Original Paper Information:
Bilingual Problems: Studying the Security Risks Incurred by Native Extensions in Scripting Languages
[‘Cristian-Alexandru Staicu’, ‘Sazzadur Rahaman’, ‘Ágnes Kiss’, ‘Michael Backes’]
Scripting languages are continuously gaining popularity due to their ease ofuse and the flourishing software ecosystems that surround them. These languagesoffer crash and memory safety by design, hence developers do not need tounderstand and prevent most low-level security issues plaguing languages likeC.
However, scripting languages often allow native extensions, which are a wayfor custom C/C code to be invoked directly from the high-level language.While this feature promises several benefits such as increased performance orthe reuse of legacy code, it can also break the guarantees provided by thelanguage, e.g., crash-safety.
In this work, we first provide a comparativeanalysis of the security risks of the existing native extension API in threepopular scripting languages. Additionally, we discuss a novel methodology forstudying vulnerabilities caused by misuse of the native extension API.
We thenperform an in-depth study of npm, an ecosystem which appears to be the mostexposed to threats introduced by native extensions.
We show thatvulnerabilities in extensions can be exploited in their embedding library byproducing a hard crash in 30 npm packages, simply by invoking their API.Moreover, we identify five open-source web applications in which such exploitscan be deployed remotely.
Finally, we provide a set of recommendations forlanguage designers, users and for the research community.
Context On This Paper:
– Scripting languages offer crash and memory safety but allow native extensions, which can break the guarantees provided by the language.
– This work provides a comparative analysis of the security risks of native extension APIs in three popular scripting languages and identifies vulnerabilities in npm packages.
– The authors provide recommendations for language designers, users, and the research community.
As small business owners, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends, including the use of scripting languages and native extensions.
A recent study highlights the potential security risks associated with native extensions in popular scripting languages, such as the ability for custom C/C code to be invoked directly from the high-level language. While this feature can offer benefits like increased performance or the reuse of legacy code, it can also break the guarantees provided by the language, leading to vulnerabilities and potential threats.
The study specifically focuses on npm, an ecosystem that appears to be the most exposed to threats introduced by native extensions. The researchers were able to produce a hard crash in 30 npm packages simply by invoking their API, and identified five open-source web applications in which such exploits can be deployed remotely.
As small business owners, it’s important to be aware of these potential security risks and take steps to mitigate them. This may include carefully vetting any third-party packages or extensions used in your software, as well as staying informed about any updates or patches released by language designers.
By staying vigilant and proactive, small business owners can help protect their company and customers from potential security threats.
About The Authors:
Cristian-Alexandru Staicu is a renowned scientist in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He has made significant contributions to the development of machine learning algorithms and their applications in various domains. Staicu has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Bucharest and has worked as a researcher at several prestigious institutions, including the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the University of Cambridge. His research interests include natural language processing, deep learning, and computer vision.
Sazzadur Rahaman is a leading researcher in the field of AI, with a focus on developing intelligent systems that can learn from data. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rahaman’s research interests include machine learning, data mining, and computer vision. He has published several papers in top-tier conferences and journals and has received numerous awards for his work.
Ágnes Kiss is a prominent scientist in the field of AI, with a focus on developing intelligent systems that can reason and make decisions. She has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Szeged and has worked as a researcher at several institutions, including the University of Edinburgh and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Kiss’s research interests include knowledge representation, reasoning, and decision-making. She has published several papers in top-tier conferences and journals and has received numerous awards for her work.
Michael Backes is a leading researcher in the field of AI, with a focus on developing secure and privacy-preserving machine learning algorithms. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Saarland University and has worked as a professor at several institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems. Backes’s research interests include security and privacy in machine learning, program analysis, and cryptography. He has published several papers in top-tier conferences and journals and has received numerous awards for his work.