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Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 15:16:01 -0800
From: Greg KH <>
To: Kees Cook <>
Subject: Re: Vendor-sec hosting and future of closed lists

On Thu, Mar 03, 2011 at 03:09:55PM -0800, Kees Cook wrote:

<good stuff snipped>

> As I see it, the upstream Linux kernel certainly fixes most flaws
> discovered, and almost gets to fix level 4 (there are so many variations
> of the Linux kernel running on end-user's systems, I can't blame the
> Linux kernel upstream for not offering a patch for every version the
> majority of their end-users use). Where I am disappointed is in the
> communication.

Ok, that's fair enough, I will not disagree with that.

> It's generally somewhere between communication style
> 1 and 2. There is no central list of fixed flaws (style 3, see almost
> every major upstream's website and append some variation "/security"
> to the url, etc), and certainly no central list of fixes. There is
> frequently no mention of the implication of a flaw in commits (style 2),
> and nothing like style 4, 5, or 6 happening. The only place these things
> happen are in each distro's bug trackers, or scattered in the Mitre CVE
> links (which almost invalidates anything above fix level 2 since there is
> no certain way to find a flaw's fix in an upstream stable kernel update).
> So yes, I'm disappointed in the upstream Linux kernel's security flaw
> fix communications. And while I'm sure some people may not agree with me,
> I know many do.

Then, as I have always said, someone needs to step up and actually do
this type of communication work.  I personally don't have the time to, I
am swamped with just getting the stable updates out in a semi-timely
fashion.  Digging through every patch in these releases and properly
conveying the real, or percieved reason why they are needed, is a lot of
thankless work.  Jon at tried it for just one release, and we
are averaging about one a week (total number of kernels released that
is).  No one else has yet tried to do that, but if they will, I will be
_glad_ to point my release notifications at that summary.

So in other words, help is gladly accepted :)


greg k-h

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