Category Archives: open source

Elasticsearch security: Understand your options and apply best practices

The ever-escalating popularity of Elasticsearch – the distributed open source search and log analytics engine that has become a staple in enterprise application developers’ tool belts – is well-warranted. Elasticsearch security lapses, however, have been a headline-grabbing thorn in the side of the technology. The distributed document store too often represents a security blind spot for organizations, inexcusably failing to receive the attention and upkeep that other data storage solutions are normally granted. Data breach … More

The post Elasticsearch security: Understand your options and apply best practices appeared first on Help Net Security.

70% apps in common use have security flaws. Are you protected?

Most of the popular applications we use today are built upon open-source libraries – free code repositories that help developers to create readymade applications. But, how safe are those libraries? According to a recent report, not very. Almost 70 percent of apps in common use were found to have flaws…

New vulnerabilities in open source packages down 20% compared to last year

New vulnerabilities in open source packages were down 20% compared to last year suggesting security of open source packages and containers are heading in a positive direction, according to Snyk. Well known vulnerabilities, such as cross-site scripting, continue to be reported but aren’t impacting as many projects as they have in previous years. This is further encouraged as organizations start to drive a culture shift that embodies open source and container security as a core … More

The post New vulnerabilities in open source packages down 20% compared to last year appeared first on Help Net Security.

2019 was a record year for OSS vulnerabilities

Total vulnerabilities in OSS more than doubled in 2019 from 421 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) in 2018 to 968 last year, according to the RiskSense report. Top 10 weaponized CWEs The study also revealed that it takes a very long time for OSS vulnerabilities to be added to the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), averaging 54 days between public disclosure and inclusion in the NVD. This delay can cause organizations to remain exposed to serious … More

The post 2019 was a record year for OSS vulnerabilities appeared first on Help Net Security.

Cooking up secure code: A foolproof recipe for open source

The use of open source code in modern software has become nearly ubiquitous. It makes perfect sense: facing ever-increasing pressures to accelerate the rate at which new applications are delivered, developers value the ready-made aspect of open source components which they can plug in where needed, rather than building a feature from the ground up. Indeed, this practice has become so common that today the average application is composed mostly of open source libraries, with … More

The post Cooking up secure code: A foolproof recipe for open source appeared first on Help Net Security.

Octopus Scanner Malware: open source supply chain attack via NetBeans projects on GitHub

GitHub has issued a security alert warning of a malware campaign that is spreading on its platform via boobytrapped NetBeans Java projects.

GitHub has issued a security alert warning of a piece of malware dubbed Octopus Scanner that is spreading on its platform via boobytrapped NetBeans Java projects.

GitHub’s security team discovered the malicious code in projects managed using the Apache NetBeans IDE (integrated development environment), a complete environment composed of editors, wizards, and templates that help users to create applications in Java, PHP and many other languages. t

On March 9, a security researcher informed GitHub about a set of GitHub-hosted repositories that were actively serving malware. The company immediately investigated the incident and discovered malware designed to enumerate and backdoor NetBeans projects, “and which uses the build process and its resulting artifacts to spread itself.”

What makes this case different from previous abuses of the platforms is that the owners of the repositories were aware that they were committing backdoored code into their repositories.

GitHub’s Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) received its initial notification about a set of repositories serving malware-infected open source projects from security researcher JJ.” reads a post published by Github.

“this report was different. The owners of the repositories were completely unaware that they were committing backdoored code into their repositories.”

The Octopus Scanner identifies the NetBeans project files and embeds malicious payload both in project files and build JAR files.

Below is a high -evel description of the Octopus Scanner activity:

  • Identify user’s NetBeans directory
  • Enumerate all projects in the NetBeans directory
  • Copy malicious payload cache.dat to nbproject/cache.dat
  • Modify the nbproject/build-impl.xml file to make sure the malicious payload is executed every time NetBeans project is build
  • If the malicious payload is an instance of the Octopus Scanner itself the newly built JAR file is also infected.
Netbeans octopus-supply chain attack

Experts uncovered 26 open source projects that were backdoored by the Octopus Scanner malware and that were serving backdoored code.

The Octopus Scanner campaign is not recent, it has been going on for years. Experts reported that the oldest sample of the malware was uploaded on the VirusTotal in August 2018.

Upon downloading any of the 26 projects, the malware would infect users’ local computers. The malware scans the victim’s workstation for a local NetBeans IDE install, and attempt to backdoor other developer’s Java projects.

According to the experts, Octopus Scanner is a multiplatform malware, it runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux and downloads a remote access trojan (RAT).

“However, if it was found, the malware would proceed to backdoor NetBeans project builds through the following mechanisms:

  1. It makes sure that every time a project was built, any resulting JAR files got infected with a so-called dropper. A dropper is a mechanism that “drops” something to the filesystem to execute. When executed, the dropper payload ensured local system persistence and would subsequently spawn a Remote Administration Tool (RAT), which connects to a set of C2 servers.
  2. It tries to prevent any NEW project builds from replacing the infected one, to ensure that its malicious build artifacts remained in place.”

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to deliver the RAT on the machines of developers working on sensitive projects to steal sensitive information.

“It was interesting that this malware attacked the NetBeans build process specifically since it is not the most common Java IDE in use today,” GitHub concludes.

“If malware developers took the time to implement this malware specifically for NetBeans, it means that it could either be a targeted attack, or they may already have implemented the malware for build systems such as Make, MsBuild, Gradle and others as well and it may be spreading unnoticed,”

“While infecting build processes is certainly not a new idea, seeing it actively deployed and used in the wild is certainly a disturbing trend.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – NetBeans, hacking)

The post Octopus Scanner Malware: open source supply chain attack via NetBeans projects on GitHub appeared first on Security Affairs.

New fuzzing tool for USB drivers uncovers bugs in Linux, macOS, Windows

With a new fuzzing tool created specifically for testing the security of USB drivers, researchers have discovered more than two dozen vulnerabilities in a variety of operating systems. “USBFuzz discovered a total of 26 new bugs, including 16 memory bugs of high security impact in various Linux subsystems (USB core, USB sound, and network), one bug in FreeBSD, three in macOS (two resulting in an unplanned reboot and one freezing the system), and four in … More

The post New fuzzing tool for USB drivers uncovers bugs in Linux, macOS, Windows appeared first on Help Net Security.

How secure are open source libraries?

Seven in 10 applications have a security flaw in an open source library, highlighting how use of open source can introduce flaws, increase risk, and add to security debt, a Veracode research reveals. Nearly all modern applications, including those sold commercially, are built using some open source components. A single flaw in one library can cascade to all applications that leverage that code. According to Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer at Veracode, “Open source software … More

The post How secure are open source libraries? appeared first on Help Net Security.