A mechanism in Perl that attempts to ensure that people can't take
advantage of your script by supplying input that includes things like
shell metacharacters. If a script took user input and blindly included
it as part of a shell command, a devious user could supply input that
would do any number of nasty things, such as rm -rf /, accessing or
changing files it shouldn't, etc.
This protection is implemented by having every variable include an
implicit attribute indicating whether that variable is tainted or not.
Any variables obtained by any method of input become tainted, and Perl
will not let you include these in system commands. Variables can only become
untainted if you demonstrate to Perl that you've checked to see that the
characters are legit by assigning a sub-expression of a regular expression
match to it.
The whole principle is summed up thusly: "You may not use data derived from
outside your program to affect something else outside your program--at
least, not by accident."
Taintedness is enabled by default if a script is running setuid, and
can be enabled explicitly in other cases with the -T switch on the