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Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 11:52:54 +0800
From: Greg KH <>
Subject: Re: handling of Linux kernel vulnerabilities (was:
 CVE request - Linux kernel: VFAT slab-based buffer overflow)

On Mon, Mar 04, 2013 at 06:57:23AM +0400, Solar Designer wrote:
> Greg,
> 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.

Thanks for doing this.

> > 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.

You know why we will not do that, sorry.

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

We don't usually have "days" before things are committed.  We find out
about a problem, we make up a fix, and it is committed.  Usually all
within 1-2 days.  Sometimes things take longer to fix, but usually it's
prettty fast.

> > > 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)!

As far as I am concerned, I trust linux-distros to manage this in a sane
and proper manner, and they can notify the world when they decide to do
so.  If that trust is somehow broken, we can revisit the issue in the


greg k-h

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