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Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2013 17:22:45 +0000
From: Ian Jackson <Ian.Jackson@...citrix.com>
To: <xen-devel@...ts.xen.org>, <oss-security@...ts.openwall.com>
CC: Xen.org security team <security@....org>
Subject: Re: Xen Security Advisory 82 (CVE-2013-6885) - Guest triggerable AMD
 CPU erratum may cause host hang

Xen.org security team writes ("Xen Security Advisory 82 (CVE-2013-6885) - Guest triggerable AMD CPU erratum may cause host hang"):
> This issue was predisclosed under embargo by the Xen Project Security
> team, on the 27th of November.  We treated the issue as not publicly
> known because it was not evident from the public sources that this
> erratum constitutes a vulnerability (particularly, that it was a
> vulnerability in relation to some Xen configurations).
> 
> Since then, the fact that this CPU erratum is likely to constitute a
> security problem has been publicly disclosed, on the oss-security
> mailing list.

This is a reference to this message:
  http://www.openwall.com/lists/oss-security/2013/11/28/1

This was sent by MITRE as part of the CVE assignment.  It seems likely
to us (the Xen Project security team) that the CVE assignment was a
consequence of our embargoed predisclosure to xen-security-issues.

The effect of this has been that we have had to end the embargo early.
I think there is room for discussion here about whether we all did the
right thing.  In particular:

 * Should the Xen Project security te4am have treated this issue with
   an embargo at all, given that the flaw itself was public ?

 * Should we have anticipated that other software would be in a
   similar position and sent message(s) to some other suitable set of
   vendor(s) ?  Which vendors, and how ?

 * Should MITRE have been asked /not/ to publicly disclose the
   relationship between CVE-2013-6885 and AMD CPU erratum 793,
   until the embargo ended ?

 * Were we right to treat MITRE's message as a trigger for disclosure ?

Thanks,
Ian.

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