Sanitizing untrusted code for eval()

Benji York benji at
Mon Aug 22 16:14:39 CEST 2005

Jim Washington wrote:
> I'm still working on yet another parser for JSON (

Hi, Jim.

> The only problem is, it uses eval(). It's important to sanitize the
> incoming untrusted code before sending it to eval().

> Does anyone know of any other "gotchas" with eval() I have not found?  Or
> is eval() simply too evil?

I'd say that eval is just too evil.

I do wonder if it would be possible to use eval by working from the 
other direction.  Instead of trying to filter out dangerous things, only 
allow a *very* strict set of things in.

For example, since your doing JSON, you don't even need to allow 
multiplication.  If you only allowed dictionaries with string keys and a 
  restricted set of types as values, you'd be pretty close.  But once 
you're at that point you might as well use your own parser and not use 
eval at all.  <shrug>
Benji York

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