LAMP Software Stack More Reliable Than Baseline Open Source Software - Coverity Analysis for DHS Finds Department of Homeland Security Research Analysis by Coverity Establishes New

Baseline Metric for Software Quality and Security



    SAN FRANCISCO, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Coverity, Inc., makers of the
 world's most advanced and scalable source code analysis solution, today
 released comprehensive research results on the state of quality for many of
 the leading open source software projects in the world. This is the first
 study to use source code analysis to establish a baseline metric for software
 quality.
     As part of the government-funded analysis, Coverity is establishing a new
 baseline for software quality and security in open source based on
 sophisticated analyses of more than 17.5 million lines of source code using
 the latest research from Stanford University's Computer Science department.
 The LAMP stack -- Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Perl/PHP/Python -- showed
 significantly better software quality above the baseline with an average of
 0.290 defects per thousand lines of code compared to an average of 0.434 for
 the 32 open source software projects analyzed.
     The analysis is the first public result arising from a contract with the
 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to improve the security and quality of
 software.  The three-year contract, called the "Vulnerability Discovery and
 Remediation Open Source Hardening Project," includes research on the latest
 source code analysis techniques developed by Coverity and Stanford computer
 scientists. The analysis identified many of the most critical types of defects
 found in software.
     "One of the goals of our research on software quality and security is to
 define a baseline so that people can measure software reliability in both open
 source and proprietary software projects," said Ben Chelf, CTO of Coverity.
 "No technology can find all bugs in software, but we have collected a critical
 mass of data through an automated and repeatable analysis framework to show
 how software quality can be concretely assessed, compared, and ultimately
 improved."
     The open source development model benefits from the "many eyes" approach
 of having many developers review source code in a process similar to a large-
 scale peer review.  This often results in high quality code, such as the code
 found in the LAMP stack.   One goal of Coverity's research is to accelerate
 this peer review process by automatically analyzing 100 percent of the code
 paths for defects in each software project.  To do this manually for just the
 Linux kernel would take over twenty-eight man years alone.
     As part of the analysis, Coverity is working with open source project
 leaders to make Coverity's findings useful to the open source community and to
 assist in applying fixes to the bugs identified.
     "Coverity's static source code analysis has proven to be an effective step
 towards furthering the quality and security of Linux," said Andrew Morton,
 head maintainer of the 2.6 Linux kernel. "I welcome further contributions from
 Coverity to help identify defects in the Linux kernel with unprecedented speed
 and scalability."
     "Coverity's Prevent is an invaluable tool that we've now been able to
 integrate into the FreeBSD Project development process with nightly source
 code scans," said Robert Watson, president of the FreeBSD Foundation.
 "Eighty-five FreeBSD developers are now registered to review Coverity-
 generated bug reports, resulting in hundreds of important bug fixes, one
 leading to a security advisory.  Coverity's contributions have significantly
 improved the quality of FreeBSD source code base, which is greatly appreciated
 by both FreeBSD developers and users."
     "The peer review model used by the open source community is a very
 powerful one and has proven effective in creating quality software," said
 David Park, a co-founder of Coverity and former Stanford University computer
 science researcher.  "With more businesses utilizing open source software like
 the LAMP stack, we see a need to help decision makers understand the relative
 quality and security in the packages they choose to bring in house."
     Coverity will continue to perform analyses of open source projects and add
 new projects over time. Providing this service will ensure that every line of
 code in a project is given a thorough review, and the results of each scan
 will be made freely available to the open source project development teams to
 encourage quick responses.
     "The results that we have discovered mark a great first step in
 automatically assessing the quality and security of any given code base.
 However, our goal is not only to measure quality and security, but to make the
 projects that we analyze better. By opening up our analysis results to the
 core developers of these open source projects, we hope to work with them to
 reduce the number of defects and vulnerabilities in their code bases," said
 Chelf.
     Coverity built a web-based system that provides updated information to the
 general public and to developers of open source software. The system
 continually downloads open source software and runs scans on the software
 using Coverity's static source code analysis technology.  Results are updated
 on a daily basis.  The general public can immediately access summary results
 and registered project maintainers and key developers can access details on
 the software defects.
     An updated table of summary results and access to the secure database of
 defects is available at http://scan.coverity.com .
     An explanation of the research findings with commentary on how the
 baseline can be used by software developers is also available for free
 download at http://www.coverity.com and http://scan.coverity.com .
 
     About Coverity
     Coverity (www.coverity.com), makers of the world's most advanced and
 scalable source code analysis solution for pinpointing software defects and
 security vulnerabilities, is a privately-held company headquartered in San
 Francisco. Coverity was founded in 2002 by leading Stanford University
 computer scientists whose four-year research project resulted in a
 breakthrough technique to address the costliest problem in the software
 industry. That research breakthrough allows developers to quickly and
 precisely eliminate software defects and security vulnerabilities in tens of
 millions of lines of new or legacy code. Today, Coverity's solution is used by
 more than 100 leading companies to significantly improve the quality and
 security of their software, including Juniper Networks, Symantec/VERITAS,
 McAfee, Synopsys, NASA, PalmOne, Sun Microsystems and Wind River.
 
     NOTE:  Coverity is a registered trademark, and Coverity Extend and
 Coverity Prevent are trademarks of Coverity, Inc. All other company and
 product names are the property of their respective owners.
 
     Media Contacts
     Craig Oda
     Page One PR for Coverity
     coda@pageonepr.com
     +1-650-565-9800, ext. 102
 
     David Park
     dave@coverity.com
     +1-650-714-2335
 
 

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