OODA Loop – open source “Protestware”: sabotaging open source code as a form of hacktivism

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A bit of context

  • Open source software has made headlines in the context of improving software supply chain security. While none of the onslaught of cyber thefts and fraud incidents that were highlighted in our 2021 year-end cybersecurity review (or the “Cybersecurity Reckoning for Web3 and Cryptocurrency Projects,” Matt Devost, CEO of ‘OODA, pointed out in the OODA Almanac 2022 by the way) have been attributed to particular open source software/ The general vulnerability of Log4j certainly made headlines, although, again, no specific attribution to any cyber incident or a particular attack.
  • Throughout 2021 and early 2022, the White House issued executive orders, held press conferences, and engaged the private sector by hosting in January 2022 the Open Source Software Security Summit – all designed to highlight the national security concerns that open source software vulnerabilities pose for the entire software ecosystem: in [federal government code].’ What it doesn’t do, however, is identify exactly how it will be done. This is one of the main challenges for open source software, and an executive order that an executive order can influence but not solve. »

Open source protest software

Global hackers now offer a new wrinkle to the multiple narratives surrounding the use of open source code: the conscious sabotage of open source software – called “protestware” – as an act of protest or an offensive or defensive act of war.

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