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Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 15:17:20 -0600
From: Greg Knaddison <>
Cc:, Henri Salo <>
Subject: Re: [security] Strange CVE situation (at least one ID
 should come of this)

The start of this thread appears to be and from
reading that my sense is that you're debating about what to do if you
find software that is in-use, abandoned by the authors, and has

The Drupal project has a policy of waiting some period of time for a
fix (no less than 2 weeks, but longer than that if the maintainer
appears to be making some progress). If no fix is provided by the
maintainer then the security team will:
* Publish and e-mail a security advisory suggesting that users disable
the module as an immediate solution
* Mark the project as "unsupported" in the code management system
hosted on
* Add a big red warning to the project page on that
includes a suggestion for people interested in maintaining the module
to try to fix the issue and then apply to become a mainainer of the

We do allocate a "security advisory" for these, but our rules and
processes for how to do that are less stringent than the process for
CVEs. For example: We often do a single advisory for multiple projects
that are affected by the same issue or have the same resolution (i.e.
unpublishing). The goal of bunching them together is that it will
improve the "signal to noise" ratio for subscribers of our notices. We
have to balance the fact that many Drupal site admins are not
technical people with the fact that our security advisory process
covers thousands of modules (meaning we often have 5 or 10 advisories
to send out per week).

Since Drupal 6, Drupal core has included a feature that is enabled by
default that makes a request to a server to determine if a
site is running up to date modules. If a module (or theme, they are
somewhat interchangeable for this purpose) is out of date AND has a
security issue then Drupal will put up a big red warning to users
logged in as site administrators letting them know that an update is
available. This update status can also be configured in core to send
an email to the site administrator letting them know about the
problem. In Drupal 7 it is the default to opt-in to the update system
and to get emails about necessary security updates. If a module has
been marked as "unsupported" then this update system will show the big
warning and encourage the site admin to go to the project
page to get more information where they will see the big red warning
the security team put on the page.

I believe all of this information is available in and sub-pages, though it may be hard to
find it all.

My research into how WordPress handles 3rd party plugins is that they
have a similar update mechanism, but it has no concept of a security
update vs. a regular update and their list of security updates only
covers WordPress core. I believe Joomla's situation is similar to
WordPress though Joomla does have a big wiki of insecure plugins that
Henri mentioned -


On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:28 PM, Kurt Seifried <> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 10/30/2012 11:39 AM, Henri Salo wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 01:34:07PM -0400, Steven M. Christey
>> wrote:
>>> Perhaps the OSS community could borrow an idea from one of the
>>> framework vendors with lots of third-party modules - I forget if
>>> it was Joomla or Drupal - who actively maintained a list of
>>> poorly maintained or obsolete software.
>> There is at least
>> and Drupal is coordinating contrib modules too (code reviews,
>> advisories, etc). I don't know if Joomla security guys handle
>> vulnerable extensions in some level or not.
>> - Henri Salo
> Does Drupal throw up a warning if you try to use one of these extensions?
> It occurs to me we need a mechanism similar to CRL/OCSP for software,
> especially things with plugins like Drupal/WordPress/Firefox/Chrome so
> that we can at least warn users of bad software.
> - --
> Kurt Seifried Red Hat Security Response Team (SRT)
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> --
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