Wayne Jackson’s Presentation at RSA 2012: An Overview of Insight


April 2, 2012 By Tim O'Brien

At RSA 2012, Wayne Jackson gave a short presentation focused on the security aspects of Sonatype Insight and the newly released Repository Health Check in Nexus Professional. This five minute overview gives you a sense of the magnitude of the problem we are trying to solve.

Here are some of the highlights from Wayne’s presentation followed by the video of his talk and his slide deck:

  • “The benefits of ‘many eyeballs’ in open source does create better software but you can only leverage that if you know about it. That’s particularly troubling in the context of the fact that more than 80% of the modern software application is [comprised of] open source and the components that are used to build those applications are surprisingly complex.”
  • “That complexity is compounded by the fact that when issues arise their implications are viral and the big problem is that when those issues are resolved in the root components the solutions are not [similarly viral] . Spring Beans 2.5.6 compromised 1400 open source components and God knows how many downstream applications. When Spring Beans 2.5.6 was fixed, none of the others were fixed.”
  • “You can imagine the ripple effect of compromising open source. And the combination of things like the lack of notification infrastructure and the complexity of open source componentry is how you get situations like this. 6,982 organizations including the Dept of Homeland Security and several financial institutions are still using a 3 year old crypto library with an “as bad as it gets” Level 10 flaw that has known exploit code.”
  • “Sonatype is creating an extraordinary infrastructure for finding out everything knowable about a given component. So that when flaws are discovered, we can know and we have the ability to deliver that knowledge into the tools that developers are using every day. This family of technologies is called Insight.”
  • “Critical to that is the Central repository. Central houses hundreds of thousands of components from nearly every open source project in the world and it is used by tens of thousands of organizations.”