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2.6. Paranoia is a Virtue

The primary difficulty in writing secure programs is that writing them requires a different mind-set, in short, a paranoid mind-set. The reason is that the impact of errors (also called defects or bugs) can be profoundly different.

Normal non-secure programs have many errors. While these errors are undesirable, these errors usually involve rare or unlikely situations, and if a user should stumble upon one they will try to avoid using the tool that way in the future.

In secure programs, the situation is reversed. Certain users will intentionally search out and cause rare or unlikely situations, in the hope that such attacks will give them unwarranted privileges. As a result, when writing secure programs, paranoia is a virtue.