Leading Open Source Software Projects Eliminate Bugs Every Six Minutes After Coverity Scan

Department of Homeland Security research by Coverity shows open source

developers on 32 most popular projects fix defects on average every six

minutes within first week of results posted publicly

Apr 03, 2006, 01:00 ET from Coverity, Inc.

    LINUXWORLD, BOSTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Coverity, Inc., makers of the
 world's most advanced and scalable source code analysis solution, today
 announced preliminary findings showing that open source developers fixed a
 software defect every six minutes in the week following Coverity's analysis
 for the DHS that established a baseline metric for software quality.  In seven
 days, the defect density for 32 open source projects analyzed dropped from
 0.434 defects per thousand lines of code to 0.371 defects. Samba, a widely
 used open source project used to connect Linux and Windows networks, showed
 the fastest developer response, reducing software defects in Samba from 216 to
 18 in the first seven days.
     "Coverity found bugs in parts of Samba that we had previously considered
 completely robust and tested," said Jeremy Allison, head of the Samba
 development team.  "Coverity is making a major contribution to the code
 quality of the Samba project."
     "My impression is that the open source community is producing software
 defect patches at an extremely fast rate," said Ben Chelf, CTO of Coverity.
 "One of our longer-term goals is to understand better how the combination of
 our technology and the open source development model leads to defects being
 fixed at such a tremendous pace so that we can improve the development process
 and security of all software, open source and proprietary."
     In the first seven days, more than 200 open source developers registered
 to gain secure access to the online defect database and used the information
 to resolve more than 900 defects.  This is an average of more than 5 bug fixes
 an hour.  Developers for the Amanda and XMMS projects eliminated all software
 defects that the Coverity analysis detected.  The maintainers of Amanda
 subsequently released a major version (2.5) of the popular backup and recovery
 software highlighting the milestone of 0 outstanding Coverity defects.
     Although the three-year DHS contract, "Vulnerability Discovery and
 Remediation Open Source Hardening Project," was just announced in January, the
 project is already making a positive impact on the development of some open
 source projects.  Within the first week of Coverity's analysis, X.org, the
 makers of the widely used X Window open source software found in major
 distributions of Linux, Solaris, and others, discovered that Coverity found a
 major security vulnerability which allows any user with a login to execute
 arbitrary code or cause a denial of service with root privileges.  A security
 advisory was broadcast shortly thereafter resulting in patches from vendors.
     According to Allison, "Using Coverity's source code analysis technology is
 like having a developer on the team with an inhuman attention to detail, who
 points out all the corner cases and boundary conditions developers didn't
 considered when they first wrote the code."
     Highlights of the initial review of open source developer response are
 shown below:
                          Original             Week 1            Week 2
     Project Name       Defect Count        Defect Count      Defect Count
                       March 6, 2006       March 13, 2006    March 20, 2006
     Amanda                 108                   0                0
     XMMS                     6                   0                0
     Samba                  216                  18                0
     Ethereal               143                  19               19
     Icecast                 12                   2                2
     SQLite                  31                  10                6
     Gcc                    140                  99               97
     Gaim                   113                  57               51
     Net-SNMP               148                  87               61
     An updated table of summary results, access to the secure database of
 defects, and an explanation of the research is available at
 http://scan.coverity.com .
     Coverity CEO Talks about LAMP Quality and Security at LinuxWorld Boston
     Seth Hallem, CEO of Coverity, will talk about the quality and security of
 the LAMP stack at LinuxWorld Boston on April 4, 2006 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm.
 His talk, "Get the Facts on LAMP Applications Quality and Security," will
 provide additional information on Coverity's ongoing analysis of open source
     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.
     Coverity LinuxWorld Boston Booth #34
      Media Contacts
      Craig Oda
      Page One PR for Coverity
      +1-650-565-9800, ext. 102
      David Park

SOURCE Coverity, Inc.