Open source is a topic that pops up often these days. I have seen this blog from Google’s open source team about some advances in cybersecurity based upon the recent US Executive Order—something that has spurred many news releases, if not a lot of work.
For you security and open source geeks, check out this Blog post for security.googleblog.com,Thursday, June 24 @ 9 AM ET by Authors: Oliver Chang, Google Open Source Security team and Russ Cox, Go team.
In recent months, Google has launched several efforts to strengthen open-source security on multiple fronts. One important focus is improving how we identify and respond to known security vulnerabilities without doing extensive manual work. It is essential to have a precise common data format to triage and remediate security vulnerabilities, particularly when communicating about risks to affected dependencies—it enables easier automation and empowers consumers of open-source software to know when they are impacted and make security fixes as soon as possible.
We released the Open Source Vulnerabilities (OSV) database in February with the goal of automating and improving vulnerability triage for developers and users of open source software. This initial effort was bootstrapped with a dataset of a few thousand vulnerabilities from the OSS-Fuzz project. Implementing OSV to communicate precise vulnerability data for hundreds of critical open-source projects proved the success and utility of the format, and garnered feedback to help us improve the project; for example, we dropped the Cloud API key requirement, making the database even easier to access by more users. The community response also showed that there was broad interest in extending the effort further.
Today, we’re excited to announce a new milestone in expanding OSV to several key open-source ecosystems: Go, Rust, Python, and DWF. This expansion unites and aggregates four important vulnerability databases, giving software developers a better way to track and remediate the security issues that affect them. Our effort also aligns with the recent US Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, which emphasized the need to remove barriers to sharing threat information in order to strengthen national infrastructure. This expanded shared vulnerability database marks an important step toward creating a more secure open-source environment for all users.
A simple, unified schema for describing vulnerabilities precisely
As with open source development, vulnerability databases in open source follow a distributed model, with many ecosystems and organizations creating their own database. Since each uses their own format to describe vulnerabilities, a client tracking vulnerabilities across multiple databases must handle each completely separately. Sharing of vulnerabilities between databases is also difficult.
The Google Open Source Security team, Go team, and the broader open-source community have been developing a simple vulnerability interchange schema for describing vulnerabilities that’s designed from the beginning for open-source ecosystems. After starting work on the schema a few months ago, we requested public feedback and received hundreds of comments.
Check out the blog if interested in contributing.