White House Warns: Popular Programming Languages May Be Cybersecurity Foes

White House Warns: Ditch C and C++ for security? The ONCD’s latest report is a comedy of errors for devs’ beloved languages, suggesting a swap for ‘memory-safe’ ones. Cue the collective groan!

Hot Take:

Who knew that the programming languages we’ve been swooning over are the same ones playing fast and loose with our cybersecurity? C and C++, it turns out, are the digital equivalent of that “bad boy” in a leather jacket your mother warned you about. Meanwhile, the White House is playing the role of the concerned parent, pushing the “nice languages” that might not get your code’s heart racing but will get it home by curfew without any security mishaps.

Key Points:

  • C and C++ are getting the cold shoulder from the ONCD due to their lackadaisical approach to memory safety.
  • Memory safety issues are like the common cold of the cybersecurity world, and apparently, they’re responsible for around 70% of Microsoft and Google’s security sniffles.
  • The ONCD’s advice is like a recommendation letter from your favorite teacher – not mandatory, but it carries some weight.
  • President Biden’s cybersecurity strategy is all about building a digital fortress, one memory-safe brick at a time.
  • Despite the security applause, the ONCD’s recommended languages might not be getting roses from developers in the popularity contest.

Need to know more?

The Memory Safety Dance

The ONCD is stepping onto the dance floor, trying to change the rhythm of the programming world with a new beat – memory safety. Imagine a dance where one misstep could lead to a cascade of dancers toppling over. That's kind of what happens when memory safety checks are missing in programming languages. The report is like a dance instructor pleading with developers to avoid the C and C++ tango and instead groove to the tunes of Java and its memory-safe pals to keep the cybersecurity party from turning into a brawl.

A Not-So-Secret Admirer

The cybersecurity strategy coming from the White House is akin to a love letter to memory-safe programming. It's all about nurturing a romance with languages that know how to handle their memory without going rogue. The NSA even played matchmaker last year, setting up a list of eligible languages that won't stand you up on security. But remember, this is more of a subtle nudge than a shotgun wedding; companies still have the freedom to choose their coding companions.

Popularity Contest

Here's the twist: while the ONCD is playing the role of the wise sage, telling us to go for the "good on paper" languages, developers are still crushing hard on their problematic faves. It's a classic head versus heart dilemma. The ONCD's recommended languages are the ones that promise to call you back and meet your parents, but C and C++ are the ones with the motorcycle and the irresistible aura of danger. Now, it's up to the developers to decide whether they're ready to settle down with a reliable language or keep flirting with disaster.

Where Do We Go From Here?

This report is essentially the government's version of a "strongly worded suggestion," sans the authority of a mandate. It's like your doctor advising you to eat more veggies – you know it's good for you, but nobody's going to slap that burger out of your hand. As the tech world digests this advice, we're all waiting to see whether developers will swipe right on memory safety or keep playing the field with their beloved, albeit riskier, languages.
Tags: developer preferences, Memory Safety, NSA approved languages, Programming languages, Secure Coding Practices, software vulnerabilities, White House recommendations