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Rust Foundation Allies With OpenSSF and JFrog to Secure Code – DevOps.com

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The Rust Foundation announced today it is working with the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) and JFrog to help maintainers secure open source software created using the Rust programming language.
Rebecca (Bec) Rumbul, executive director at the Rust Foundation, said even though Rust is a memory-safe language, there are still security issues that maintainers need to be able to address. The goal is to provide the resources those maintainers need to better secure their software supply chains.
As part of that effort, the Rust Foundation is adding a dedicated security team to help maintainers of open source projects built using Rust to better secure their software supply chains. That team is being underwritten by JFrog and the Alpha-Omega Initiative funded by Google and Microsoft which was recently launched by OpenSSF. JFrog last week announced it is joining the Rust Foundation at the Platinum level alongside Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Huawei, Meta, Microsoft and Mozilla.
The first initiative for the security team will be to conduct a security audit and develop threat modeling tools that will provide the foundation for a set of best security practices for maintainers, said Rumbul. The team will also help advocate for those security practices across the Rust landscape, including the Cargo package manager and Crates.io directory projects.
The OpenSSF has previously called for replacing programming languages like Java that are not memory-safe as part of a larger plan to secure open source software supply chains.
In general, the Rust Foundation is committed to enabling Rust developers to achieve their scale, security and sustainability goals, said Rumbul. Given the early stages of the Rust programming language, there is no better time to start addressing security issues that application developers can’t ignore, she added.
In the longer term, The Rust Foundation is also committed to providing developers with Rust security education and is also working to come up with a fair approach to certifying which projects have achieved an appropriate level of cybersecurity maturity, said Rumbul.
It’s not clear whether developers are abandoning older programming languages in favor of a memory-safe language such as Rust. Rust employs a compiler to track the ownership of values that can be used once and a borrow checker that manages how data is used without having to rely on traditional garbage collection techniques.
Of course, replacing trillions of lines of code that have already been constructed using a variety of legacy languages is a gargantuan task that might never be fully completed. However, as new applications are built using a memory-safe programming language, the overall security posture of an organization will steadily improve. The challenge, of course, is that the number of developers that know how to build applications using those languages is still relatively small.
Nevertheless, there may come a day when the way applications are coded is a lot more secure by default than it is today. In the meantime, however, the number of vulnerabilities that exist with application environments is still too numerous to count.
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