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Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:37:47 -0600
From: "Don A. Bailey" <>
Subject: Re: LMS-2014-06-16-1: Oberhumer LZO

I will clarify my actions here, and this will be my only comment on this

First and foremost I would like to thank the Linux kernel community, the
oss distros community, and select members of this oss-security mailing list
community, for helping move this issue forward.

I would also like to thank Alexander (Solar) for his advice and direction,
even if I didn't take all of it.

I chose not to release the bug reports to the public within the timeframe
suggested by Solar for several reasons:
 1) I have deep visibility into the vulnerable code and understand the
constraints of exploitation and the breadth
 2) The public exposure was non-obvious, and was not advertised by the
 3) The most widely effected vendors (Linux and Oberhumer) had yet to
release a patch publicly
 4) The time between exposure and public release was short enough to
negative exposure

This effort took coordination with a large number of entities world wide.
It was not an easy effort, and we all did our best to push this as quickly
and effectively as possible. But, I made a promise to the affected vendors
that I would do my best to give them adequate time to coordinate and
release. Oberhumer would not have been given sufficient time with an early
release, and he was the most affected by this issue.

Had the lack of communication from Oberhumer persisted, a release would
have occurred today regardless. I am glad he was able to release a patch.

My job, as I saw it, was to responsibly coordinate word between all
parties. I did that as best as I could given the teams, their time zones,
their understanding of the bug, and their speed.

All in all, I think it worked out OK, and I am satisfied with the result
thus far. There are things that could have gone better, but over all each
team worked hard to produce solid patches in a reasonable time frame. We
hit that goal.

Thank you,
Don A. Bailey
Founder / CEO
Lab Mouse Security

On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM, Solar Designer <> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:51:32PM -0600, Don A. Bailey wrote:
> > This is to inform you of a security flaw in the Oberhumer LZO algorithm,
> > typically packaged as liblzo2 or lzo-2. Please read the bug report
> inline.
> Thank you for posting this and the other 5 bug reports.  I think it's
> also helpful to link to your blog post:
> "Raising Lazarus - The 20 Year Old Bug that Went to Mars"
> Don brought these issues to the distros list at "Mon Jun 23 16:57 UTC",
> and they were already being patched by some of the affected projects at
> the time - thus, (semi?)-public.  We argued for a while whether it's
> appropriate to wait for more of the projects to have patches ready, or
> to post to oss-security and other high-visibility places right away.
> Initially, I asked that the issues be posted at least to oss-security,
> as per distros list policy for public disclosure, within 24 hours.
> However, as we know there ended up being a 4 day delay.  While this time
> wasn't "wasted" - more patches were being produced, and Yves-Alexis
> Perez of Debian came up with a lengthy list of projects that have the
> affected code embedded - I do acknowledge that it's a violation of the
> distros list policy, and I apologize for it.
> I'd appreciate guidance from the oss-security community on how to deal
> with such cases going forward: the person reporting a vulnerability
> willing to wait for more projects to have it patched vs. the already
> (semi?)-public nature of the vulnerability via commits, etc. by some of
> the projects.  Is letting the vulnerability stay in the limbo for 4 days
> acceptable, or is it too much?  My initial gut feeling was "24 hours
> max", which I communicated to Don and to distros list, but as we can see
> actual disclosure occurred 4 days later.  (I did send a ping earlier
> today, but I think the disclosure would have been today anyway.)  Should
> I have pushed harder?  Should I have posted to oss-security myself (as a
> BOFH list admin enforcing a policy), overriding others' preferences and
> reasoning?
> Yves-Alexis, can you please post that lengthy list in here?  Having it
> available right away would be partial justification/excuse for the
> delay in disclosing these issues appropriately. ;-)
> Thanks,
> Alexander

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