Sameer Borate's Blog: Data filtering and validation using Inspekt
Sameer Borate has a recent post to his blog looking at an important part of any application - filtering input from the user and output before its used. In his examples he uses a library called Inspekt (from Ed Finkler) to make the job a lot easier.
Most web security glitches are caused by insufficient input filtering and validation. Despite a large number of validation libraries being available, input sanitization is usually bypassed due to sheer laziness or the idea that your site is somehow immune from bad input data. Inspekt is one such library that has a small footprint and is very easy to integrate into your application.
He goes through the installation (a require_once) and a few examples of how to "cage" incoming data from a sample form with two hidden fields. He shows how to use the library to access the filtered versions of the values and how to run some tests on the data (like checks for alphanumeric, valid hostname, between two values, valid phone number, etc). He also briefly mentions "super cages" that can be used over and over.