Many of us developers have a bashrc that has lines like:
I've always known that this isn't perfect, that one should check $LD_LIBRARY_PATH isn't empty, but had always thought it was just a minor point. It turns out that the loader sees an empty entry as meaning the current working directory. This means that it looks there for libraries.
The reason I noticed this is because I was using sshfs to mount something on my workstation in Pittsburgh from my laptop in California. When I ran any command (for example "ls"), the loader would look for tons of libraries. Each one of these libraries, it'd execute a stat for. A round trip between Pittsburgh and California is 90ms... so you can imagine everything was quite slow.
Of course, there are security implications too. I'm not that worried about a rogue directory on my laptop, but on shared systems (such as some of the university ones), I can imagine this being a risk.