Application security, Careers, DevOps

Investing in Open Source Security – ASW #180

This isn't a story about NPM even though it's inspired by NPM. Twice.

The maintainer of the "colors" NPM library intentionally changed the library's behavior from its expected functionality to printing garbage messages. The library was exhibiting the type of malicious activity that typically comes from a compromised package. Only this time users of the library, which easily number in the thousands, discovered this was sabotage by the package maintainer himself.

This opens up a broader discussion on supply chain security than just provenance. How do we ensure open source tools receive the investments they need -- security or otherwise? For that matter, how do we ensure internal tools receive the investments they need? Log4j was just one recent example of seeing old code appear in surprising places.

Segment resources

- https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/dev-corrupts-npm-libs-colors-and-faker-breaking-thousands-of-apps/

- https://www.zdnet.com/article/when-open-source-developers-go-bad/

- https://www.zdnet.com/article/log4j-after-white-house-meeting-google-calls-for-list-of-critical-open-source-projects/

- https://www.theregister.com/2022/01/17/open_source_closed_wallets_big/

- https://blog.google/technology/safety-security/making-open-source-software-safer-and-more-secure/

- https://docs.linuxfoundation.org/lfx/security/onboarding-your-project

- https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/03/rage-quit-coder-unpublished-17-lines-of-javascript-and-broke-the-internet/

Full episode and show notes

Announcements

  • Do you have a specific guest or topic that you want us to cover on one of the shows? Submit your suggestions for guests by visiting https://securityweekly.com/guests and completing the form! We review suggestions monthly and will reach out to you once reviewed!

  • We had an absolute blast putting together this year's SW Unlocked virtual event! All presentations are now available on-demand for your viewing pleasure. Please visit https://securityweekly.com/unlocked to register and watch now!

Host

Mike Shema
Mike Shema
Security Partner at Square
prestitial ad