CISA and OpenSSF Release Framework for package repository security

Package Repository Security

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has announced that it is working with the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) Securing Software Repositories Working Group to publish a new framework for securing package repositories.

Called the Principles for securing package repositoriesthe frame goals to establish a set of fundamental rules for package managers and further strengthen open-source software ecosystems.

“Package repositories are at a critical point in the open source ecosystem to help prevent or mitigate such attacks,” OpenSSF said.

“Even simple actions such as having a documented account recovery policy can lead to robust security improvements. At the same time, capabilities must be balanced with the limited resources of package repositories, many of which are operated by nonprofit organizations.”

Specifically, the principles include four maturity levels for package repository security in four categories: authentication, authorization, general capabilities, and command-line interface (CLI) tools –

  • Level 0 – Very little security maturity.
  • Level 1 – Have basic security maturity, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and enabling security researchers to report vulnerabilities
  • Level 2 – Having moderate security, including actions such as requiring MFA for critical packages and alerting users to known security vulnerabilities
  • Level 3 – Having advanced security, which requires MFA for all administrators and supports package build origins

All package management ecosystems should aim for at least Level 1, according to framework authors Jack Cable and Zach Steindler remark.

The ultimate goal is to enable package repositories to self-assess the maturity of their security and formulate a plan to strengthen their guardrails over time in the form of security improvements.

“Security threats change over time, as do the security capabilities that address those threats,” OpenSSF said. “Our goal is to help package repositories more quickly deliver the security capabilities that best help strengthen the security of their ecosystems.”

This development comes as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) warned of security risks that could arise from the use of open-source software for patient record keeping, inventory management, prescriptions and billing.

“While open source software is the foundation of modern software development, it is also often the weakest link in the software supply chain,” the report said. threat briefly published December 2023.

#CISA #OpenSSF #Release #Framework #package #repository #security

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