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11 open-source projects certified as secure

Under contract with the Department of Homeland Security, Coverity seeks to establish a new security baseline for open-source applications.

Coverity, which creates automated source-code analysis tools, announced late Monday its first list of open-source projects that have been certified as free of security defects.

Eleven projects made the list: Amanda, NTP, OpenPAM, OpenVPN, Overdose, Perl, PHP, Postfix, Python, Samba, and TCL.

San Francisco-based Coverity, working in collaboration with Stanford University and under a contract from the Department of Homeland Security, is analyzing source code to certify that open-source projects written in C, C++, and Java are secure. Coverity has not disclosed the amount of the DHS contract.

The certification was created so that companies can "select these open-source applications with even greater confidence," Coverity said.

The company uses a ladder metaphor in its certification process.

Rung 2, which was announced late Monday and is the most secure level to date, includes the 11 projects. Rung 1 now includes 86 projects. Rung 0, the lowest level, currently lists 173 projects.

In all cases, open-source vendors must fix all vulnerabilities discovered by Coverity's tools in order to move up the rungs of the security ladder.