There is a distinct communication gap between the software engineering and cybersecurity communities when it comes to addressing reoccurring security problems, known as vulnerabilities. Many vulnerabilities are caused by software errors that are created by software developers. Insecure software development practices are common due to a variety of factors, which include inefficiencies within existing knowledge transfer mechanisms based on vulnerability databases (VDBs), software developers perceiving security as an afterthought, and lack of consideration of security as part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). The resulting communication gap also prevents developers and security experts from successfully sharing essential security knowledge. The cybersecurity community makes their expert knowledge available in forms including vulnerability databases such as CAPEC and CWE, and pattern catalogues such as Security Patterns, Attack Patterns, and Software Fault Patterns. However, these sources are not effective at providing software developers with an understanding of how malicious hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in the software systems they create. As developers are familiar with pattern-based approaches, this paper proposes the use of Vulnerability Anti-Patterns (VAP) to transfer usable vulnerability knowledge to developers, bridging the communication gap between security experts and software developers. The primary contribution of this paper is twofold: (1) it proposes a new pattern template – Vulnerability Anti-Pattern – that uses anti-patterns rather than patterns to capture and communicate knowledge of existing vulnerabilities, and (2) it proposes a catalogue of Vulnerability Anti-Patterns (VAP) based on the most commonly occurring vulnerabilities that software developers can use to learn how malicious hackers can exploit errors in software.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs|
|Publisher||The Hillside Group|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Nov 2018|
|Event||24th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs - Hyatt Regency Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver, Canada|
Duration: 22 Oct 2017 → 25 Oct 2017
|Conference||24th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs|
|Abbreviated title||PLoP '17|
|Period||22/10/17 → 25/10/17|
Nafees, T., Coull, N., Ferguson, I., & Sampson, A. (2018). Vulnerability anti-patterns: a timeless way to capture poor software practices (Vulnerabilities). In Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs The Hillside Group.