Google is offering $1 million to secure open source software

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Google has pledged $1 million in funding to the Linux Foundation’s Secure Open Source (opens in new tab) (SOS) pilot program, which aims to improve the security of critical open source (opens in new tab) projects.

The program is part of the tech giant's recently announced $10 billion commitment (opens in new tab) to cybersecurity (opens in new tab) defense, following a meeting (opens in new tab) with US President Joe Biden, in August.

According to a FAQ (opens in new tab) posted on the website of the SOS Rewards program, while it does appear similar to a traditional bug bounty program, the SOS Rewards program has a broader perspective and isn’t looking to reward specific project vulnerabilities.

“SOS rewards a very broad range of improvements that proactively harden critical open source projects and supporting infrastructure against application and supply chain attacks,” further explain (opens in new tab) members of the Google Open Source Security Team.

Securing the supply chain

The backing for the project comes after it emerged that there’s been a whopping 650% year over year increase (opens in new tab) in supply chain attacks targeted towards upstream open source public repositories.

The report noted that open source software continues to play an integral part of many critical infrastructure, which also makes it a ripe target for software supply chain attacks.

A few weeks back, Google revealed its financial backing for the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund (OSTIF), to sponsor in-depth security reviews (opens in new tab) to critical projects vital to the open source ecosystem, as part of OSTIF’s Managed Audit Program (MAP). 

This $1 million commitment to the SOS initiative further expands Google’s commitment to helping secure open source software.

According to the program, rewards range from $505 to $10,000 or more depending on the  scope and impact of the improvements on the larger community.

"We are starting with a $1 million investment and plan to expand the scope of the program based on community feedback," assures the Google Open Source Security Team.  

Via ZDNet (opens in new tab)

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.