Skill Level: Beginner


  1. Introduction

    As an idiom, there is always two faces of a coin, similarly everything has its positive and negative aspects. Likewise, despite of having enormous benefits of using open source softwares, it pose a giant risk to enterprise security. About 78% of organizations are using open source software systems but far less do even a halfway decent job of managing it. The usage of open source software offers a few focal points such as vendor independence, the adaptability to tweak the code for site particular needs, the reduced total cost of ownership in designing a solution and moreover the feasibility of reviewing the entire source code for potential bugs and vulnerabilities before deploying the product in an enterprise.

  2. Open Source Software At a Glance

    Open Source Software refers to the software whose source code is accessible to the public and it can be utilized, altered and redistributed along with the original rights as defined by Open Source Initiative (OSI). Open source components saves developers time and companies money, but it also provides a big space to attackers allowing them to inspect, modify and spoil your source code. With the upsurge in technology, enterprises are adapting agile methodologies, open source becomes more valuable, and there are more tools available to them. Apart from the cost effective feature of open source platform, it allows you to open and fixup the problem immediately, if arises. Apart from the attractive benefits of using open source software, it posses high risk to security as the code is available publically. One of such cases is uncovered in year 2017 when the credit-rating agency Equifax is involved in spilling of personal points of interest of 150 million people. However the association blamed a vulnerability in the Apache Software Foundation’s Struts interpretation 2, an open source structure for building Java web applications.

    Be that as it may, big names like Amazon and Google effectively utilizing open source in their product stack, upgrade the purpose of debate of utilizing the open source arrangements. Thusly there is a need of exhaustive investigation of the dangers related with open source and approaches to go around them is the need of great importance if organizations need to hold their ground in the period of cloud and virtualization.

  3. Security in Open Source Software

    Software composition analysis research shows that using proprietary code has dropped from 30%-50% to around 20% at between 2008 and 2015, due to the increased usage of open source components (see this article by WhiteSource for more details). Improving security in open source programming is therefore an unquestionable requirement.Security vulnerabilities don’t simply influence restrictive code. They can likewise exist in the open source components in the product your organization is creating or utilizing. You have to secure against them, as well. There are some accepted procedures which each organization needs to take before utilizing open source products.

    • A centralised Patch management framework is vital to guarantee that the critical patches are applied to your infrastructure on a timely basis. The wannacry attack was a stark reminder of the dangers of neglecting to manage patching. Cyber Attackers move quick when they see an opening or wind up mindful of a revealed helplessness, and you won’t have the capacity to keep up. Just with a proactive approach will you have a shot of foiling hackers.
    • Prescribing guidelines on the use of open source software by an organisation will stop the development team to assume that they are free to use any open source component,which may bring about an item dispatched with known vulnerabilities as well as contradictory programming licenses.
    • Present days IDEs are improved to give development access to the most stretched out of open source libraries specifically inside their local surroundings. If such a development practice violates your company’s guidelines of using open source softwares then it ought to be important to restrict access of such repos either at firewall level or with some other means.
    • An organisation needs to understand how to remediate the vulnerabilities within its open source softwares. With the influx of third party solutions there is a undebatable need of continuously assess the risk from vulnerabilities. You can utilize testing apparatuses (both static code examination and programming synthesis investigation devices) which gives a high level of perceivability into inherent risk, and vendor contracts should be structured in such a way as to mandate a minimum security level for delivered software.
  4. Risks in using Open Source Software

    Regardless of advantages, organizations hoping to actualize open source programming as a piece of their product stack,they need to manage certain potential weaknesses, the preeminent being that of security dangers. Since the code is open for general utilize and adjustment, there is a high probability of the product getting perpetrated with malware representing a high security risk to the organization’s condition. The absence of scrutiny is the most vital threat for the open source softwares as on average there is only 20 % of the source code is Proprietary Code. Restrictive programming experiences a standard assessment strategy before an organization chooses to put resources into it. The necessity in itself is assessed deliberately taken after by measuring the upsides and downsides of the open source software to use. Another significant issue which upholds the organization to think before utilizing open source programming is the need of qualified and motivational developers. Since these product are available to utilize, its not connote that an enhanced program free from bugs. The developers taking a shot at the code must be sufficiently qualified to recognize weakness and attachment them viably.

    Different components incorporate absence of responsibility and sources. For instance If the organization neglects to do the essential record verifications – a pre assumable situation if there should be an occurrence of open programming before introducing a program, there is a high possibility of giving the entryways, a chance to open to hackers. The reason is the nearness of malware that can draw in clients with intriguing highlights however once downloaded without security approaches, these can degenerate the framework.

  5. Security Analysis and Solutions to Security Threat

    For Performing security analysis, we first need to discover the Vulnerability. Right now, it is chiefly surrendered over to the open source group to discover and settle security issues in open source programming. Notwithstanding, with the developing support and venture of open source programming (e.g. Linux) from substantial enterprises, for example, IBM and Novell, more individuals who are security specialists (who are utilized by those partnerships) will discover and settling security issues. In this way, we can expect the security of open source programming to increment in the following few years.This will decrease any distinction that exists in the security of open source programming.

    After discovery of the vulnerability, we need to incorporate the security tools for finding the threats in open source softwares. Vulnerabilities are normally ordered by the STRIDE arrangement framework. STRIDE is an acronym which remains for: Spoofing character, Tampering with information, Repudiation, Information divulgence, Denial of administration, and Elevation of benefits. They each allude to various classes of dangers. “Mocking personality” alludes to getting access and utilization of someone else’s confirmation data, for example, username and secret word. “Messing with information” alludes to modifying information without the proprietor’s consent. “Renouncement” alludes to the capacity to keep track what activities were performed, and who performed them. “Data” exposure alludes to acquiring data without having authorization to get to it. “Dissent of administration” alludes to endeavors to keep honest to goodness clients from utilizing an administration or framework. “Height of benefits” alludes to where an underprivileged client gets higher-advantaged access The STRIDE show was created by Microsoft and is utilized by developers to recognize security issues in their code.

    Source code scanners, (for example, Flawfinder, RATS and ITS4) exist for both open and shut source programming, and help make more secure code by discovering basic security issues in source code and frequently recommending more secure code that could be utilized.

    Let’s see some of the most common open source vulnerabilities.

    1. Glibc, the GNU C library was found to be vulnerable to yet another critical flaw in February this year.This open source security powerlessness influenced all Linux servers and web structures such Python, PHP, Rails and additionally API web administrations which utilize the GNU C library. The bug empowered programmers to trade off applications by means of a man-in-the-center assault, with the likelihood of taking control of a client’s framework which got to a programmer controlled DNS have.
    2. Quadrooter is another weakness which abuses the android telephones when anybody introduce the malwared app.The aggressor could pick up root access to the gadget by misusing any of the four vulnerabilities. This put all framework substance and controls (counting touchy information, mouthpiece, GPS and framework changes) in danger of abuse.
    3. Zero-Day Linux Kernel Vulnerability is another assault which affected all Linux adaptations 3.8 and higher, and in addition 66% of all Android gadgets. Once the bug was abused, the assailant could pick up root access to the unfortunate client’s OS.

    There is a security analysis carried out by a company “netsparker” in which 104 apps are scanned. Lets see some of findings to this analysis.






                                                   SCANNED WEB APPLICATIONS vs IDENTIFIED VULNERABILITIES



  6. Conclusion

    The adoption of open source programming in an association isn’t as easy as just downloading and running a free program from a site. There are various security worries that ought to be considered, weighed up and determined before an organisation takes the plunge into the open source world. Taking everything into account, open source does not represent any noteworthy boundaries to security, yet rather strengthens sound security by including numerous individuals that uncover bugs rapidly, and offers side-effects that provide customers and the community with concrete examples of reusable, secure, and working code.

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