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Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 21:37:59 +0200
From: Yves-Alexis Perez <>
Subject: Re: OpenSSL 1.0.1 TLS/DTLS hearbeat information
 disclosure CVE-2014-0160

On Tue, Apr 08, 2014 at 06:17:57PM +0300, Jussi Eronen wrote:
> Hello,
> On 04/08/2014 01:05 AM, Yves-Alexis Perez wrote:
> > On Mon, Apr 07, 2014 at 01:56:27PM -0700, Reed Loden wrote:
> >> Was this not coordinated with the distros at all? If not, that
> >> seems like major fail on the reporters and NCSC-FI's part. :/
> > 
> > There was a mail from Red Hat on monday morning (CEST) with no
> > detail and a CRD to april 9th. It seems OpenSSL advisory came a
> > bit uncoordinated, actually, which (it seems) triggered the release
> > of the heartbeat and cloudfare posts, as well as the Red Hat one
> > here.
> We reported the issue to OpenSSL a couple of hours before the advisory
> was published. Our plan was to start notifications to distros and
> other vendors after discussing with OpenSSL. Codenomicon did mention
> us as the coordinator in the original text of, but the
> current text reflects the situation quite well:
> """
> Who coordinates response to this vulnerability?
> NCSC-FI took up the task of reaching out to the authors of OpenSSL,
> software, operating system and appliance vendors, which were
> potentially affected. However, this vulnerability was found and
> details released independently by others before this work was
> completed. Vendors should be notifying their users and service
> providers. Internet service providers should be notifying their end
> users where and when potential action is required.
> """

Thanks for the clarification. I suppose nobody knows who are those
“others” who released independently?

I think it might help to provide a full timeline of this. Here are the
bits I know about, feel free to complete the missing bits:

Sometimes (when?)      : Neel Mehta of Google Security discovers the
Later (when?)          : Google Security notifies OpenSSL
Sometimes last week    : someones (who? OpenSSL?) notifes CloudFlare
                         (and maybe other vendors)
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 guess : Mark Cox of OpenSSL (but also working at Red
                         Hat SRT) notifies Red Hat and authorizes them
                         to share details of the vulns
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 05:56 : Huzaifa Sidhpurwala (RH) add a bug to Red Hat bugzilla
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:10 : Huzaifa Sidhpurwala sends a mail to distros
                         list with no details but an offer to request
                         them privately
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 ~15:30: NCSC-FI reports issue to OpenSSL
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:53 : Fix is committed to OpenSSL git (not sure if it
                         was public or private at that point)
Mon, 07 Apr 2014       : someone (who?) releases something (what, where?)
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:27 : OpenSSL releases advisory
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:00 : CloudFlare posts blog entry
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:00 : is published
Wed, 09 Apr 2014       : initial CRD

At that point, we (Debian) started some kind of “public situation room”
on #debian-security and we tried to build updates ASAP, along with
trying to find more info on this (for example, I'm still unsure how easy
it really is to find some valuable data in those 64kB of process heap

I have to admit the handling of that vulnerability was really not the
best disclosure I could find, whatever Cloudfare is thinking about this.

It seems that some people where actually knowing about this quite early
because of their proximitity with involved projects (Google Security,
OpenSSL project, Red Hat Security), which I consider pretty normal. But
no effort was apparently made to coordinate something at that point,
until crash mode was activated sometimes on april 7th (which might have
been the best thing to do if someone noticed it was exploited in the
wide, but since we didn't get that kind of information we can only

I don't want to point finger, but I sincerely hope the next time
something like that happens, coordination will be done early in the
processus, and relevant vendors will have a chance to prepare themselves
with a bit more than a two-days warning (or no warning at all). And I do
know it's not always easy to identify a relevant group of vendors, but
even when it's too late, coordinated disclosure and unique/authoritative
information point is really helpful for everyone.

Yves-Alexis Perez

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