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Risky Business: Why Monitoring Vulnerability Data Is Never Enough
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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Ninja
3/19/2015 | 7:17:03 PM
What abput Coverity?
i don't know what it costs but Coverity will perform a static check on all code sent to it for a fee. It looks for security vulnerability and poor coding practices and gives you a report. This may not be what's needed to maintain your open source code but it seems to me some kind of periodic check by an outside third party would be a good way to go.
bill@blackduck
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[email protected],
User Rank: Author
3/19/2015 | 9:31:16 PM
Re: What abput Coverity?

I agree, running static code analysis tools such as Coverity are certainly best practice for finding defects and vulnerabilities in both open source and proprietary code. I believe that Coverity even offers a free service for open source projects to scan their code. Unfortunately, not all open source projects do this. In addition, not all vulnerabilities are caught by these tools — many are discovered by security researchers analyzing the code directly. Thus, it still makes sense to have an accounting of what open source software you are using and what known vulnerabilities have been reported against those projects and versions.

xmarksthespot
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xmarksthespot,
User Rank: Strategist
3/20/2015 | 4:25:34 AM
Re: What abput Coverity?
The way I learned so much in penetration testing and web development, is from open source. I use Kali and Ubuntu along with the multitude of open source within it. I *love* it!

I don't see reliable evidence that closed source is more vulnerable than open source, or vice versa. In my mind it would have to be examined on a case by case basis on the technologies available. There are many factors involved in analyzing the security level of a package. You see critical vulnerabilities reported in both types of software, frequently. That's not the complete picture in terms of the security. Just because a hole isn't found doesn't mean there isn't a hole there.

Some open source software have strong communities which react quickly when vulnerabilities are reported. Others are slower. Same goes for commercial software. Personally, I'd be concerned about fast patches get applied to reported vulnerabilities If reported vulnerabilities are not patched in a timely manner, I would be suspect of the product, open or closed source.

It seems prudent that a large corporation relying heavily on a particular project would give it a look. I'm sure that in many cases they are already doing that. Also, I think it would be most important to perform periodic and structured security audits on open source security mechanisms such as OpenSSL.
dferguson_usa
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dferguson_usa,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2015 | 8:14:04 PM
Static analysis vs. vulnerable components database
Veracode offers a static analysis solution similar to Coverity, but it works on the compiled code and not the source code.  Anyway I'm not sure doing static analysis on your 3rd party libraries/open source components is practical.  You may end up with a much bigger project than you want.  And these tools can have false negatives like already mentioned.  Probably more effective is to use an automated solution that can figure out what components are present in your software and then checks a database to flag known vulnerable components.  OWASP has a tool called Dependency Check that is designed to do this, and there's no cost.  I haven't used it myself yet though.


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