The CTO at Microsoft Azure has called on the industry to pivot away from the C and C++ software development languages and embrace Rust for future projects.
Mark Russinovich said Rust should be the new favoured language when developing projects that do not require a language that supports garbage collection “for the sake of security and reliability,” he said.
Russinovich’s comments come after several high-profile industry figures have confirmed their adoption of Rust in their respective projects during this month.
Cloudflare announced last week that it built a new HTTP proxy called Pingora. Built in-house, Cloudflare’s engineers chose Rust “because it can do what C can do in a memory-safe way without compromising performance”.
Memory safety is one of the most widely touted benefits of Rust and according to Cloudflare, it guards Rust-built projects against undefined behaviours and instils confidence that services will run correctly. Rust code also runs more efficiently compared to Cloudflare's old Lua code, the company said.
Linux’s creator Linus Torvalds also said earlier this week at the Kernel Maintainers Summit that Rust code will play a significant role in the new 6.1 version of Linux, ZDNET reported, although the kernel itself will still be written in C.
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Away from tech giants adopting the programming language that’s “most loved” by developers for seven years running, Rust is becoming a new favourite for ransomware organisations, too.
First BlackCat and more recently the Hive ransomware-as-a-service operations have publicly announced their shifts to Rust as the programming language of choice to develop their encryptor programs.
In addition to its memory safety which increases the program’s efficiency, Rust’s compiler is another significant reason why the language itself is so popular among all kinds of software developers, including black hat hackers.
Its compiler increases the safety of a program by refusing to compile unsafe code by default which guarantees the smooth running of whatever software it’s used to build.
Hackers also appreciate Rust’s anti-analysis properties, another feature of its compiler which makes it difficult for prospective reverse engineers to see how the code works due to how it converts human-readable code to machine-readable code.
A score of tech giants including Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Mozilla, Dropbox, and Figma all have adopted Rust in various projects in some capacity.
The language is among a ‘newer breed’ of development tools that aim to eliminate some of the antiquated, difficult-to-use features of older languages.
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Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.