Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 18:59:20 -0500 From: Dan Rosenberg <dan.j.rosenberg@...il.com> To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com Cc: Greg KH <greg@...ah.com>, Kees Cook <kees@...ntu.com> Subject: Re: Vendor-sec hosting and future of closed lists Hi all, > > 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 lwn.net 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 :) > Rather than requiring individuals to perform substantial amounts of digging through patches, which I agree is infeasible, perhaps it would be more reasonable to establish a general policy that bug reporters and maintainers can use to work with distro security teams and the rest of the security community. For example, a public or private list could be established for all *potential* kernel security issues, and just as is the case with CC'ing stable, a policy could be developed where maintainers are expected to CC this list for fixes that might possibly have security relevance, with a tendency towards erring on the safe side if security impact is unclear. I think security communication needs to be improved at the commit level (as opposed to the reporting), since maintainers are often much more knowledgeable and better able to understand security impact than the users who are often presenting issues. Criteria could be set up for what kinds of issues would be candidates for being sent to this list. I don't think this would require substantially more work on anyone's part, but by creating a culture where potential security issues are treated seriously, it would at least stop some of the silent patching that's been going on. Once potential security issues have been submitted to such a list, I'm sure there would be no shortage of people willing and able to analyze security impact for each issue, including assigning CVEs. While digging through every kernel patch might be too much work, with the cooperation of maintainers this can be reduced to a much smaller subset that would be easily dealt with. Regards, Dan
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