Code Review


A secure code review is a specialized task involving manual and/or automated review of an application’s source code in an attempt to identify security-related weaknesses (flaws) in the code.

Secure code review process into two different techniques:

• Automated tool based/ Black Box:

In this approach, the secure code review is done using different open source/commercial tools. Mostly developers use them while they are coding, but a security analyst may also take help of them. Tools are very useful while doing code review when we implement the secure SDLC process in the organization and provide the tool to developers themselves to do a “self-code” review while they are coding. Also, the tools are useful in analyzing large code base (millions of lines). They can quickly identify potential insecure pieces of code in the code base, which may be analyzed by the developer or a security analyst.

• Manual/ White Box:

In this technique, a thorough code review is performed over the whole code, which may become a very tedious and tiresome process. But in this process, logical flaws may be identified which may not be possible using automated tools, such as Business Logic Problems.

Automated tools are mostly capable of finding technical flaws such as injection attacks but may miss flaws like authorization problems. In this process, instead of going line by line through whole code base, we can concentrate on potential problems in the code. Those potential vulnerabilities can be given a high priority.

The best approach will be a mix of both, depending on the volume and criticality of data. In today’s world where many complex applications are developed, we can’t ignore any of the above mentioned techniques.