Openistas squish security bugs twice as fast

Software security MOT results dispel FUD


Open source software has comparable security, faster bug fixing, and fewer potential backdoors than commercial software, according to a study on software application vulnerabilities by security firm VeraCode.

The study, published on the first day of the RSA Conference, is based on aggregated data from real world scanning of billions of lines of code and thousands of applications by the code quality assurance and security firm. Open source is as good if not better than commercial packages in key metrics accessed by VeraCode, which argues the findings dispel the myth that open source is inherently riskier than commercial code.

In fact the security outcomes of different software development philosophies are almost the same.

For example, using the Mitre/SANS Top 25 security risks as the benchmark, 61 per cent of open source projects failed VeraCode's audit on the first attempt, compared to a figure of 62 per cent for commercial software packages. The prevalence of critical vulnerabilities for open source was 21 per cent, versus 20 per cent for commercial software, according to VeraCode.

VeraCode recorded more significant differences in how quickly open source project teams were able to fix flaws compared to their commercial counterparts. Open source applications took only 36 days from first submission to reach a passing security score, compared to 48 days for internally developed apps and 82 days for commercial applications.

"Numerous political and organizational complexities of enterprise development efforts and the formal, customer-centric release plans of commercial software vendors" explain the longer time commercial apps spend going through its application risk management services platform, according to VeraCode.

The code quality audit firm also noted that open source software had fewer potential backdoors, with only one per cent of vulnerabilities falling into this category. VeraCode credited the "positive effect of transparency" in the open source community for this low figure.

Depending on the standard applied (these are tougher for software used in "business critical" systems), between 58 per cent and 88 per cent of all applications submitted for verification to VeraCode failed to make it through its software security MOT at the first time of asking. ®


Keep Reading

Linux Foundation rolls bunch of overlapping groups into one to tackle growing number of open-source security vulns

OpenSSF to take projects from CII and OSSC under its umbrella

Sophos puts 100 at risk of redundancy as future of Naked Security blog hangs in balance

Exclusive Firm denies shutdown of marketing organ but heads may well roll

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

Snyk survey puts cross-site scripting top of the list for security holes – but watch out for prototype pollution too

AWS includes open-source Suricata for stateful inspection with Network Firewall service

Updated Enhanced network security for AWS virtual private cloud – while Microsoft previews Azure Firewall Premium

Xen and the art of hypervisor introspection: Bitdefender donates meditative tech to open-source virty outfit

And its lightweight virtualized RAM and CPU project, Napoca, too

'I am done with open source': Developer of Rust Actix web framework quits, appoints new maintainer

Project author Nikolay Kim also given some community support after 'unsafe shitstorm'

Now-patched Ubuntu desktop vulnerability allows privilege escalation

'Unusual for a vulnerability on a modern operating system to be this easy to exploit,' says bughunter

Five bag $300,000 in bug bounties after finding 55 security holes in Apple's web apps, IT infrastructure

Unpatched Cisco VPN servers, access to the iOS source code, AWS secret keys – this is weapons grade 'oof'

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020