I've been studying the cyber security field with great interest. I understand how networking can help cyber security but I am not sure how advanced programming knowledge can help fight cyber crime or why certain cyber security experts need programming knowledge. In my experience so far with penetration testing tools and networks i came across some need for it, such as bash shell scripts and a bit of python but not enough to become an expert. In what ways can programming help fight cyber crime? Hope the question is not too general.

  • 2
    You can't have studied much if you still use the word cyber on a technical site. (hint: it's only used when marketing to clueless buyers and politicians) – CodesInChaos May 7 '16 at 8:53
  • This sounds like a wanna-be script kiddie who's discovered a live disc or two. If you think Python is programming / or even a viable programming language for use within the computer security field, then you're sadly mistaken. – user3791372 May 7 '16 at 9:46
  • @user3791372 in what way is Python not programming? What makes you think it's not used / useful in security? – TZHX May 7 '16 at 12:23
  • 1
    @user3791372 so far for scripts in Kali Linux python has been the best by far! Its a versatile language and easy to understand. For someone with no strong programming background python is the best solution. "Wanna-be script kiddie". Im trying to learn. ive also only started learning stuff.. did not say im an expert. Questioning everything so i can learn new stuff. Im taking one thing at a time. Guess you started being an expert in your field from day one.. – Deus9 May 7 '16 at 12:33

Many security "holes" are the result of programming mistakes. Programmers necessarily make assumptions about how their programs will be used and sometimes these assumptions are incorrect.

A good example is Bobby Tables. At one time it was considered a common practice to accept input from a user, concatenate that with commands to a database, then execute the commands. This has now been shown to be harmful.

Without skill in programming a security expert will be severely limited in his/her ability to recognize new vulnerabilities, devise counter measures, or even successfully test a system.

  • 2
    And of course, writing secure software in the first place is an important part of cyber security. – Jörg W Mittag May 6 '16 at 22:31
  • Not all the "holes" are "mistakes". If OP had been paying attention to their studies, they'd know there are many attempts at pushing malicious code to repos all the time. And then... there are viruses that are "programmed" to act against "cyber-security" – user3791372 May 7 '16 at 9:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.