Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2013 08:11:21 +0100 From: Andreas Ericsson <ae@....se> To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com CC: Eric Lacombe <goretux@...il.com> Subject: Re: handling of Linux kernel vulnerabilities Hi list. I work for a sub-vendor who ships one of the major distros as part of an appliance. Just thought I'd chip in with my €0.02. On 03/04/2013 10:12 PM, Eric Lacombe wrote: > Hi, > > Le lundi 4 mars 2013 11:48:58, Greg KH a écrit : >> On Sun, Mar 03, 2013 at 10:39:30PM -0500, Michael Gilbert wrote: >>> I was getting encouraged by the recent anger-centric posts, the "what >>> is it that we're supposed to do better?" ones. That gave me some >>> encouragement that there was the possibility of positive change, but >>> the "we're not going to make users more unsafe by telling them about >>> issues affecting them" is a persistence of the denial state. That >>> logic completely violates the known idiom that knowledge is power: >>> give users the knowledge that they need to protect themselves, and >>> they will; starve them of that knowledge, and they remain vulnerable. >> >> That's a load of crap. >> >> Seriously, you know it only benefits the "bad guys" if I were to say, >> "This patch just went into Linus's tree that fixes a security problem >> that you can exploit in this manner". No user would have a chance to >> fix their systems before the vulnerability was added to the >> "ultra-sploit" tool and everyone would have their systems trashed. > > I think there's a difference between disclosing the vulnerability and > disclosing it with a related exploit. The first one allows to fulfill what > Michael Gilbert explains without the consequences that you focus on. > Writing and testing an exploit for a "usable" security issue takes all of an hour or two. Coming up with a proper patch, testing it, packaging it and releasing it to users takes at least a week, and I personally think that's erring optimistically. For parts of a system that really *can't* be disabled without making the system completely unusable (kernel, glibc and to some extent ssh tools), I think a longer shush-time than "time of commit" is suitable for full disclosure announcement. Note "announcement" here. People who're really interested can ofcourse see in the patch and commit-message how the bug can be triggered. Otoh, where workarounds can be applied that prevent the bug from happening the issue, I believe protection information should be released immediately. Writing exploits (or test-cases) from workaround information is a *lot* harder than from full disclosure listings. -- Andreas Ericsson andreas.ericsson@....se OP5 AB www.op5.se Tel: +46 8-230225 Fax: +46 8-230231 Considering the successes of the wars on alcohol, poverty, drugs and terror, I think we should give some serious thought to declaring war on peace.
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