Source Code Scanners for Better Code

They aren't a replacement for manual checks and edits, but tools like Flawfinder, RATS and ITS4 can point you in the right direction.

As always, newer versions of the software may be available.




Open Source Quality ProjectProject at UC Berkeley to assist in software reliability, excellent links and resources.

Secure Programming for Linux and Unix HOWTODavid Wheeler also provided helpful discussion during the preparation of this article.

Building Secure Software: How to Avoid Security Problems the Right Way by John Viega and Gary McGraw

Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems by Ross J. Anderson

The Practice of Programming by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike

Jose Nazario is a biochemistry graduate student nearing the completion of his PhD. Side projects include Linux and other UNIX variants, software and security-related matters, and hobbies outside his office, like fly-fishing and photography.



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Need more intelligent tools

Anonymous's picture

The problem with scanner type tools is they provide very little intelligent filtering and flood the user with many false positives; invariably users look at the first 10 results and give up.

Re: Source Code Scanners for Better Code

Anonymous's picture

You have a good overview of the 3 source code scanners, are these the commonly used one's, are there any other.
I had a quick question on source code scanners, Can this scanners be used to scan code written for different platforms?(i.e. me running source code scanner on linux, can i scan some piece of code written to run on Windows, Unix)


Re: Source Code Scanners for Better Code

jnazario's picture

sorry about the bad grammar in some places, i need to be a bit more careful with that. :) anyhow, hope you enjoy the piece.