The greatest weakness in many PHP programs is not inherent in the language itself, but merely an issue of code not being written with security in mind. For this reason, you should always take the time to consider the implications of a given piece of code, to ascertain the possible damage if an unexpected variable is submitted to it.
Example 4-11. Dangerous Variable Usage
Will this script only affect the intended files?
Can unusual or undesirable data be acted upon?
Can this script be used in unintended ways?
Can this be used in conjunction with other scripts in a negative manner?
Will any transactions be adequately logged?
You may also want to consider turning off register_globals, magic_quotes, or other convenience settings which may confuse you as to the validity, source, or value of a given variable. Working with PHP in error_reporting(E_ALL) mode can also help warn you about variables being used before they are checked or initialized (so you can prevent unusual data from being operated upon).