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Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2019 14:55:51 -0700
From: "Srivatsa S. Bhat" <srivatsa@...il.mit.edu>
To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Cc: Steven Rostedt <rostedt@...dmis.org>, sashal@...nel.org,
 amakhalov@...are.com, anishs@...are.com, Sharath George
 <sharathg@...are.com>, mijzerman@...are.com,
 Srivatsa Bhat <srivatsab@...are.com>
Subject: Re: Membership application for linux-distros - VMware

On 10/23/19 12:08 PM, Srivatsa S. Bhat wrote:
> Hello!
> 
> I would like to apply for membership to the linux-distros list for
> VMware Photon OS.
> 

Any thoughts / feedback on this membership request?

Thank you!

Regards,
Srivatsa

>> 1. Be an actively maintained Unix-like operating system distro with
>> substantial use of Open Source components
> 
> Photon OS is a fully open-source RPM-based Linux distribution built
> and maintained by VMware. We have released 3 major versions of the
> distro so far (starting with Photon OS 1.0 back in 2015), and all of
> them are being actively maintained with regular package updates to fix
> bugs and security vulnerabilities.
> 
> https://vmware.github.io/photon/
> https://github.com/vmware/photon
> 
> 
> 
>> 2. Have a userbase not limited to your own organization
> 
> Photon OS images are publicly available for download for various
> platforms:
> 
> - ISOs for x86_64 and ARM64
> - Images for Raspberry Pi
> - Docker images
> - OVAs
> - Cloud images for AWS, GCE and Azure
> 
> As for consumption apart from VMware's internal use, Photon OS is
> included in various software products shipped to customers, as the
> base Operating System for many of VMware's Virtual Appliances (eg:
> vCenter).
> 
> Beyond VMware, Photon OS is used by industry partners and hobbyists.
> 
> Here are some statistics to give a picture of overall Photon OS usage,
> and some metrics to quantify the participation from external users:
> 
> Photon OS package download trends from bintray:
> https://bintray.com/vmware/photon/3.0/GA#statistics
> 
> Photon OS docker images have been downloaded over 1M times:
> https://hub.docker.com/_/photon/
> 
> External feature/bug-fix requests to Photon OS:
> https://github.com/vmware/photon/issues
> 
> External contributions to Photon OS:
> https://github.com/vmware/photon/pulls?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=is%3Apr+is%3Aclosed+no%3Alabel
> 
> 
> 
>> 3. Have a publicly verifiable track record, dating back at least 1
>> year and continuing to present day, of fixing security issues
>> (including some that had been handled on (linux-)distros, meaning that
>> membership would have been relevant to you) and releasing the fixes
>> within 10 days (and preferably much less than that) of the issues
>> being made public (if it takes you ages to fix an issue, your users
>> wouldn't substantially benefit from the additional time, often around
>> 7 days and sometimes up to 14 days, that list membership could give
>> you)
> 
> We maintain Security Advisories for all versions of Photon OS on our
> Github wiki (dating back to several years):
> 
> https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Advisories
> 
> Recent examples of fixing security vulnerabilities in a timely manner
> include:
> 
> 1. TCP SACK PANIC (CVE-2019-11477, CVE-2019-11478, CVE-2017-11479):
> 
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-3.0-0021
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-2-165
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-1.0-240
> 
>    Public CVE disclosure date: 17-Jun-2019
>    Photon updates for linux kernel package released: 20-Jun-2019
> 
> 2. Container escape due to runC vulnerability (CVE-2019-5736):
> 
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-3.0-0001  
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-2-128
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-1.0-208
> 
>    Public CVE disclosure date: 11-Feb-2019
>    Photon updates for docker package released: 12-Feb-2019
> 
> 3. Privilege escalation with sudo (CVE-2019-14287):
> 
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-1.0-254
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-2-183
>    https://github.com/vmware/photon/wiki/Security-Updates-3.0-0035
> 
>    Public CVE disclosure date: 14-Oct-2019
>    Photon updates for sudo package released: 17-Oct-2019
> 
> 
> 
>> 4. Not be (only) downstream or a rebuild of another distro (or else we
>> need convincing additional justification of how the list membership
>> would enable you to release fixes sooner, presumably not relying on
>> the upstream distro having released their fixes first?)
> 
> Photon OS is not derived from any other distro. All Photon packages
> are built directly from their corresponding upstream sources, with
> additional patches on top to add features, fix bugs etc., as needed.
> The Photon OS team entirely owns the release pipeline and is solely
> responsible for releasing fixes to vulnerable packages. Thus, getting
> to know about security issues sooner would help us prepare and test
> fixes early and make them available to our users as quickly as
> possible after the public disclosure of the vulnerabilities.
> 
> 
> 
>> 5. Be a participant and preferably an active contributor in relevant
>> public communities (most notably, if you're not watching for issues
>> being made public on oss-security, which are a superset of those that
>> had been handled on (linux-)distros, then there's no valid reason for
>> you to be on (linux-)distros)
> 
> Beyond monitoring security issues actively, several members of the
> Photon OS team regularly contribute patches to the Linux kernel,
> particularly in terms of backporting security fixes to the upstream
> LTS stable trees. For example, I contributed backports of the fixes
> for Spectre-v2 (IBPB/IBRS) and Speculative Store Bypass vulnerability
> (over 100 patches in total), to the upstream Linux 4.4.y stable
> series.
> 
> https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux.git/log/?h=linux-4.4.y&qt=grep&q=Signed-off-by:+Srivatsa+S.+Bhat
> 
> 
> 
>> 6. Accept the list policy (see above)
> 
> We are happy to accept the list policy.
> 
> 
> 
>> 7. Be able and willing to contribute back (see above), preferably in
>> specific ways announced in advance (so that you're responsible for a
>> specific area and so that we know what to expect from which member),
>> and demonstrate actual contributions once you've been a member for a
>> while
> 
> We would like to volunteer for the following tasks (but we would love
> your suggestions on taking up other tasks instead, depending on the
> current needs of the list).
> 
> Technical:
> 
> 4. Check if related issues exist in the same piece of software (e.g.,
> same bug class common across the software, or other kinds of bugs
> exist in its problematic component), and inform the list either way -
> primary: Ubuntu, backup: vacant
> 
> Administrative:
> 
> 5. Determine if the reported issues are Linux-specific, and if so help
> ensure that (further) private discussion goes on the linux-distros
> sub-list only (thus, not spamming and unnecessarily disclosing to the
> non-Linux distros) - primary: SUSE, backup: vacant
> 
> 
> 
>> 8. Be able and willing to handle PGP-encrypted e-mail
> 
> Of course.
> 
> 
> 
>> 9. Have someone already on the private list, or at least someone else
>> who has been active on oss-security for years but is not affiliated
>> with your distro nor your organization, vouch for at least one of the
>> people requesting membership on behalf of your distro (then that one
>> vouched-for person will be able to vouch for others on your team, in
>> case you'd like multiple people subscribed)
> 
> Sasha Levin <sashal@...nel.org> has graciously agreed to vouch for
> Steven Rostedt <rostedt@...dmis.org>, who is a part of the Open Source
> Technology Center at VMware. Steven, in turn, will vouch for me,
> (Srivatsa S. Bhat <srivatsa@...il.mit.edu>) and I'll represent the
> Photon OS team on the list.
> 
> 
> Regards,
> Srivatsa
> VMware Photon OS
> 



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