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(also static application security testing)

SAST definition

Static application security testing (SAST) is a technique to scrutinize source code for potential security weaknesses. Contrary to dynamic application security testing (DAST), SAST inspects the application's code and its interaction with systems, bypassing the need to run the software.

See also: source code, buffer overflow attack, SQL injection

SAST examples

  • Identifying coding errors: SAST can identify issues such as buffer overflows, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in the code.
  • Early vulnerability detection: SAST can be implemented during the development stage, enabling developers to detect and rectify security issues early in the software lifecycle.

Advantages and disadvantages of SAST


  • Early detection: By analyzing source code during development, SAST can identify security vulnerabilities before they become bigger problems.
  • In-depth analysis: SAST provides a comprehensive view of potential security issues by examining the source code.


  • Time-consuming: SAST can be time-consuming and resource intensive due to its comprehensive analysis.
  • Falsely identified threats: SAST may flag code that isn't a security risk, leading to potential false positives.

Using SAST

  • Implement SAST early in the development process to identify potential vulnerabilities.
  • Be prepared to sift through potential false positives, focusing on the threats that pose a significant security risk.