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Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:45:16 +0200
From: Dominique Martinet <asmadeus@...ewreck.org>
To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Rule for releasing fixes for embargoed bugs

Hi,

I tried asking this question in private and was told there is no clear
rule (and opinions vary) on the subject of releasing fixes for bugs
still under embargo; and to ask the list, so here we go:

 When should vendors publish fixes for bugs that are under embargo ?


My opinion is that the point of security embargoes, and linux-distro in
particular, is to give vendors time to prepare a fix so that fixes can
be released almost immediately after the issue is made public.

Releasing a fix early pretty much leaks the issue to people monitoring
distro updates, especially if there is a clear changelog that states
there have been security fixes with a neat summary and sources are
available.


I'm asking because this happened today and some vendor released a kernel
with patches for CVE-2018-3690 (yet another speculation/side-channel
vulnerability), but their fix for it broke another component in the
kernel (RDMA networking) and people trying to fix that bug are now
wasting their's and everyone's/my time saying they cannot make the RDMA
issue public because it has been caused by a security fix still under
embargo.
At this point, I'm not sure what this is supposed to protect: I have a
pretty good idea of what the fixes are about and I'm not a security
researcher, so if I could figure this much I'm sure smarter people can
use it, and folks who are waiting for the embargo to end before actually
posting fixes (including upstream!) are now leaving their users in
trouble.


I don't really care about speculation/side channel attacks frankly but
there's no reason other bugs won't have the same issue, so I think
"waiting for the issue to be made public before releasing fixes" should
be made a rule if at all possible.


Thanks,
-- 
Dominique Martinet | Asmadeus

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