Jumping through hoops:why do Java developers struggle with cryptography APIs?

Nadi, Sarah and Kruger, Stefan and Mezini, Ermira and Bodden, Eric (2016) Jumping through hoops:why do Java developers struggle with cryptography APIs? In: ICSE '16 Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering. ACM, New York, pp. 935-946. ISBN 9781450339001

Full text not available from this repository.


To protect sensitive data processed by current applications, developers, whether security experts or not, have to rely on cryptography. While cryptography algorithms have become increasingly advanced, many data breaches occur because developers do not correctly use the corresponding APIs. To guide future research into practical solutions to this problem, we perform an empirical investigation into the obstacles developers face while using the Java cryptography APIs, the tasks they use the APIs for, and the kind of (tool) support they desire. We triangulate data from four separate studies that include the analysis of 100 StackOverflow posts, 100 GitHub repositories, and survey input from 48 developers. We find that while developers find it difficult to use certain cryptographic algorithms correctly, they feel surprisingly confident in selecting the right cryptography concepts (e.g., encryption vs. signatures). We also find that the APIs are generally perceived to be too low-level and that developers prefer more task-based solutions.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Aug 2016 15:10
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 03:25