News White House urges developers to dump C and C++

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Biden administration calls for developers to embrace memory-safe programing languages and move away from those that cause buffer overflows and other memory access vulnerabilities.

US President Joe Biden’s administration wants software developers to use memory-safe programming languages and ditch vulnerable ones like C and C++.

The White House Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD), in a report released Monday, called on developers to reduce the risk of cyberattacks by using programming languages that don’t have memory safety vulnerabilities. Technology companies “can prevent entire classes of vulnerabilities from entering the digital ecosystem” by adopting memory-safe programming languages, the White House said in a news release.

Memory-safe programming languages are protected from software bugs and vulnerabilities related to memory access, including buffer overflows, out-of-bounds reads, and memory leaks. Recent studies from Microsoft and Google have found that about 70 percent of all security vulnerabilities are caused by memory safety issues.

“We, as a nation, have the ability—and the responsibility—to reduce the attack surface in cyberspace and prevent entire classes of security bugs from entering the digital ecosystem but that means we need to tackle the hard problem of moving to memory safe programming languages,” National Cyber Director Harry Coker said in the White House news release.

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