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Discussion on: Five things I knew about security, before I knew anything about security

elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

If you are warned about 50 security vulnerabilities (which don't end up being actual vulnerabilities), what is the likelihood that you will pay attention to the next alert?

This is the main problem I have with most dependency security checkers. Even the expensive tools like BlackDuck, JFrog XRay, Nexus IQ report way too many false positives. It's not worth the huge license fees.

I work on a big Java enterprise application. We make a lot of use of parts of big frameworks. All tools I've tried report security issues on parts of the framework we do not depend upon. Just because I use Spring Framework does not mean I use Spring MVC. They are different components which are explicitly different dependencies. It's not like the case if Commons Collectiins where a security bug exists in the package, but we simply do not use that code.

hayleydenb profile image
Hayley Denbraver 👩‍💻🥑 Author

Yeah, that is a problem and one we are still hacking on.

There are three ways we try to address it, but there is definitely room to improve.

  1. We make it possible to 'ignore' those kinds of vulnerabilities. Basically, you can review it once and dismiss it without addressing it because it isn't relevant to you and then it doesn't obscure the information that is relevant.

  2. Snyk have a research team that curates our database. Basically they have removed some general false positives and add metadata to other vulnerabilities to help you make a conscious decision whether something needs to be fixed or isn't relevant to you.

  3. Also, we have a product that can monitor an application that is up and running, and let you know if you are calling a function, etc that is compromised. Then it is much easier to prioritize what you are going to fix. It is obviously not the solution for everyone, but I am excited to see where it goes.