Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2011 10:56:15 -0600 From: Vincent Danen <vdanen@...hat.com> To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: Closed list * [2011-04-05 18:02:54 +0200] Andrea Barisani wrote: >On Tue, Apr 05, 2011 at 09:40:13AM -0600, Vincent Danen wrote: >> * [2011-04-05 08:43:29 -0400] Josh Bressers wrote: >> >> > >> >----- Original Message ----- >> >>On Tue, Apr 05, 2011 at 07:19:08AM -0400, Josh Bressers wrote: >> >>> Not adding Apple to any coordination list would be plain silly. They >> >>> were far more active than most of the distributions. >> >> >> >>Yes. But why do they need to be aware, say, of glibc vulnerabilities >> >>(ones that are in fact believed to be glibc-specific)? >> > >> >This is an excellent point. It's a hard problem to solve honestly. I guess >> >the question really comes down to this. Do the disadvantages of one list >> >outweigh the benefits? I'm not sure what the answer is. There probably >> >isn't an "answer" though, just lots of opinions. >> >> Just throwing this out there (I've read the thread but haven't >> contributed at all yet). >> >> A lot of userland stuff is shared between BSD and Linux, and probably >> some other operating systems. About the only things that differ between >> a lot of these are the Linux kernel, and the *libc. There is a lot of >> cross-over with other stuff, which means there will likely be a lot of >> cc'ing going on (which I imagine might be complicated due to encryption >> requirements). >> >> Where does the line get drawn? If vendor A ships with exim, and another >> with postfix, which one belongs on the "Linux list"? Obviously >> discussions of exim don't matter to the postfix shipper, and vice versa. >> Pick any other software that has a competing open source alternative. >> Does Debian not get on the list because they don't technically ship >> firefox? >> >> I think if the disqualifier to Apple is that they don't ship a Linux >> kernel and glibc, then we're doing them (and ourselves) a disservice. >> Apple contributed a lot to vendor-sec (and I'm not going all pro-Apple >> here, just stating a fact). >> >> I think it would be reasonable to s/Linux list/open source vendor list/, >> like vendor-sec used to be. Yes, Apple will see some glibc stuff and >> some Linux kernel stuff. So what? They may also see some exim stuff >> that doesn't apply to them, and (hopefully!) the Linux vendors may seem >> some stuff that isn't applicable to them, but it is useful for the *BSD >> vendors who would (hopefully!) be on the list and feel welcome enough to >> use it. Who knows, it might even be beneficial to have a glibc issue >> and someone from Apple or FreeBSD or whatever pipes up and indicates >> that the BSD libc once had a similar problem and tells us how they fixed >> it. >> >> I think getting hung up on "Linux vendors only" and "BSD vendors can >> have their own list" and we end up cross-posting 90% of the issues is >> going to be an exercise in frustration. >> >> Either that, or we start to work more closely with a *CERT and deal with >> their process for passing along information to other vendors for >> userland things that are shared; no offence to oCERT or anyone else, but >> that seems like more of a headache than just letting >> Apple/FreeBSD/OpenBSD/etc. have a seat at our table. >> >> Just my $0.02. >> > >None taken :) > >Some random reasons about why we value coordination over a "catch all" list >(which was considered at oCERT beginning): > >- some vendors/projects got annoyed by reports not relevant to them, in the > long run it tends to lower the "attention level" when some matters are > really meaningful to them, that's why having a trusted purposed channel > often worked > >- it is not feasible to have every single OSS project on such a list and at > some point there is the need to address individual maintainers in a timely > fashion along with the affected parties, using a list + cc for that often > doesn't work as the communication level greatly differs most of the times > (unfortunately). > > We found out the hard way that the usual level of technicality that was > happening with most vendors or lists like vendor-sec was perceived as > "threatening" or absolutely obscure to some developers/maintainers. > >I am not suggesting that coordination ala oCERT is the only true way of >course, and I am not trying to pitch our project here, just wanted to give >some elements for the discussion. Thanks for that Andrea. I get where you're coming from, but also keep in mind that the *CERTs also deal with upstream and issues that cover a multitude of potential upstreams (think protocol-level issues). For that, absolutely the *CERTs have their place. I don't think anyone is suggesting this list is a replacement for the work that the *CERTs can do in coordinating with various upstreams and vendors. I think rather they can often be complimentary. >I personally think that we need a blend of both approaches in the long term, >it is just a matter of using the right tool for the job. Absolutely agree with this. -- Vincent Danen / Red Hat Security Response Team
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