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Andrew Malkov
Andrew Malkov

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How to use Google OSV Scanner

3 days ago (December 13th 2022) Google launched the Open Source Vulnerability (OSV) Scanner, a free tool that gives open source developers easy access to vulnerability information relevant to their project.

The problem

Software projects are commonly built on top of a mountain of dependencies—external software libraries you incorporate into a project to add functionalities without developing them from scratch. Each dependency potentially contains existing known vulnerabilities or new vulnerabilities that could be discovered at any time. There are simply too many dependencies and versions to keep track of them manually, so automation is required.

Scanners provide this automated capability by matching your code and dependencies against lists of known vulnerabilities and notifying you if patches or updates are needed. Scanners bring incredible benefits to project security, which is why the 2021 U.S. Executive Order for Cybersecurity included this type of automation as a requirement for national standards on secure software development.

OSV Scanner

The OSV-Scanner generates reliable, high-quality vulnerability information that closes the gap between a developer’s list of packages and the information in vulnerability databases.

Running OSV-Scanner on your project will first find all the transitive dependencies that are being used by analyzing manifests, SBOMs, and commit hashes. The scanner then connects this information with the OSV database and displays the vulnerabilities relevant to your project.

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