Advanced Network Security

FIT5037 – Advanced Network Security Week 5

Week 5 saw an introduction to security  programming distributed applications. As I have very little experience in distributed programming it was difficult to understand everything covered in the lecture. The first question posed was, when developing a distributed program, which of the following is best for secure distributed programs:

Next came a discussion over the strengths and weaknesses of stateless and stateful servers.
The risk associated with multithread/process methods to deal with load became quite detailed. Analysis moved into the vulnerabilities of shared memory in operating systems, the most prominent being buffer overflows.

One of the key issues with using complex third party libraries is lack of confidence in the code. Many components in a distributed system will be written in C/C++ likely leading to vulnerabilities. We spent some to reading code to look for vulnerabilities, it seems that this will be an imperative skill for anyone pursuing a career in network security. Vulnerabilities in code range from buffer overflows, lack of sanitation allowing for injections, forced deadlocks and sharing of information between processes (ie: XSS).

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