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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

The 2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors is a list of the most widespread and critical programming errors that can lead to serious software vulnerabilities. They are often easy to find, and easy to exploit. They are dangerous because they will frequently allow attackers to completely take over the software, steal data, or prevent the software from working at all.

The Top 25 list is a tool for education and awareness to help programmers to prevent the kinds of vulnerabilities that plague the software industry, by identifying and avoiding all-too-common mistakes that occur before software is even shipped. Software customers can use the same list to help them to ask for more secure software. Researchers in software security can use the Top 25 to focus on a narrow but important subset of all known security weaknesses. Finally, software managers and CIOs can use the Top 25 list as a measuring stick of progress in their efforts to secure their software.
The list is the result of collaboration between the SANS Institute, MITRE, and many top software security experts in the US and Europe. It leverages experiences in the development of the SANS Top 20 attack vectors ( and MITRE's Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) ( MITRE maintains the CWE web site, with the support of the US Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division, presenting detailed descriptions of the top 25 programming errors along with authoritative guidance for mitigating and avoiding them. The CWE site contains data on more than 800 programming errors, design errors, and architecture errors that can lead to exploitable vulnerabilities.

  • Guidance for Using the Top 25

  • Brief Listing of the Top 25

  • Category-Based View of the Top 25

  • Focus Profiles

  • Organization of the Top 25

  • Detailed CWE Descriptions

  • Monster Mitigations

  • Appendix A: Selection Criteria and Supporting Fields

  • Appendix B: What Changed in the 2010 Top 25

  • Appendix C: Construction, Selection, and Scoring of the Top 25

  • Appendix D: Comparison to OWASP Top Ten 2010 RC1

  • Appendix E: Other Resources for the Top 25
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