GitLab’s recently launched open-source tool Package Hunter will help in detecting malicious codes in software components.
This will be very useful as modern software will have many third-party packages which will not be always checked for vulnerabilities. Package Hunter developed by GitLab will directly be integrated into its continuous integration (CI) platform. Then it will run a test and analyses “dynamic behavior analysis” to detect malicious codes in the third-party packages which will be a threat to the sensitive data on the software. GitLab security research Dennis Appelt said in a blog post that “Any suspicious system calls are reported to the user for further examination”.
Open-source software packages are often vulnerable to security threats. Some developers may not consider bringing more updates to the third-party libraries from time to time. This will also make it more vulnerable to threats. After learning from the increase of supply chain attacks, there has been an increase in efforts to prevent these attacks too. The attacks were targeted at a wide range of software ranging from Microsoft to various governmental agencies and sensitive data was lost.
Google has also recently taken measures to improve the securities of its open-source software packages.
GitLab’s Package Hunter was announced in December last year and by July 23rd it was available to everyone, under a permissive MIT license.