Follow @Openwall on Twitter for new release announcements and other news
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2011 11:08:31 +0800
From: Eugene Teo <>
CC: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: Vendor-sec hosting and future of closed lists

> On Thu, Mar 03, 2011 at 07:12:24PM +0100, Marcus Meissner wrote:
>> So I would like to open up a discussion with _all_ OSS Security folks present.
>> - Is a closed vendor coordination like vendor-sec still needed at this time?
> Yes, there's some need for it.

I still see some value in having a closed mailing list for vendor 

>> - If yes, would it be an idea to confine or split into lists of focus groups?
>>    (like Linux vendors, BSD vendors, all OSS source using vendors, etc?)
> My current proposal is: split into several sub-lists.  I'd start with
> three: Linux vendors, *BSD vendors, security "researchers".  The vendor
> groups would be for externally submitted reports (by non-members) and
> for cross-vendor discussions.

Having many sub-lists will make this overly complicated. I think it is 
more effective to have just one mailing list like before that everyone 
can remember.

> The Linux vendors group should include distro vendors.  I am unsure
> whether it should also include Linux kernel-only folks or not.  Maybe we
> should be CC'ing security@k.o on relevant messages instead, or maybe we
> need a separate group for Linux distros+kernel.  It feels wrong to
> expose userland-only issues to the kernel-only folks.

We should just CC security@k.o on relevant messages. Do bear in mind 
that any information shared with this list will have no CRD, and will be 
fixed almost immediately (well, most of the time).

>> - Or of course the old option is open:
>>    Should we proceed with the current state as-is,
> Probably not, although we could do it temporarily if there's a need -
> such as to continue some discussions that are already started.
>> but throw a bit more GPG encryption on top?
> I think we should have the new list(s), if we do set them up,
> GPG-encrypting to the members.  They should also accept encrypted
> messages (to the list's key).
> This will reduce the likelihood of leaks somewhat - from the members'
> mail servers, from their unattended mailboxes, etc.
> That said, leaks would nevertheless be quite likely - or at least we
> should assume so.  For this reason, I think these lists should be used
> for medium severity issues only, and CRDs should be set not too far into
> the future (say, up to 2 weeks, with an attempt to make embargoes
> shorter than that whenever possible).

Even if we were to use GPG, we should assume that the reports will be 
leaked anyway. One way as SD has mentioned is to use a short CRD. 
Another way is to perhaps change our approach of informing issues:-

If there is an issue that we will need to co-ordinate with the rest of 
the vendors, we will inform everyone with a very brief description of 
the vulnerability. Just enough to find out if you are affected, but not 
enough to actually pin-point the exact issue. And if you want to find 
out more about it, email the vendor directly. This way, we will know who 
we shared the information to, and if there is a leak, we can narrow it 
down easily. All email conversations should be encrypted at all times. 
The only exception to this is when we receive reports from third-party 
researchers. This is the time we should use a short embargo.

> Anything low severity is best made public right away - such as via
> oss-security.  Anything high severity may need to be approached more
> carefully, identifying just the affected distro vendors before initial
> notification by the reporter (then these lists won't be needed).

Agree. We have been doing that for kernel issues. By making low severity 
issues public right away makes dealing with updates easier.

Thanks, Eugene
Eugene Teo / Red Hat Security Response Team

Powered by blists - more mailing lists

Please check out the Open Source Software Security Wiki, which is counterpart to this mailing list.

Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.