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Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 06:57:23 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: handling of Linux kernel vulnerabilities (was: CVE request - Linux kernel: VFAT slab-based buffer overflow)


Note that I am not even asking you to reconsider.  I have little hope
that you would, as you appeared to have a firm opinion on this.
I merely mentioned this aspect, with no intent to prompt a discussion of
it.  That said, I've commented inline, just to clear up your confusion.

Then, in the last paragraph I was actually asking you a question, which
you commented on - thanks!  It looks like I need to clarify it, which I
did below as well.

On Mon, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:12:53AM +0800, Greg KH wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 04, 2013 at 05:44:38AM +0400, Solar Designer wrote:
> > In my opinion, it'd be best if Linus, Greg, et al. would reconsider
> > their approach.
> Reconsider just what specifically?

I (and many others) would prefer that you post to oss-security (public)
on the day that you commit a fix.  You have not agreed to that.
Instead, you have agreed to notify linux-distros (private) and ask them
to delay notification to oss-security until some later time.  This is
not great because technically the issue is half-public at commit time.

> You bring up a bunch of issues that
> the distros need to consider, what can the Linux kernel security team do
> differently?

Post to oss-security on commit day.

Optionally, also notify linux-distros a few days before the commit.

> We were asked to notify the linux-distro list,

This was an unfortunate fallback option, after you refused to notify the
oss-security list.

> and now we
> will be doing that.  Should we not and just go back to how things were
> before?

Assuming that you continue to refuse to notify oss-security, the rest of
us in here need to discuss and then decide on whether to accept the
fallback approach with going via linux-distros.  We also need to discuss
the specifics first, as the decision whether to accept this or not may
depend on the specifics.

> > Overall, I think we should bite the bullet and accept sko's
> > notifications to linux-distros, with a grace period of up to 7 days.
> > Whenever a distro is ready to release an update, they should be able to
> > insist on doing so within another 1 day, even if the initially planned
> > grace period would expire later.  Would sko be OK with this?  Greg?
> Again, I don't think anyone that is part of minds
> about having the issues publicized, after linux-distro has their time
> to get things fixed and to their users.  If the linux-distro people care
> about that, that does not seem to be a group issue,
> right?

Right, but since you previously refused to notify oss-security right
away, I thought that you could possibly stipulate that you'd only keep
notifying linux-distros if the linux-distros folks keep the issues from
hitting oss-security for at least a certain amount of time, or at least
until fixes are available (from at least one distro? from all?), or
whatever.  If you're fine with letting linux-distros decide on this
fully on their own, and you would not stop notifying linux-distros if
you deem that they fully-disclose the issues publicly "too soon", that's
great (and logical)!


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