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Progress Report – Strengthening Node.js Security

In April this year, the OpenJS Foundation announced the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) had selected Node.js as their initial project to help improve supply chain security. As part of OpenSSF’s Alpha-Omega Project, $300k was committed to bolster the Node.js security team and vulnerability remediation efforts through the rest of 2022. The focus is on supporting better open source security standards and practices. The Alpha-Omega repo for Node.js is here.

Since the announcement, OpenJS has quickly onboarded new OpenSSF security support resources who hit the ground running. Better plans and processes have already started to be built out and are already having an impact.

For example, security processes are being improved through a Security Model that is being discussed in the Security Working Group. The structure has been defined and they are currently working to document assumptions from the Node.js runtime. 

The community is creating a new Threat Model that provides context on what will and will not be considered a vulnerability in Node.js, which will particularly help inform security researchers. It includes all the current threats and their mitigation for each environment using Node.js. Note: This may change over releases.

The community also added vulnerability checking for Node.js dependencies. This is a new script that queries vulnerability databases in order to find if any of Node.js’ dependencies are vulnerable. It runs as part of the continuous integration workflow, and if any new vulnerabilities are found, it automatically opens an issue tagging Node.js’ maintainers and Security Working Group members.

Additionally, the Node.js team fixed the first OpenSSF Project Omega CVE as part of the Node.js July 7, 2022, security release.

Organization

Day-to-day security is run through the triage team who look at HackerOne reports to fix issues and handles the ongoing OpenSSL reports and updates. The turnaround time on fixes has been tightened from about one week to under two days. 

The Security Working Group, which has a broader mandate to look at the future of Node.js security, has been reactivated, meeting every two weeks.

Join us!

Node.js is a critical community-led project where we need more people to contribute. If you are interested in lending your security expertise, we would like your participation. Our Security Working Group meets on Thursdays. You can download the calendar info from here: Node.js Project Calendar.