74 percent of codebases have high-risk open source vulnerabilities

The percentage of codebases with high-risk open source vulnerabilities -- those that have been actively exploited, have documented proof-of-concept exploits or are classified as remote code execution vulnerabilities -- increased from 48 percent in 2022 to 74 percent in 2023, according to new research.

The Open Source Security and Risk Analysis (OSSRA) report from Synopsys is based on findings from more than 1,000 commercial codebase audits across 17 industries. While codebases containing at least one open source vulnerability remain consistent year-on-year at 84 percent, significantly more codebases contained high-risk vulnerabilities in 2023.

"This year's OSSRA report indicates an alarming rise in high-risk open source vulnerabilities across a variety of critical industries, leaving them at risk for exploitation by cybercriminals," says Jason Schmitt, general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group. "The increasing pressure on software teams to move faster and do more with less in 2023 has likely contributed to this sharp rise in open source vulnerabilities. Malicious actors have taken note of this attack vector, so maintaining proper software hygiene by identifying, tracking and managing open source effectively is a key element to strengthening the security of the software supply chain."

Among other findings are that 91 percent of codebases contain components that are 10 or more versions out-of-date, and nearly half (49 percent) of codebases contain components that have had no development activity within the past two years.

Broken down by industry, the computer hardware and semiconductors sector has the highest percentage of codebases with high-risk open source vulnerabilities (88 percent), followed closely by manufacturing, industrials and robotics at 87 percent. Closer to the middle of the pack, the big data, AI, BI and machine Learning industry had 66 percent of its codebases impacted by high-risk vulnerabilities. At the bottom of the list, the aerospace, aviation, automotive, transportation and logistics industry still has high-risk vulnerabilities in 33 percent of its codebases.

You can get the OSSRA report from the Synopsys site.

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