For example, I have found scripts that had passwords embeded in them.
Im always amused when someone says something like this. My response is: so what?!
Embedding passwords in a script is hardly automatic cause to be shot. Sure its not ideal, and there are situations where doing so would be virtually if not actually criminally negligent, but equally there are many scenarios where embedding passwords into the script itself makes quite a lot of sense. Or at bare minimum, where it does not not makes sense.
Consider If I put my password in a ini file in the same directory as the script, is it really any more secure than the same password in the perl script that will use it? No it isn't. The basic fact is that the password will only be as secure as the OS restrictions make it. If the password is in the script and the script is readable by everyone, then you have a problem. The same problem with the ini file applies though. And you never hear anybody protesting "yeah but the password is in the inifile".
Now before anybody says "putting a password in a file of any sort is a bad plan," I'll agree: Yup you're right. So how do you run cron jobs that need passwords? You put the password in a file? Ahah!
Anyway, just one of my pet peeves. :-)
<Elian> And I do take a kind of perverse pleasure in having an OO assembly language...