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Islam, M., Rahaman, S., Meng, N., Hassanshahi, B., Krishnan, P., Yao, D. D..  2020.  Coding Practices and Recommendations of Spring Security for Enterprise Applications. 2020 IEEE Secure Development (SecDev). :49—57.
Spring security is tremendously popular among practitioners for its ease of use to secure enterprise applications. In this paper, we study the application framework misconfiguration vulnerabilities in the light of Spring security, which is relatively understudied in the existing literature. Towards that goal, we identify 6 types of security anti-patterns and 4 insecure vulnerable defaults by conducting a measurement-based approach on 28 Spring applications. Our analysis shows that security risks associated with the identified security anti-patterns and insecure defaults can leave the enterprise application vulnerable to a wide range of high-risk attacks. To prevent these high-risk attacks, we also provide recommendations for practitioners. Consequently, our study has contributed one update to the official Spring security documentation while other security issues identified in this study are being considered for future major releases by Spring security community.
Rahman, Md Rayhanur, Rahman, Akond, Williams, Laurie.  2019.  Share, But Be Aware: Security Smells in Python Gists. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME). :536–540.

Github Gist is a service provided by Github which is used by developers to share code snippets. While sharing, developers may inadvertently introduce security smells in code snippets as well, such as hard-coded passwords. Security smells are recurrent coding patterns that are indicative of security weaknesses, which could potentially lead to security breaches. The goal of this paper is to help software practitioners avoid insecure coding practices through an empirical study of security smells in publicly-available GitHub Gists. Through static analysis, we found 13 types of security smells with 4,403 occurrences in 5,822 publicly-available Python Gists. 1,817 of those Gists, which is around 31%, have at least one security smell including 689 instances of hard-coded secrets. We also found no significance relation between the presence of these security smells and the reputation of the Gist author. Based on our findings, we advocate for increased awareness and rigorous code review efforts related to software security for Github Gists so that propagation of insecure coding practices are mitigated.

Meng, Na, Nagy, Stefan, Yao, Danfeng, Zhuang, Wenjie, Arango-Argoty, Gustavo.  2018.  Secure Coding Practices in Java: Challenges and Vulnerabilities. 2018 IEEE/ACM 40th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). :372-383.

The Java platform and its third-party libraries provide useful features to facilitate secure coding. However, misusing them can cost developers time and effort, as well as introduce security vulnerabilities in software. We conducted an empirical study on StackOverflow posts, aiming to understand developers' concerns on Java secure coding, their programming obstacles, and insecure coding practices. We observed a wide adoption of the authentication and authorization features provided by Spring Security - a third-party framework designed to secure enterprise applications. We found that programming challenges are usually related to APIs or libraries, including the complicated cross-language data handling of cryptography APIs, and the complex Java-based or XML-based approaches to configure Spring Security. In addition, we reported multiple security vulnerabilities in the suggested code of accepted answers on the StackOverflow forum. The vulnerabilities included disabling the default protection against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks, breaking SSL/TLS security through bypassing certificate validation, and using insecure cryptographic hash functions. Our findings reveal the insufficiency of secure coding assistance and documentation, as well as the huge gap between security theory and coding practices.