Alex Gaynor, Fish in a Barrel
The fact that C and C++ are not memory safe, leading to vulnerability classes such as use-after-free and buffer-overflow is not new. However, these languages remain in exceptionally wide use, even for new projects. For several years, Fish in a Barrel has been attempting to quantify how common memory-unsafety induced vulnerabilities are in major projects, and researching what tactics are effective at convincing developers to reconsider C and C++.
This talk presents our results: we show the empirical data which leads us to the conclusion that C and C++ are not tenable for modern secure development, including statistics across a large swath of projects. We also present what we've learned about how developers respond to this fact, in the frame of the Five Stages of Grief.
Alex is a software security engineer. He's a founder and principal at Fish in a Barrel, working on systemic solutions to classes of vulnerabilities. He's previously been Chief Information Security Officer at Alloy and an engineer at Mozilla and the United States Digital Service. Alex has a long history of contribution in open source, from building a JIT'd Ruby VM to serving on the Board of Directors of the Python Software Foundation. Alex lives in Washington, D.C.
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