Menu
To avert another Heartbleed, group narrows list of projects in need of support

To avert another Heartbleed, group narrows list of projects in need of support

The Core Infrastructure Initiative will have a list ready within a few months

A group dedicated to averting another Heartbleed-style vulnerability is narrowing down a list of critical open source projects that will receive its funding and support.

The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), which was formed last year to identify open-source projects in need of extra support, expects to name the projects that will receive its backing within a few months, said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, which oversees the CII.

The CII was formed after serious vulnerabilities were found last in the widely used OpenSSL security software. The disclosure caused alarm among companies whose applications make use of OpenSSL and might have been put at risk.

Companies are "deeply concerned" about where the next Heartbleed-type vulnerability might appear, Zemlin said. "CEOs are losing their jobs over this," he said.

The group, which is funded by major software vendors, will spend $2 million a year over the next three years, Zemlin said. The money will be used to support open source projects that might otherwise lack the resources to ensure their code is secure and well supported.

When CII launched, it was relatively easy to pick the applications in need of immediate attention, such as OpenSSL, which is widely used software for encrypting data exchanged between computers.

The Heartbleed flaw in OpenSSL, which could allow eavesdroppers to spy on data, triggered an awareness that some of the most widely used software on the web is in need of more support for better security. CII has also looked at SSH (Secure Shell), NTP (Network Time Protocol) and GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG).

GnuPG, used for encrypting email and signing software packages, was highlighted by a ProPublica story last week as an example of a struggling yet critical open-source project.

After the story appeared, its German developer Werner Koch received at least $137,000 in donations to continue his work, along with $50,000-a-year commitments from Facebook and online payment processor Stripes. CII also provided a $60,000 grant.

The challenge now is to figure out the next batch of projects to examine, Zemlin said. It's a complex process that takes into account factors such as the dependencies between programs and how a flaw in one component might affect another, Zemlin said.

CII must also carefully partition its financial resources, he said. But fixing critical flaws now can lead to big savings later.

"Relative to spending hundreds of millions of dollars remediating a zero-day, we feel like this is a pretty good bargain," Zemlin said.

OpenSSL's 500,000 lines of code are undergoing a third-party audit, Zemlin said. CII held off doing an audit until now because changes were being made quickly to the code following Heartbleed, he said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Core Infrastructure Initiativeopen sourcesecuritylinux foundationsoftwareExploits / vulnerabilities

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments