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Google Expands Open Source Vulnerabilities Database

Google today announced the expansion of the Open Source Vulnerabilities (OSV) database to include information on bugs identified in Go, Rust, Python, and DWF open source projects.

Launched in February 2021 with details on thousands of vulnerabilities from Google’s OSS-Fuzz project, the OSV database is meant to provide automated, improved vulnerability triage for both developers and users of open source software.

The project has proved successful and, after improving it based on received feedback, Google decided to extend OSV to key open-source ecosystems. As part of this step, vulnerability databases for Go, Rust, Python, and DWF are now aggregated into OSV, to help developers better track and fix bugs in their software.

“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,” Google says.

The aggregation of these databases also comes with a unified schema for describing vulnerabilities, which aims to address key issues related to the management of vulnerabilities in open source.

For example, no standard format was found which would enforce version specification to precisely match naming and versioning schemes used in open source ecosystems, which could be used to describe vulnerabilities in any ecosystem, and which would be easy to use by humans and automated systems alike.

The new schema, Google says, should deliver a unified format for all vulnerability databases, offer a more comprehensive view of flaws in open source software, improve detection and remediation, and make it easy for databases, users, and security researchers to share tooling.

The format has already been adopted by vulnerability databases such as Go, Rust, and Python for the Go, Cargo, and PyPI packages, respectively, as well as by the DWF database for the Linux kernel and other popular software vulnerabilities, and the OSS-Fuzz database for C/C++ software flaws.

All of these vulnerability databases are aggregated by the OSV service and viewable through its web UI, but can also be queried through available APIs.

To automate maintenance of the vulnerability database, Google has built tools not only for OSV, but also for the community Python advisory database, and plans on expanding these tools to other ecosystems for which a vulnerability database does not exist or exists but is not properly maintained.

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