Security Experts:

Google Launches Database for Open Source Vulnerabilities

Google last week announced the launch of OSV (Open Source Vulnerabilities), which the internet giant has described as a vulnerability database and triage infrastructure for open source projects.

OSV should make it easier for the users of open source software to find out which vulnerabilities impact them. It can also help maintainers of open source software accurately identify all versions and commits impacted by a flaw across all their branches.

Google OSVFor consumers, Google says OSV provides a database that can be easily queried, with its goal being to complement existing vulnerability databases.

“OSV automates the triage workflow for an open source package consumer by providing an API to query for vulnerabilities,” Google’s security team said in a blog post.

In the case of maintainers, they can obtain information on the impact of vulnerabilities by providing the commit that introduced a bug and the commit that patched it.

“Unfortunately, many open source projects, including ones that are critical to modern infrastructure, are under resourced and overworked. Maintainers don't always have the bandwidth to create and publish thorough, accurate information about their vulnerabilities even if they want to,” Google’s security experts said.

OSV currently stores information on thousands of vulnerabilities from more than 380 critical open source projects integrated with Google’s OSS-Fuzz fuzzing service. However, the company wants to extend it with data from repositories such as npm Registry and PyPI. It also wants to make it very easy for developers to submit information on vulnerabilities.

“Our goal with OSV is to rethink and promote better, scalable vulnerability tracking for open source. In an ideal world, vulnerability management should be done closer to the actual open source development process, aided by automated infrastructure. Projects that depend on open source should be promptly notified and fixes uptaken quickly when a vulnerability is reported,” Google said.

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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.