed, followed by ASP with 8 percent and .NET with 6 percent.
  • Perl has an observed rate of 67 percent cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, over 17 percent more than any other language.
  • There was less than a 2 percent difference among the languages with cross-site request forgery.
  • Many vulnerabilities classes were not affected by language choice.

WhiteHat Security, a Web security company, recently announced the latest edition of the "WhiteHat Security Website Security Statistics Report," which takes a deeper look into the security of a number of the most popular programming languages, including .NET, Java, ColdFusion, ASP and more.

"Deciding which programming language to use is often based on considerations such as what the development team is most familiar with, what will generate code the fastest, or simply what will get the job done," said Jeremiah Grossman, founder and iCEO of WhiteHat Security. "How secure the language might be is simply an afterthought, which is usually too late.

"As an industry we lack sufficient security data that teams can rely on in the language selection process for their project," continued Grossman. "This report approaches application security not from the standpoint of what risks exist on sites and applications once they have been pushed into production, but rather by examining how the languages themselves perform in the field. In doing so, we hope to elevate security considerations and deepen those conversations earlier in the decision process, which will ultimately lead to more secure websites and applications."

WhiteHat researchers examined the vulnerability assessment results of the more than 30,000 websites under WhiteHat Security management to measure how the underlying programming languages and frameworks perform in the field. With that information, the report yields key findings around which languages are most prone to which classes of attack, how often and for how long, as well as a determination as to whether popular modern languages and frameworks yield similar results in production websites.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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