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Good Practices for Software Development


Good Practices for Software Development

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David.Poole
David.Poole
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Unfortunately there are some DB systems that absolutely require the password to be stored in a file in clear text in order for certain tools to run.

The most you can hope to do is lock down the linux folder to a tightly defined audience.

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Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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I think that it needs to be intrinsic in education of software development. Indeed, in computing in general. When the education sector realised that they needed to arm their students with knowledge on security they appear to have added courses on security. Whilst that is useful I believe that it is targeted at those who are looking to specialise in that field. The problem is that is needs to be a part of every module. A reasonable example of where it can be taught is when teaching programming using arrays: it should include teaching about buffer overflow attacks as a matter of course.

I know that not all professional developers get the opportunity for formal training nor does every developer have a computing based education, however, most will work with someone who has and that is how it permeates the whole industry. Also, the more people know the better the example solutions online, the blogs and books written as well as the sample code showing how to use APIs.

In summary: Security is a crosscutting concern and should be expressed at every possible relevant point.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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David.Poole (4/24/2014)
Unfortunately there are some DB systems that absolutely require the password to be stored in a file in clear text in order for certain tools to run.

The most you can hope to do is lock down the linux folder to a tightly defined audience.


Then people should vote with their feet.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Eric M Russell
Eric M Russell
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It's amazing that googling the following will still return hundreds of actual server login credentials.
filetype:config connectionString uid password



"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
jarick 15608
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"Then people should vote with their feet. '

Gaz, The problem is that the software companies and developers who use the worst security practices in their works also seem to have the best marketing departments and they seem to have a way of convincing executives into buying their software before they get a decent technology review. I've seen a lot of packages with a requirement of using the SA login for the install. If I had any say, that would be the end of the review and I would kindly show the developer or salesperson the door. However, by the time the DBA and Security teams see the software, it has already been purchased and sponsored by an executive who wants it installed last week.

The push needs to come from someone in senior management with some security smarts. In my experience, very few executives have this knowledge. I've seen quite a few CEO's who never even touch a computer at the office, still preferring paper printouts that their secretaries make for them. These are the same guys who make million dollar purchases on software and that gets pushed through.
Gary Varga
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jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)
"Then people should vote with their feet. '

Gaz, The problem is that the software companies and developers who use the worst security practices in their works also seem to have the best marketing departments and they seem to have a way of convincing executives into buying their software before they get a decent technology review. I've seen a lot of packages with a requirement of using the SA login for the install. If I had any say, that would be the end of the review and I would kindly show the developer or salesperson the door. However, by the time the DBA and Security teams see the software, it has already been purchased and sponsored by an executive who wants it installed last week.

The push needs to come from someone in senior management with some security smarts. In my experience, very few executives have this knowledge. I've seen quite a few CEO's who never even touch a computer at the office, still preferring paper printouts that their secretaries make for them. These are the same guys who make million dollar purchases on software and that gets pushed through.


I totally understand. I would recommend highlighting the issue and demanding authority from them to install it.

I have seen this work its way up the chain because no one wants to take responsibility for it. Once it reaches high enough either you tend to receive a JFDI (Just Do It) down the chain or an officer of the company will approve it thus making them liable for the decision. Imperfect, I know.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Eric M Russell
Eric M Russell
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If a software application is hard coded to use the "SA" account, you can rename it and then create a new account named "SA" with limited permissions. One or more builtin database level roles like db_ssisadmin, db_datareader, or even db_owner can provide all the permissions it requires to function. This also works for environments where developers and the BI team have been using the "SA" account for years. Don't tell them, just do it. So long as they can still select from tables and view schema, they probably won't know the difference.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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Eric M Russell (4/24/2014)
If a software application is hard coded to use the "SA" account, you can rename it and then create a new account named "SA" with limited permissions. One or more builtin database level roles like db_ssisadmin, db_datareader, or even db_owner can provide all the permissions it requires to function. This also works for environments where developers and the BI team have been using the "SA" account for years. Don't tell them, just do it. So long as they can still select from tables and view schema, they probably won't know the difference.


I love this workaround!!! This certainly would be a less hassle solution to remove inappropriate access from long standing employees with too much internal kudos from the management.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
jarick 15608
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I did something like this only to learn that we were out of compliance with a vendor and had broken a support agreement. This was a large company and I did receive the "JFDI" from the upper manager who signed off on the application.

I had my get out of jail free card.
Eric M Russell
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jarick 15608 (4/24/2014)
I did something like this only to learn that we were out of compliance with a vendor and had broken a support agreement. This was a large company and I did receive the "JFDI" from the upper manager who signed off on the application.

I had my get out of jail free card.

If the vendor's application still works, then still JFDI, even it's not compliant with the support agreement. If one of the vendor's techs need to poke around in the database to perform some maintenance operation, then you can temporarily add "SA" to the SYSADMIN role. But have a profiler or extended event trace running in the meantime to keep an eye on what system changes or other stuff they're doing while using elevated permissions.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
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