COMMSEC: Using Machine Learning to Identify Security Issues in Open-Source Libraries


The number of vulnerabilities in open source libraries is increasing rapidly. However, the majority of them do not go through public disclosure. These unidentified vulnerabilities put developers’ products at risk of being hacked since they are increasingly relying on open source libraries to assemble and build software quickly.

To find unidentified vulnerabilities in open source libraries and secure modern software development, we describe an efficient automatic vulnerability identification system geared towards tracking large-scale projects in real time using natural language processing and machine learning techniques.

Built upon the latent information underlying commit messages and bug reports in open source projects using GitHub, JIRA, and Bugzilla, our K-fold stacking classifier achieves promising results on vulnerability identification. Compared to the state of the art SVM-based classifier in prior work on vulnerability identification in commit messages, we improve precision by 54.55% while maintaining the same recall rate.

For bug reports, we achieve a much higher precision of 0.70 and recall rate of 0.71 compared to existing work. Moreover, observations from running the trained model at SourceClear in production for over 3 months has shown 0.83 precision, 0.74 recall rate, and detected 349 hidden vulnerabilities, proving the effectiveness and generality of the proposed approach.


Location: BALLROOM 2 Date: August 31, 2018 Time: 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm Asankhaya Sharma