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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  RATS (1)


rats - Rough Auditing Tool for Security




rats [options] [file]...


rats is a rough auditing tool for security developed by Secure Software, Inc. It is a tool for scanning C, Perl, PHP, and Python source code and flagging common security related programming errors such as buffer overflows and TOCTOU (Time Of Check, Time Of Use) race conditions. As its name implies, the tool performs only a rough analysis of source code. It will not find every error and will also find things that are not errors. Manual inspection of your code is still necessary, but greatly aided with this tool.

When started, RATS will scan each file or each file in the directory specified on the command line and produce a report when scanning is complete. What vulnerabilities are reported in the final report depend on the data contained in the vulnerability database or databases that are used and the warning level in use.

For each vulnerability, the list of files and line numbers where it occured is given, followed by a brief description of the vulnerability and suggested action.


-h, --help
  Displays a brief usage summary and exit.
-a <fun> Report any occurence of function ’fun’ in the source file(s)
-d <filename>, --database <filename>, --db <filename>
  Specifies a vulnerability database to be loaded. You may have multiple -d options and each database specified will be loaded.
-i, --input
  Causes a list of function calls that were used which accept external input to be produced at the end of the vulnerability report.
-l <lang>, --language <language>
  Force the specified language to be used regardless of filename extension. Currently valid language names are "c", "perl", "php" and "python".
-r, --references
  Causes references to vulnerable function calls that are not being used as calls themselves to be reported.
-w <level>, --warning <level>
  Sets the warning level. Valid levels are 1, 2 or 3.
1 includes only default and high severity.
2 includes medium severity (default).
3 includes low severity vulnerabilities.
-x Causes the default vulnerability databases (which are in the installation data directory, /usr/share/rats by default) to not be loaded.
-R, --no-recurssion
  Do not recurse subdirectories when encountered.
--xml Output in XML
--html Output in HTML
  Follow symlinks and treat them like whatever they are pointing to. If the symlink points to a directory it will be descended into unless -R is specified, if a pointing to a file, it will be treated as a file.


This manual page was orginally written by Adam Lazur <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).

Modified by Secure Software, Inc.

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--> RATS (1) September 17, 2001

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