Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Nearly 1,000 Vulnerabilities Found in Popular Open Source Projects in 2019

Nearly 1,000 vulnerabilities were found in popular open source projects in 2019, more than double compared to the previous year, according to a report published on Monday by risk management company RiskSense.

Nearly 1,000 vulnerabilities were found in popular open source projects in 2019, more than double compared to the previous year, according to a report published on Monday by risk management company RiskSense.

RiskSense has analyzed 54 open source projects in which nearly 2,700 vulnerabilities were reported between 2015 and March 2020. Overall, the Jenkins automation server and MySQL had the most vulnerabilities reported during this timeframe, with more than 600 flaws each. For each of these pieces of software, 15 vulnerabilities were weaponized (i.e. public exploit code exists).

Open source vulnerability trends

Some projects, such as Vagrant, Alfresco and Artifactory have only a few vulnerabilities, but high weaponization rates. For example, only 9 flaws have been found in Vagrant and Alfresco, but 6 and 3 of them were weaponized, respectively.

The company has also looked at how much it took for these vulnerabilities to be added to the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). The average is 54 days, but for 119 CVEs it took over one year to be added to the NVD. In the case of a critical vulnerability affecting PostgreSQL, it was only added after 1,817 days, which is the longest observed by RiskSense.

Looking at the data for 2019, the company noticed that the number of CVEs was 968, a 130% increase compared to 2018, when there were 421 CVEs. However, only 15 of the security holes disclosed last year were weaponized.

A total of 179 vulnerabilities were disclosed in the first three months of 2020, including five that have been weaponized.

Overall, the highest percentage of vulnerabilities were described as information exposure, followed by cross-site scripting (XSS) and improper input validation issues. These last two categories had the highest number of weaponized flaws.

“Some weaknesses were far less common, yet remained very popular in active attack campaigns,” RiskSense noted in its report. “Deserialization Issue (28 CVEs), Code Injection (16 CVEs), Error Handling Issues (2 CVEs), and Container Errors (1 CVE) were all seen trending in the wild. The fact that these issues are rare in open source projects is a positive sign for the security of open source code, but also serve as a reminder that when problems do pop in OSS, they can be attacked quite broadly.”

The report also highlights a dozen vulnerabilities that are either being used in active campaigns or which pose a high risk due to their exploitability or potential impact. These flaws affect open source software such as Jenkins, JBoss, Apache Tomcat, Docker, Kubernetes, Elasticsearch, Magento and Git.

Related: Google Adds GKE Open-Source Dependencies to Vulnerability Rewards Program

Related: Dozens of Vulnerabilities Found in Open Source VNC Systems

Related: Microsoft Introduces Free Source Code Analyzer

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.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

Application Security

Drupal released updates that resolve four vulnerabilities in Drupal core and three plugins.

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

IoT Security

Lexmark warns of a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability impacting over 120 printer models, for which PoC code has been published.

Application Security

A CSRF vulnerability in the source control management (SCM) service Kudu could be exploited to achieve remote code execution in multiple Azure services.


GoAnywhere MFT users warned about a zero-day remote code injection exploit that can be targeted directly from the internet