3.2 Secure Design Methodology

Writing secure applications takes a very scrutinous and pessimistic outlook on life. Applications should be run with the principle of “least privilege” so that no process is ever running with more than the bare minimum access that it needs to accomplish its function. Previously tested code should be reused whenever possible to avoid common mistakes that others may have already fixed.

One of the pitfalls of the UNIX® environment is how easy it is to make assumptions about the sanity of the environment. Applications should never trust user input (in all its forms), system resources, inter-process communication, or the timing of events. UNIX processes do not execute synchronously so logical operations are rarely atomic.