Mozilla Funds Open Source Code Audits
Mozilla Funds Open Source Code Audits
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Friday, 17 June 2016

As part of the Mozilla Open Source Support program (MOSS), the Mozilla Foundation has set up a fund dedicated to helping open source software projects eradicate code vulnerabilities.

 

The newly launched Secure Open Source (SOS) Fund has been allocated $500,000 in initial funding to cover audits of some widely-used open source libraries and programs.

In his announcement, inviting open source projects to apply for this support, Chris Riley, Mozilla’s Head of Public Policy, explained the way in which the SOS fund was intended to provide security auditing, remediation, and verification for key open source software projects, in the wake of major security bugs, such as Heartbleed and Shellshock. 

Riley pointed out the importance of this initiative:

Open source software is used by millions of businesses and thousands of educational and government institutions for critical applications and services. From Google and Microsoft to the United Nations, open source code is now tightly woven into the fabric of the software that powers the world. Indeed, much of the Internet – including the network infrastructure that supports it – runs using open source technologies. As the Internet moves from connecting browsers to connecting devices (cars and medical equipment), software security becomes a life and death consideration.

Riley also outlined how SOS will operate: 

  • Mozilla will contract with and pay professional security firms to audit other projects’ code

  • Mozilla will work with the project maintainer(s) to support and implement fixes, and to manage disclosure

  • Mozilla will pay for the remediation work to be verified, to ensure any identified bugs have been fixed

To date three open source projects - PCRE2, a C library for implementing Perl-Compatible Regular Expressions; libjpeg-turbo, and phpMyAdmin - have undergone audits performed by Cure53 and NCC Group. As a result 43 vulnerabilities fixed (including one considered critical, were uncovered and addressed.

As well as encouraging open source projects to be audited, Riley also invited funders to come forward, stating: 

"We want to see the numerous companies and governments that use open source join us and provide additional financial support.”

 

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