Is There A Bug in Your Software Or Is It Actually A Back Door?

While there are a lot more software developers than there have been in the past the truth of the matter is that there is still a shortage. When it comes to making serious software there are not a lot of people who can do it. It takes a mixture of skill sets to be able to pull it off and there are not a lot that can. There are a lot of businesses out there who have software needs and they need people to be able to fulfil those needs. And we do not mean people who will look for an off the shelf need. We are talking about people who will be able to set up and create custom software.

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There is a problem that you do have to worry about when you hire people to make your software. This is especially true when you are talking about people who are not on your payroll and they are only brought in on the project alone. When you are dealing with people like this, especially if you do not know anything about software yourself, then you are basically giving them control of your entire project. And while most of the time that will be okay, there are just some people that you cannot trust. There are some people out there who take advantage of that situation and they will place holes in the software on purpose. This is called a backdoor and it happens to software all of the time.

As we said in the previous paragraph, a backdoor when you are talking about software is a hole that is place intentionally. The person who created the software wanted to have a way that they can get into the internals of the software anytime that they wanted to. So they put a backdoor into the system that would allow them to do that. Back doors happen all of the time and not all of them are bad. Some back doors are created so that in case anything goes wrong, the person or company can have an easy way back in. But when you are talking about a freelancer creating a backdoor in your software, that is something that should not happen. There is no way that you can trust a stranger that you have known a few months to put a backdoor in a program that you are supposed to be trusting.

But there are also backdoors in some open source projects. There will be someone who comes to contribute and you think that they are fine but in reality they purposely put a hole in the system. While when it comes to open source it easier to find that type of hole but it is still something that you need to be aware if when you use open source projects.

Remember that there is a very slight difference between a bug and a back door. So you should not think that every security vulnerability that you find is some sort of back door that was put in there on purpose. Most of the holes that are found in software are just normal mistakes that happen in all software projects. There are certain characteristics that will let you know that it is a hole or not.

Just remember that when you have someone create your software, you do a check on them. Just make sure they are reliable and will not try to compromise the project that they are doing for you.

photo: oskay

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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