Software Supply Chains: Recognizing the Urgency for Secure Development

A recent report by Checkmarx sheds light on the alarming risks faced by software supply chains. The study reveals that a significant 56% of analyzed attacks on software supply chains resulted in the theft of credentials and confidential data. A startling discovery is that more than a quarter of these attacks (28%) utilized tactics like dependency confusion and typosquatting to mislead developers. Additionally, 16% of the attacks involved malware and backdoor injections.

Jossef Harush Kadouri, head of software supply chain security for Checkmarx, emphasizes the urgent need for organizations to adopt DevSecOps best practices to combat these risks effectively. While some attacks display sophistication through tactics like script manipulation, many cybercriminals utilize well-known techniques such as typosquatting. Unfortunately, organizations often neglect to thoroughly vet code from sources like open source software repositories, leaving developers vulnerable to fake repositories laden with malware.

The assumption of safety in downloading components from seemingly legitimate platforms is a misguided one, warns Harush Kadouri. Given the prevalence of stolen developer and administrator credentials, cybersecurity teams should operate under the assumption that software supply chains are compromised to some extent. The primary concern lies in developers prioritizing application speed over security, leading to the deployment of vulnerable applications and unknowingly injecting malware into them.

To address these challenges, Harush Kadouri suggests creating awareness among developers about these risks and equipping them with the necessary tools for identifying vulnerabilities during the application development process. However, many developers prefer to delegate these tasks to others due to a lack of cybersecurity expertise and the added cognitive load for building applications. Organizations must establish best practices in DevSecOps that minimize disruptions to development workflows while enhancing security.

Although stringent regulations may soon enforce improved software supply chain security, Harush Kadouri hopes that cybersecurity teams and development teams will collaborate closely to preemptively enhance security measures. The deployment of insecure applications in production environments increases the likelihood of preventable crises. Recognizing the urgency of securing software supply chains is crucial, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of crucial data and credentials.

FAQ:

1. What risks do software supply chains face according to the report?
– The report reveals that software supply chains face the risk of attacks that result in the theft of credentials and confidential data.

2. What tactics are used in attacks on software supply chains?
– Attacks on software supply chains often utilize tactics such as dependency confusion, typosquatting, malware injections, and backdoor injections.

3. What percentage of attacks on software supply chains involve tactics like dependency confusion and typosquatting?
– According to the study, 28% of attacks on software supply chains utilize tactics like dependency confusion and typosquatting.

4. What is the recommended approach to combat these risks?
– The report emphasizes the need for organizations to adopt DevSecOps best practices to effectively combat the risks faced by software supply chains.

5. Why are developers vulnerable to fake repositories laden with malware?
– Developers are vulnerable to fake repositories because organizations often neglect to thoroughly vet code from sources like open source software repositories.

6. What is the primary concern when it comes to software supply chains?
– The primary concern is developers prioritizing application speed over security, leading to the deployment of vulnerable applications and unknowingly injecting malware into them.

Definitions:
– Dependency confusion: A tactic used in attacks on software supply chains, where malicious actors create malicious packages with the same names as legitimate packages in public repositories, leading developers to unknowingly install the malicious versions.
– Typosquatting: A tactic used in attacks on software supply chains, where malicious actors register domain names similar to legitimate ones with the intention of deceiving users and stealing information.

Suggested related links:
Checkmarx (the source of the report)