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GitHub Becomes CVE Numbering Authority, Acquires Semmle

Microsoft-owned GitHub announced on Wednesday that it has acquired code analysis platform provider Semmle and the company is now a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority.

Microsoft-owned GitHub announced on Wednesday that it has acquired code analysis platform provider Semmle and the company is now a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority.

Semmle, which has raised $31 million, provides a code analysis engine, named QL, that allows security researchers and developers to review code using an object-oriented query language. This should make it easier and quicker to identify all variations of a vulnerability in large code bases. Semmle’s analysis engine has been used to discover over 100 vulnerabilities in open source projects.

There is also an increasing number of open source QL queries written by the community and Semmle is shipped with over 2,000 queries covering known vulnerabilities, which makes it easier to find security holes without necessarily having to write new queries.

As a result of the Semmle acquisition, GitHub is making the QL engine available to all public repositories and enterprise customers. The feature is available through GitHub Actions, which helps developers automate how they build, test and deploy projects.

“Security researchers identify vulnerabilities and their variants with a QL query. This query can be shared and run over many codebases, freeing up security researchers to do what they love and do best: hunt for new classes of vulnerability,” explained Shanku Niyogi, SVP of Product at GitHub. “Because QL is declarative and object-oriented, creating a new analysis with QL is much easier than with traditional code analysers. Customers frequently find vulnerabilities they couldn’t find with other tools and accomplish tasks that used to take weeks or more in hours.”

The company also says it’s making it easier for project maintainers to report security flaws directly from their repositories, and by becoming a CVE Numbering Authority, GitHub can assign CVE identifiers directly and post them to the CVE list and the National Vulnerability Database (NVD).

GitHub hopes that by simplifying the process for reporting vulnerabilities it will encourage researchers and ensure that the information reaches impacted entities faster.

Related: Rapid7 Appointed CVE Numbering Authority

Related: SAP Becomes CVE Numbering Authority

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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