Scaling the Security Researcher to Eliminate OSS Vulnerabilities Once and For All

Thursday, June 29, 2023

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

60 minutes, including Q&A

Imagine a world where a security researcher becomes aware of a security vulnerability, impacting thousands of Open Source Software (OSS) projects, and is enabled to both identify and fix them all at once. Now imagine a world where a vulnerability is introduced into your production code and a few moments later you receive an automated pull request to fix it. Hundreds of thousands of human hours are invested every year in finding common security vulnerabilities with relatively simple fixes. These vulnerabilities aren't sexy, cool, or new, we've known about them for years, but they're everywhere!

The scale of GitHub and tools like CodeQL (GitHub's code query language) enable one to scan for vulnerabilities across hundreds of thousands of OSS projects, but the challenge is how to scale the triaging, reporting, and fixing. Simply automating the creation of thousands of bug reports by itself isn't useful, and would be even more of a burden on volunteer maintainers of OSS projects. Ideally, the maintainers would be provided with not only information about the vulnerability, but also a fix in the form of an easily actionable pull request.

When facing a problem of this scale, what is the most efficient way to leverage researcher knowledge to fix the most vulnerabilities across OSS? This talk will cover a highly scalable solution - automated bulk pull request generation. We'll discuss the practical applications of this technique on real world OSS projects. We'll also cover technologies like CodeQL and OpenRewrite (a style-preserving refactoring tool created at Netflix and now developed by Moderne). Let's not just talk about vulnerabilities, let's actually fix them at scale.

This work is sponsored by the new Dan Kaminsky Fellowship; a fellowship created to celebrate Dan's memory and legacy by funding open-source work that makes the world a better (and more secure) place.

Sponsored by:

Outshift by Cisco


Jonathan Leitschuh

Software Engineer

HUMAN Security

Jonathan Leitschuh is a Software Engineer and Software Security Researcher. He is the first-ever Dan Kaminsky Fellow. Jonathan is best known for his July 2019 bombshell Zoom 0-day vulnerability disclosure. He is amongst the top OSS researchers on GitHub by advisory credit. He's both a GitHub Star and a GitHub Security Ambassador. In 2019 he championed an industry-wide initiative to get all major artifact servers in the JVM ecosystem to formally decommission the support of HTTP in favor of HTTPS only. In his free time, he loves rock climbing, surfing, and sailing his Hobie catamaran.

Shweta Khare

Principal Technical Product Marketing Manager

Cisco Outshift

Shweta Khare is a product marketing leader focused on Cisco Outshift’s cloud native application security portfolio. With a true passion for cybersecurity and expertise in developing strategic GTM frameworks, Shweta enjoys researching market dynamics, customer pain points, and emerging trends to ensure that products are positioned for success in competitive markets.

Steve Paul


Black Hat

Sustaining Partners