Distinguished Paper Award @ NDSS Symposium 2024

VS Code is the most popular IDE for developers. In this study we take a look at its extension ecosystem, the marketplace.

As the first ecosystem-wide research, we proposed a threat model and identified vulnerabilities within the ecosystem with taint analysis using CodeQL.

In total, we identified and verified vulnerabilities and their proof-of-concept exploits for 21 extensions, impacting 6 million users.

Elizabeth Lin, Igibek Koishybayev, Trevor Dunlap, William Enck, and Alexandros Kapravelos. UntrustIDE: Exploiting Vulnerabilities in VS Code Extensions

Don’t want to read the full paper? My short blog post includes an overview of our methods, findings, and an example of how a vulnerable data flow in an extension could lead to code execution.

Software Bill of Materials (SBoMs)

A grey literature review was conducted on articles relating to the benefits and challenges of SBoMs.

The top 5 benefits and challenges are outlined in the following article.

Nusrat Zahan, Elizabeth Lin, Mahzabin Tamanna, William Enck, and Laurie Williams. Software Bills of Materials Are Required. Are We There Yet? IEEE Security & Privacy 21, no. 2 (2023): 82-88.


A tool that generated the top 5 vulnerable fixing commits for a given security advisory.

VFCFinder used to backfill over 300 missing VFCs in the GitHub Security Advisory (GHSA) database.

Trevor Dunlap, Elizabeth Lin, William Enck, and Bradley Reaves. VFCFinder: Seamlessly Pairing Security Advisories and Patches