Open source bugs fixed quicker than commercial software

Friday, December 11, 2009

Veracode stats reveal around three-quarters of software does not meet an acceptable level of security

Open-source code is more prone to severe flaws than commercial software, but bugs get fixed more quickly, according to revealing new research from application security firm Veracode. gained exclusive early access to the vendor's Open Source Ratings Database project, a centralised repository of open source security ratings which includes analysis of around 100 popular enterprise applications including Firefox, Apache, MySQL and JBoss.

The latest findings from the project rated just 24 per cent of open-source software as meeting an "acceptable level of security", and commercial software marginally worse with 23 per cent.

The stats also revealed that 23 per cent of open-source and just five per cent of commercial software contained at least one high severity flaw.

"All code is pretty bad, whether commercial or open-source, but the fixes are done more quickly and efficiently with open source. There are more eyeballs on the code, and [programmers] seem to take more pride in their work," said Veracode president and chief executive Matt Moynahan.

Security issues in open-source software typically take less than a week to remediate and report on, or three man hours of effort, according to the research.



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