Visual Studio plugin extension for .Net-framework available

Today we are proud to announce the availability of the new Visual Studio plugin, allowing to scan .Net-Core and .Net-Framework projects in parallel with one plugin only. The simplest way to obtain the plugin will be through the Visual Studio marketplace. As the plugin itself is open source, you will find the code also on github.

Continuing our initiative to bring TrustSource – the modern art of open source management – to the Microsoft developers community, we have combined both worlds in one plugin. Thus allowing you to operate both implementations in one solution.

Out next step on the road will be to extend the commandline-capability for the combined solution, allowing you to integrate the scanning also with your CI/CD chain. We expect this to be available by the end of March.

Feel free contacting us any time, to clarify questions, feedback usage experiences or issues you experience throughout the installation. We are happy to hear from you!


New release v1.7 introduces Notice-file-Generator

We are proud to announce the long awaited Notice File Generator. With this tool the time consuming digging through files and collection of license information belongs to the past. With the Notice-File Generator it will be available in only one click!

For all scanned projects TrustSource evaluates resulting obligations depending on project context. For each license-component combination the resulting documentation requirements are derived and the information will be assembled into the Notice-File. Wherever change notices or author credits will be required, TrustSource will try to fill the information from its Knowledgebase or outline a Todo. So the Compliance Managers work can focus on closing the gaps. Due to our shared open source component base, digging for authorship or copyright information must not be done, where another customer already did the job. This will reduce clearing time a lot!

In addition to that we renovated and extended some of our plugins. Now it is possible to break your build based on the results of a scan, e.g. on violations using most of the plugins. This extends your compliance  control over the CI/CD chains. Also proxy capability has been added, so that a use behind corporate firewalls is possible as well.

The new user management allows free accounts to login using Github or LinkedIn-accounts.  Also the new Identity Management introduces the option, to add multiple roles to a single user inside the same  company.  This increases the flexibility of your role design. Starting from corporate versions on, also Multi-factor-authentication is available. Integration of LDAP and other identity providers is available as well.

Read more about the features in our Knowledge base.


.Net-Core Support available

We are proud to announce new tools to support scanning of .Net-Core projects today. You will find the platform independent tool in our public repository on Github.

The tool allows to scan .Net-core projects and transfers the list of dependencies to our platform for further analysis. There the identified components will be reseached for license and vulnerability information and legal obligations depending on the usage context will be derived.

It consists of two parts: The first part is the Scanner itself. This part is taking care for the dependency resolution and assembly of all relevant data. The second part is the Console App, which is developed to allow command line interaction with the scanner.If executed from within the project path, an execution might be triggered with a statement as simple as

$ dotnet TS-NetCore-Scanner.dll -user “user@domain.com” -key “TrustSource Key”

While the console application itself is written in .Net-Core and thus more or less platform independent, the corresponding Visual Studio plugin is available for the Windows platform only. If you feel like the Visual Studio Plugin for .Net-Core should be available on other platforms as well, please let us know!

Finally we close this relevant gap in our tooling landscape. Together with the new Nuget-crawler we have provided, the .Net-Core-Developer now can experience the same level of quality, like other Developers already do quiet a while. But this is not enough. There is more to come:

In a next step we will extend the plugin with the capability to also scan .Net-Framework projects as well. This will bind the solution to the windows platform, which is where we see most of the Visual Studio developers delivering.

We hope those of you enjoying the Microsoft development world now will start enjoying TrustSource as well. Please feel free to reach out in case of questions or ideas on how we may improve the plugins! We are happy to learn about your usage experiences.


New Release v1.6 available

We are happy to announce availability of v1.6! Also v1.6 comes with massive new features, focused on process improvements. Read more:

New Features

  • Vulnerability-alert -  It took us quiet a bit, to get the matching towards a reasonable quality, but we manged it after all. You will now get notified by TrustSource, if new vulnerabilities appear for components that you are using in your most recent build.
  • "Action required" items in inbox - Especially for our compliance managers we provide an in box on the dashboard listing all open approval requests. This allows you to immediately see, where action is required.
  • Dependency graph - The so called dependency list is a flat list of all components entering the project even through transitive dependencies. To allow a better understanding of the impact this component has, the graphical display allows to actually _see_ the position within the dependency graph. You may modify the appearance and expand or shrink single nodes for better visibility.

Improvements

  • Improve rule sets - Based on customer feedback and own research, we were able to improve the analysis results of several licenses.
  • Improved maven Plugin - The maven plugin has been extended to support the check functionality allowing to verify components on dev-desktop without the need to push a scan.
  • Improved Jenkins Plugin - Also the Jenkins plugin has been extended to use the transient version of the check-API.

Fixes

  • Add name in register form - Changing your name after having been invited while login in the first time is possible now.
  • Propagate deletion of all members - Changing members of a project respectively a all modules within a project at once has been introduced since a while. But it has not been recognized that the propagation of an empty list does not immediately take effect. This has been fixed now.

Our next version v1.7 will focus on security and extend the login capabilities. We will introduce alternative ways to authenticate and simplify corporate SSO. The given role model has been reviewed and will be tuned towards more flexibility.

If you want to get an overview or some insights in to our roadmap, feel free contacting our sales team! They will be happy presenting you the upcoming steps.

If you feel like there should be some features you do not see on the horizon, please let us know! Our business development or your engagement manager will be happy to hear about your ambitions.


Understanding the most important vulnerability acronyms

Since the Equifax event, vulnerability management gained a lot of attention. But what does "vulnerability" or "known vulnerability" mean? How to handle such an information? And why is this particular important to open source components?

To answer all these questions, we will publish a short series of articles. First we will dive into the goals of vulnerability management and basic concepts. Then we point our attention to the process of vulnerability management and finally show, how TrustSource may support you in performing these tasks.

The goal of vulnerability management

The goal of vulnerability management should be to MINIMIZE THE POSSIBLE ATTACK SURFACE of your environment, where "the environment" may be any scope of software you define (a SaaS, a software package or a complete enterprise). Minimizing the attack surface on the one hand means to accept that there will remain a risk. On the other hand, it means to know all possible attack vectors, assess the risk (maximal loss) associated and derive measures well suited to reduce the attack surface to a financially acceptable risk. This said, it is absolutely essential to assess your environment applying the most recent knowledge - known vulnerabilities - and to address all critical aspects.

The acronyms and concepts

This goal sounds ambitious. But no panic! tehre are some concepts out there helping you to do the job. Before we step into the process, we advise to familiarize with the following few abbreviations , terms and concepts:

  • CVSS = Common Vulnerability Scoring System

has been introduced to measure the impact of a vulnerability. Has a scale of 0-10, with 10 the highest, most critical. Everything above 7.5 may be considered as critical. CVSS is currently in v3, however, vulnerabilities reported prior to 2016 will have been reported in CVSS v2.

  • CAV = Common Attack Vector

describes the identified attack covering aspects such as prerequisites to execute the attack, impact and effect the attack will have. in v3 this will be attach vector (AV), attack complexity (AC), priviledges required (PR) and UI (User interaction). In version 2 (pictured in the tool tip on the right) you will see attack vector (AV), access complexity (AC), Authentication (Au), as well as the impacts on Confidentiality (C), Integrity(I) and Availability (A).

The standardized description of the attack vector is a great help when it comes to understand the impact a potential threat or a vulnerability may have.

  • CVE = Common Vulnerability and Exposure

The CVE is a key identifying a particular vulnerability. The key consists of the three letters CVE, the year and a counter. The counter is assigned by an assigning authority. The counter has no other meaning than to differentiate the particular vulnerability and exposure entries. It gets assigned in the moment it is requested. To request a number, no evidence is required. However, between assignment of an ID and its confirmation several weeks or months may pass.

  • CPE = Common Platform Enumeration

To provide a sound capability to match a vulnerability with the components concerned, the CPE has been introduced. Each component that has a vulnerability assigned, receives a CPE - currently following specification v2.3. A CPE is a unique identifier of a product allowing to refer back from the vulnerability to the product. The CPE (v2.3) consists of a type (h=hardware, o = Operating system, a = application), vendor, product and version information. A central directory, the CPE-dictionary contains all CPEs ever assigned.

However, the matching of CVEs with its assigned CPEs to real life components is critical. Wrong matches lead to false positives, putting the cat under the pigeons; missing matches leave vulnerabilities untreated. That is why we do spend so much attention on accuracy here.

  • CWE = Common Weakness Enumeration

This is a list of weaknesses found in applications. It is a community approach led by MITRE and SANS Institute, supported by huge number of technology heavy weights listing all kind of weaknesses, outlining their inner workings, exploit code and more details. CVEs may have a link to the corresponding weaknesses. the list is a great resource for security experts as well as wanna-be-hackers. It helps to understand the way attacks are created as well as what causes attacks to be successful.

The information supports the understanding of the impact a vulnerability really may have on the individual application.

So what?

Having read all this, you may want to turn your back at the topic and say, "Well, sounds good. Seems like all settled. Why bother?". Yes, there is a lot of structural work that has been done. But it these structures have only been created to allow you doing the job efficiently. The job still needs to be done. In our next post on vulnerabilities, we will cover the process on how to really assess a vulnerability and derive useful action.


EACG and OpenChain agree on partnership

Frankfurt, June, 8th 2018, EACG - the mother company of TrustSource - and the Linux Foundation agree on a partnership to co-operate in the OpenChain project.

EACG acts for several years now in the field of open source governance and compliance. Based on the experiences from some larger projects, EACG has developed TrustSource , the platform for automation of open source governance.  "We are close to having all of the stuff automated. Even the legal part!", summaritzes Jan the efforts over the last few years.

"Our platform delivers the technical part: scanning, mapping, documentation and reports. But Governance is much more, that a tool may do. To really ensure compliant software delivery and distribution also processes and culture need to change. This is where OpenChain comes in. The many, well thought and carefully designed requirements will lead towards the required change, if managed carefully. We support that and provide all required features to ensure OpenChain compliance. "

EACG offer consulting services in the area of open source compliance and governance as well as the solution platform TrustSource. there are different editions available according to your needs. To check it out and test it here.


Release v1.5 available

We are happy to announce our latest Update v1.5.16. With this release we further strengthen our capabilities in managing vulnerabilities and extend our documentation competencies.

New Features

  • PDF-your-Reports - It is now possible to download your reports as PDF. Timestamp and release number will always be included, so there is not chance for mixing up data.
  • New Bill of Materials Report - With this release we have provided a BoM-report allowing you to request a visual representation of the Bill of Materials of any of your projects.
  • New CVE-Impact Report - With this report you may select a CVE number and immediately see which components in what project are affected by this CVE. From the report you may jump directly to corresponding components and trigger further action.

Improvements

  • Branding changed to TrustSource - from now on we have moved to the new branding schema. Not only the visuals (logo, etc.) changed, but also the URLs. The base URL is no longer https://ecs-app.eacg.de but it is https://app.trustsource.io. The old URLs will remain working, but we suggest to use the new ones.
  • Preview changes in Bulk user upload - The bulk user upload for the corporate and enterprise accounts does have a preview now. So you may see which lines might cause unwanted impacts and dry-run your import before allowing it to take effect.
  • Jira-Status-Report - Jira tickets are now presented in a nicer way according to status. Also it is possible to have project specific reports.

Why does a license matter?

“If someone is publishing his stuff on Github he must accept that it will be used by others!””

Unfortunately we still hear this critical misunderstanding often while finding open source components buried somewhere in source code; without any furtehr declaration of course. Let’s send a few words to discuss this in more detail.

In our western world protection of intellectual property is a high value. The believe that an inventor shall profit from his achievements has been accepted as the driving force of behind our wealth and developed status. That is why it has been protected by intellectual property laws. This insight counts some years already and meanwhile has been established and harmonized internationally through the Berner Convention.

Governing thought has been, that an inventor or creator of a work always will own all rights of usage, modification and all kinds of distribution. This is always valid for a certain period of time after the work has been created. Theperiod depends on the work.

An inventor or creator may transfer his rights to others. The typical form of this transfer is a license.

Without a license, all rights remain with the creator for his protection!

If no license exists, for the protection of the creator, all rights will be assumed as not transferred. Therefor each user of a component without license starts walking on ice. In general nothing might happen immediately. But who knows what will be in the future? Success might make jealous, motivations might change over time. Happy times for all of those, who own a license they may rely on!

But not only that there might be some contributors of open source software getting nasty. There is another relevant aspect of licenses. They also clarify the terms when the right to use is transferred. this will protect you from a usage without right.

In our hemisphere the usage of protected works without right is assumed a criminal act. This might not only cause immense financial damages due to call backs or branding impacts. But also a criminal investigation might be caused.  In some countries this does not even require a plaintiff. This role will be taken by the prosecutor automatically triggered by a suitable  evidence, irrelevant of the source (competition, former employee, original inventor).

To prevent all kinds of damage, it is highly recommended to ensure the availability of and conformity with a license!

To prevent damage, it is highly recommended to avoid using components without a license. But to achieve this, it is essential to know what has been used to build the software and what are the resulting obligations.

TrustSource has been developed to automate this task. Applying the automated scanning you may detect early which components are used and which licenses – or even no licenses – are related.

Our architects may help you to manage critical cases  or identify alternative solutions. Do not wait, start right now in creating transparency!


TrustSource Version 1.4 released

We are proud to announce the release of v1.4!

It took some sweat, blood and a lot of testing, but now v 1.4 has been successfully released. There is a basket of new features available that will make your work much more efficient:

  • the new inbox will collect all communication so you will not miss anything anymore.
  • A vulnerability feed will alert you about latest changes or upcoming issues.
  • CVSS-Scores and attack vector information allow a faster identification of critical issues
  • Extended Obligations report - using the new obligation report it will be possible to jump directly to the associated component, so that you may work with it without switching between the two view. Also the report is now available from within the list views.
  • Suitability checks - to further support SHIFT LEFT, we have created a feature which allows you to verify the suitability of not yet built in licenses and/or components. This allows developers to verify the consequences of using a product even before it will be added to the code base. The functionality also is available over the API.
  • Private licenses - You are now able to create private license keys. So you may also manage your own licenses

Also we have added some improvements and Fixes. For example we were able to discover a matching problem in our vulnerability scanner.

Additional information can be found here.


June 19th, Compliance Breakfast @ Frankfurt a.M.

To achieve a fast Go-to-market for innovative products and services, the application of software, especially open source software is essential.

But, open source software is no free lunch!

What obligations are related to the use of open source software, what triggers the different obligations and what is resulting therefrom? What are athe risks and how to manage them? All this will be part of this informational event. You will receive an overview of the current legal situation as well as practical experiences of the introduction of Open Source Governnace.

0830-0900 Welcome coffee & tea

0900-0915 Introduction of speakers

0915-0945 Current legal situation and challenges (Heinzke)

0945-1000 Questions and discussion

1000-1045 Lessons learned from introducing Open Source Governance in a conglomerate (Thielscher)

1045-1100 Questions and discussion

Tickets can be booked here. To ensure a sound experience, the event is limited to 25 participants. Please note, the event will be in German.