Open source security bugs uncovered

Government project finds thousands of open source flaws.

A US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bug-fixing scheme has uncovered an average of one security glitch per 1,000 lines of code in 180 widely used open source software projects.

The program, called the Open Source Hardening Project, is sponsored by the DHS and carried out by Coverity and Stanford University. Launched in March 2006, the US$300,000 project was initially launched to review the code of 180 open source software projects frequently used by developers of government websites and application developers.

All the software scrutinized was found to have significant numbers of security flaws, Coverity said on Wednesday. Since 2006 the project has helped fix 7,826 open source flaws in 250 projects, out of 50 million lines of code scanned, the company said.

Coverity also scans proprietary software, handling about 400 product lines for private customers, but said its private clients don't tend to disclose information about bugs found in their products.

Many of the open source projects scanned have been assiduous in repairing the bugs that have turned up, and on Wednesday Coverity advanced the first batch of 11 open source projects to its second stage of the bug-cleansing process, called Rung 2. Many more remain on Rung 1 or even Rung 0, meaning they haven't yet begun to fix the flaws identified.

The 11 projects are Amanda, NTP, OpenPAM, OpenVPN, Overdose, Perl, PHP, Postfix, Python, Samba, and TCL. Other popular software the project has scrutinized include Apache, the Linux kernel and Firefox.

Rung 2 is the highest security level yet reached under the DHS project, and was attained by eliminating several classes of security and quality defects, according to Coverity open source strategist David Maxwell.

For instance, 236 flaws were uncovered in 450,000 lines of Samba code, of which 228 have been corrected.

Having passed to the next level, Coverity will provide the projects with an updated version of its scanner product, which will allow developers to identify still more flaws.

The Rung 2 scanning service will be upgraded from version 2.4 to version 3.6 of Coverity's Prevent bug-scanning product, Coverity said. The latest version in commercial use is 3.8.

The bug checks are carried out via Coverity's Scan website.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matthew Broersma

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?