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A Case for Improving Security Ergonomics of Compilers

by Sarah Zatko We published a study a while back showing the failure of the IoT industry to adhere to basic build safety best practices over the past 15 years. In the light of this failure, I wanted to unpack what some of the root causes might be, and make a case for why better usability and transparency for security features in compiler toolchains would help.


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Slowly but surely, browsers are becoming more secure

The CITL, which thinks of itself as Consumer Reports for software (and has actually partnered with Consumer Reports to broaden its reach), is one of a few independent initiatives that analyzes code and publicly reports on its findings. Its report acknowledges that browsers are challenging to secure because of their inherent complexity. Major browsers contain millions of lines of code to which hundreds of developers contribute.    

–The Parallax

Rating software security Consumer Reports-style

The poor security of much enterprise software can be dramatically improved at low cost with the compile-time equivalents of seatbelts and airbags. With that in mind, the Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL) is building a Consumer Reports-style rating systems to grade the security of thousands of software binaries.    


No wonder cybersecurity is so bad - There's no way to measure it

When the founders of a new nonprofit assessing the cybersecurity of software for consumers were trying to develop a scoring system that would rate programs depending on which security features they used, they encountered a “mind-blowing” problem. No one had ever measured how well such features actually worked.    



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19 Jan 2018 / Washington D.C.