In Module 4 of C1b3rWall Academy 2021 we take a closer look at programming languages. Bruno Chenoll Matienzo is a Computer Engineer from the University of Granada. He participated in Capture the Flag competitions and hacking platforms such as HackTheBox. He was Red Teamer for Santander Bank and is currently a backend developer working with Python and PostgreSQL. He participates in C1b3rWall with a lecture on ” Rusty cybersecurity”.

The aim of his talk is to raise awareness of the drawbacks of using a non-secure programming language and to showcase secure alternatives.

Why classical languages are not secure

A secure language is one that, at compile time, verifies that the programmer has not made any error in memory management. In high-level languages, memory is automatically managed by garbage collectors, so… If we use high-level languages, are we creating safe programs?

Example of a safe language: Rust

Rust is a low-level language that compiles to machine code like C. How does Rust ensure safe memory management? The answer is simple: with a method called “borrow checker”. This method keeps track of each variable and does the checks that a cybersecurity expert would do to check for memory errors such as “use after free”, “stack overflow”, “double free”, “heap overflow” or “null pointers dereferences”. All these checks are done at compile time, being very complicated for a program to compile with memory management failures.

It must be taken into account that the learning curve for Rust is very high, it takes a lot to learn how to master it, although, once this is done, productivity skyrockets. The ecosystem is very new, there is a lack of tested and mature packages in terms of time and testing, in addition, the compilation times are high (due in part to the borrow checker).

There are several companies and services that use Rust: Discord, Amazon, Facebook, Cloudflare, Microsoft, NPM, Figma, Coursera, Dropbox…

Programming languages are a whole world to discover. Bruno explains which ones are the most secure and how we can implement them efficiently. You can register here for free and learn more about this topic.

  The full article is available on News 365.

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.