Overheard: Word of the Day

Dec 18 2007   12:14PM GMT

Overheard: The web is one big fuzz test

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

matt-cutts.jpg I can tell you that the web is a fuzz test. If you write a program to process web pages, there are few better workouts for your program than to pipe a huge number of web pages into your program.

Matt Cutts, The web is a fuzz test: patch your browser and your web server

Matt writes: One of my favorite computer science papers is a 1990 paper titled “An Empirical Study of the Reliability of UNIX Utilities”. The authors discovered that if they piped random junk into UNIX command-line programs, a remarkable number of them crashed. Why? The random input triggered bugs, some of which had probably hidden for years. Up to a third of the programs that they tried crashed.

That paper helped popularize fuzz testing, which tests programs by giving random gibberish as input. Some people call this a monkey test, as in “Pound on the keyboard like a caffeine-crazed monkey for a few minutes and see if the program crashes.”

 Comment on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: