SWAMP is at OSCON 2017!

If you are in Austin, TX this week for OSCON 2017, the SWAMP Team wants to see you! If you still need to register for the conference, use our discount code, SWAMP25, to save 25% on your admission.

Visit the Software Assurance Marketplace in Booth #518 on May 10th and 11th! We will be demoing our new plug-ins along with the newest features in SWAMP-in-a-Box.

Several SWAMP team members will also be giving presentations during the conference:

Read more about the SWAMP’s activities here.

OSCON 2017 Exhibiting Banner

End of RHEL 6.7 Support in SWAMP

On May 15, 2017, RHEL 6.7 will be removed from the SWAMP for use as an assessment platform for C and C++ packages. CentOS and Scientific Linux will continue to be supported and can be used as a replacement for RHEL (list of supported platforms in SWAMP). Results from previous assessments using RHEL 6.7 will still be viewable. If you have concerns about this change, contact us at support@continuousassurance.org.

SWAMP Integrates Assurance Tools into the Software Continuous Lifecycle

May 2, 2017

SWAMP integrates assurance tools into the software continuous lifecycle

Moves mark a major step toward the SWAMP’s vision of continuous assurance

AUSTIN, TX–(Marketwired – May 02, 2017) – OSCON 2017 – The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) is partnering with major continuous integration systems used by software developers to make software assurance a simple and intuitive element of the development process.

The SWAMP offers a suite of plug-in modules that operate within many of the leading development lifecycle tools relied upon by code developers. Those include integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Eclipse; source code repositories such as GitHub and Subversion; and continuous integration systems such as Jenkins and Travis CI.

These environments, repositories and systems are dramatically improving software developers’ ability to manage workflow through the complex steps of designing, editing, testing and deployment. Given the increased awareness of the importance of developing safe and secure software, incorporating security tools into the continuous software process will make integration that much more efficient for developers.

“We want to ensure that someone going through the continuous integration process can take the extra step of software assurance, and just make it a natural part of the flow,” says Barton Miller, chief scientist of the SWAMP and professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“The goal is to fix security issues as soon as possible in the development cycle,” Miller adds. “Every security weakness fixed at the developer’s desktop has a trivial cost, but those same errors could cost millions to fix after release.”

With the push of a button, users in integrated development environment (IDEs) can start the testing process by having their code automatically packaged and sent to the SWAMP. The code will get analyzed across the multiple assurance tools hosted in the SWAMP and the results will be fed back into the IDE in a readable format, prioritizing flaws by level of severity.

Users with higher security thresholds can also run SWAMP analysis entirely in-house. Called “SWAMP-in-a-Box” (SiB), this free, self-contained version of continuous assurance capabilities can be installed on local servers or individual computers, addressing the need of organizations that must or prefer to keep their software assurance activities on premise.

The SWAMP employs federated identity management protocols, so users will not need distinct login credentials for using the SWAMP plugins.

To access the free SWAMP plugins, visit: https://continuousassurance.org/plug-ins/.

“Between the source code repositories, the IDEs and the integration frameworks, we have tried to cover the entire spectrum of software development,” says Miller. “There are almost no real-world projects that don’t use one or more of these systems.”

“This new suite of plugins is a major step in translating the continuous assurance vision of the SWAMP into accessible and easy-to-deploy technologies,” says SWAMP Director Miron Livny, UW-Madison computer scientist and director of core computational technology for the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Miller and colleague Dr. Elisa Heymann will present a tutorial — “Secure Coding Practices and Automated Assessment Tools” — on Monday, May 8 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the O’Reilly OSCON 2017 conference in Austin. For more information, visit: https://conferences.oreilly.com/oscon/oscon-tx/public/schedule/speakers.


The Software Assurance Marketplace is a joint effort of four research institutions — the Morgridge Institute for Research, Indiana University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison — to advance the capabilities and to increase the adoption of software assurance technologies through an open continuous assurance technologies and a shared facility. The SWAMP is funded by the Department of Homeland Security-Science & Technology Directorate. Services include access to 30 software assurance tools, a library of more than 280 open-source code samples with known vulnerabilities to help developers improve the quality of their testing tools, and high throughput computing capacity.

For more information, visit continuousassurance.org.


Barton Miller

Press Release

From Continuous Integration to Continuous Assurance

The SWAMP team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Computer Sciences department released a new whitepaper titled “From Continuous Integration to Continuous Assurance.” The paper describes how the SWAMP can be integrated into the continuous assurance workflow, including integrated development environments, source code management systems, and continuous integration systems. Read the full document here.

Citation information for the white paper is below.

MLA: Kupsch, James A., Miller, Barton P., Basupalli, Vamshi, and Burger, Josef. “From Continuous Integration to Continuous Assurance.” Continuous Software Assurance Marketplace, 13 Apr. 2017. Web. <https://www.swampinabox.org/doc/SWAMP-WP005-DevProcess.pdf>.

APA: Kupsch, J.A., Miller, B.P., Basupalli, V., & Burger, J. (2017, April 13). From Continuous Integration to Continuous Assurance [PDF file]. Continuous Software Assurance Marketplace. Retrieved from https://www.swampinabox.org/doc/SWAMP-WP005-DevProcess.pdf

MIR-SWAMP Pen Testing with Black Hills

The SWAMP team prides itself on having a dedicated cybersecurity group. We take this responsibility very seriously. As proud as we are, it would be foolish to not seek review by someone unaffiliated with our project that can provide an objective assessment. So when the reputable cybersecurity firm Black Hills Information Security (BHIS) generously offered to perform a network penetration test, web application penetration test, and risk assessment all pro bono, we jumped at the opportunity. BHIS is owned by John Strand, one of the co-hosts of the popular Paul’s Security Weekly podcast.

The pen test planning started with our staff providing a high level overview of the SWAMP network and DNS namespace to determine what resources would be considered in-scope and to plan the order in which the resources would be tested. It also gave us an opportunity to announce maintenance windows during times when user facing services would be tested. SWAMP users were notified of these windows in advance of the testing. However, the SWAMP’s infrastructure was designed to handle significant network loads and was not disrupted by the pen test activities. The actual pen testing started on January 9th, 2017 with a reconnaissance phase in which BHIS attempted to discover as much information about SWAMP staff, resources, and names as possible through social media, websites, DNS registration records, and other public records. From the earliest days of the SWAMP, our staff has given attention to these types of public information vulnerabilities, and BHIS recognized that with praise in their final report.

After the reconnaissance phase, BHIS began scanning the SWAMP’s external network for listening services and checking for known vulnerabilities in any services found. Fortunately, the network scan discovered no surprise exposures that we were not already aware of, although it is quite common to find vulnerable services running during such a scan. The SWAMP staff performs these types of scans on a regular basis.

During the following week of the test, BHIS focused on the SWAMP web application and backend services to check for unique vulnerabilities in the web application. This was the most valuable part of the test, because although we run software analysis tools on the SWAMP code to try to detect weaknesses, the current state of software analysis is somewhat limited, which is something SWAMP is working to change. There can be logic mistakes that are difficult to detect using automated tools and require manual investigation. Their manual scan found such a weakness in the form of a privilege escalation vulnerability that was easier to detect through pen testing than it was using static analysis tools. Instead of waiting until delivering the final report, BHIS immediately and confidentially contacted SWAMP’s security team to report the problem. We fixed it in test and production the same day and released a new version of SWAMP-in-Box the following week. That BHIS decided to notify us immediately, demonstrated their understanding of the risk presented by the vulnerability. It also gave them an impression of the effectiveness of our incident response procedures, which they rated as excellent.

They also performed an internal network scan, which included using a pivot host that represented a compromised system on our internal network. This simulated a more threatening scenario for an attack. The scan found a few hosts that were behind on patches, which were due to delayed updates from license re-negotiations. The tests also provided us a way to effectively see how well our Intrusion Detection System (IDS) worked. During the test, our IDS detected and notified us of a variety of port scans, SQL Injection attacks, SSH brute force attempts, network traceroutes, unusual email traffic, and malware downloads. On each new class of alerts, we confirmed with the testers that the alarms were due to their activity. After comparing the detection and notification logs with the information in the BHIS report, we determined that the IDS detected and notified us for the majority of their attempts.

The test concluded on January 27, 2017. The final report was that the overall risk level of the SWAMP is “Low”, which is the second lowest rating on their five category scale.

From the final report: “BHIS considers the overall risk to SWAMP based on the key findings in this report to be Low. SWAMP’s external web application appeared to have secure coding standards in place and the external testing did not result in any significant issues. BHIS found the internal network to have several systems missing up-to-date patches, specifically in virtual machine management devices.”

The SWAMP team is already working to address the issues that BHIS brought up and plans to resolve them within the next month, if not sooner.

The SWAMP team would like to thank Black Hills Information Security for this penetration test. The fruits of their efforts not only protect the SWAMP, but also its users, and thus contributes to achieving a more secure software community.

SWAMP & Secure Development for the Cloud

MISTI logoIn today’s MISTI blog post, “Secure Development for the Cloud,” author Randall Brooks mentions SWAMP and SWAMP-in-a-Box as great resources for organizations with limited funds who are looking for secure coding solutions. Incorporating many free and open-source analysis tools, the Software Assurance Marketplace offers both cloud-based and on-premises solutions for continuous software assurance. Read the full article.

Brooks will also be presenting at the upcoming 2017 InfoSec World Conference in Orlando. Session B4 “Secure Development for the Cloud” will include a bit about the SWAMP. Catch the presentation on Monday, April 3 at 2:15pm-3:05pm.

SWAMP-in-a-Box Update 1.29

SWAMP-in-a-Box version 1.29 is now available for download! The latest files are on GitHub, or you can download the install files here. Noteworthy changes include:New

  • Added support for 5 new programming languages: CSS, HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and XML.
  • Addition of 9 assessment tools for web scripting languages: CSS Lint (for CSS), ESLint (for JavaScript), Flow (for JavaScript), HTML Tidy (for HTML and XML), JSHint (for JavaScript or HTML files with inline JavaScript), PHPMD (for PHP), PHP_CodeSniffer (for PHP, JavaScript, and CSS), Retire.js (for JavaScript), and XML Lint (for XML).
  • Added new versions and/or updates for the following assessment tools: Bandit, Flake8, Pylint, checkstyle, OWASP Dependency Check, error-prone, FindBugs, and PMD.
  • When adding a new package or adding a new version to an existing package, users have the option to select an archive file from the local file system or enter an external URL and a checkout argument (branch, tag, or commit) for a remote Git repository.
  • Improved error reporting for assessment failures. Successful assessment runs are no longer erroneously reported as having finished with errors. Assessments that complete with a status of “finished with errors – retry” can be re-run and should complete successfully.
  • Updated the “Status.out and Debugging SWAMP Failures” document to assist with debugging failed assessments. Failed assessments now show the contents of the status.out file at the top of the Failed Assessment Report (by clicking the “! Error” button in the Results column).
  • The names of the statuses shown on the Results page have been updated to better indicate what is happening as assessment jobs are processed.
  • Minimum hardware requirements have increased to 4 CPU cores and 16 GB of RAM.

Let us know if you have any questions at sib@continuousassurance.org.

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