I imagine many of you have seen the results of Coverity's DHS-funded scan of a *bunch* of open source projects:

The stats are interesting, I suppose. I don't see any prioritization of the defects, but I imagine those were provided to the various open source project leaders.

The question that isn't addressed here, and I'm sure was well outside of the scope of the project, is what each open source project *did* with the vulnerability information BEYOND just fixing the bugs? Did they merely fix the problems and move on? Or, did they use the defects as an opportunity to educate their team members on how to avoid these same sorts of things from creeping back in to the src tree? If they simply treated the vul lists as checklists of things to fix, then I'd expect a similar study in (say) five years to be just as bad as the recent Coverity study.

I think it's important to learn from mistakes, not just fix them and get on with things. I sure hope the open source teams in this study did some of that. If any SC-Lers have insight here, please share.



Kenneth R. van Wyk
SC-L Moderator
KRvW Associates, LLC

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