Coverity, the development testing leader, today announced the creation of the Coverity Security Library, an open source project available through GitHub and Maven to help developers easily fix cross-site scripting (XSS) security defects in Java web applications. This project, initiated by the Coverity Security Research Laboratory, gives developers a free, simple, secure and well-tested library of escaping and encoding functions. This will enable developers to quickly plug some of the most common security holes that can lead to brand damaging and costly security breaches.

Providing actionable remediation guidance for developers to fix security defects is critical, but it quickly becomes difficult to implement fixes without a secure and convenient security library. Large Java libraries and frameworks like Apache Commons, Java EE and Spring provide bits and pieces of data escaping and encoding routines, but they are often incomplete and don’t cover all of the cases required for complex defects such as XSS.

The Coverity Security Library helps developers with limited security expertise quickly remediate security defects in Java web applications by providing a set of functions for data escaping and encoding. Arming developers with information to easily fix some of the most commonly exploited security defects in Java web applications with common development technologies like JSPs and Expression Language (EL) will help reduce the risk of application security attacks.

“Asking developers to write their own data escaping routines is a recipe for getting it wrong,” said Andy Chou, Coverity co-founder, CTO and head of the Security Research Laboratory. “The incomplete set of escapers in some libraries encourages developers to use the wrong ones. We need to empower developers to be part of the security solution with the right technologies and actionable information to help them fix defects quickly and without slowing them down. With the Coverity Security Library, developers now have a powerful and easy-to-use library to help them plug some of the most common security holes early in the development process when they are easiest to fix.”

Coverity is providing the Coverity Security Library to the open source community on GitHub and Maven as a standalone repository. The Coverity Security Library can also be used in conjunction with Coverity Security Advisor, a product within the Coverity Development Testing Platform which surfaces security defects in the developer workflow for fast and efficient remediation. When the Coverity Security Library is used with the patent-pending remediation engine in Coverity Security Advisor, developers get actionable remediation guidance by pinpointing exactly which functions in the Coverity Security Library should be used to correctly fix each security defect. Coverity Security Advisor provides developers with a complete solution for addressing security defects in development, from accurate issue detection to efficient and correct issue remediation using the vetted library functions.

The Coverity Development Testing platform is built on multiple patents for its highly accurate and scalable techniques for quality and security defect detection and remediation, and is used by over 1,100 of the world’s leading companies.