Debian attacker may have used new exploit
jmm-TU2q2He6PgRlD5gtYiU6kEEOCMrvLtNR at public.gmane.org
Wed Dec 3 22:35:15 UTC 2003
On Wed, Dec 03, 2003 at 03:23:44PM -0500, JoeHill wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Dec 2003 15:23:31 -0500
> John Macdonald <jmm-TU2q2He6PgRlD5gtYiU6kEEOCMrvLtNR at public.gmane.org> wrote:
> > Nope, we cannot stop them. But delayed disclosure
> > will, in at least some cases, reduce the number of
> > malicious users with such knowledge before a fix
> > is available.
> In both of your posts, you start from the assumption that immediate public
> disclosure contributes nothing, but that's all it is, an assumption. I am
> positing that putting any limits on the free exchange of this information is
> inherantly worse than any *potential* harm (never once demonstrated, only
> theorized) done by such disclosure. Straw men, babies, and bathwater, are all
> cute, but I have yet to see a strong argument, with evidence, that the free
> exchange of all security-related information, an important part of not only
> awareness and education, but also development of new tools to combat
> vulnerabilities (or the proper eradication of software which is unfixable, ie.
> Internet Exploder), somehow does more harm than good.
If both sides of an argument take the approach that
"if it is not proven otherwise, my belief should
prevail" then you never come to a useful resolution.
Far from proving that immediate disclosure has an
advantage over delayed disclosure, you haven't
even suggested any way in which it *might* have
All of your arguments apply only to the comparison
against non-disclosure; which no-one is trying to
claim as a good practice. That is a straw man -
you put a false argument into the mouths of your
opponent so that you can knock it down. It does not
accomplish any useful progress in the discussion.
It is quite obvious that immediate disclosure will
sometimes (not always but sometimes) cause damage
that delayed disclosure would ameliorate. This will
- no cracker happened to already know about the
particular hole being disclosed
- only one cracker already knew about the hole,
but he was saving it to use for a particular attack
- every cracker that knew about this hole had other
things to do and wasn't developing an exploit yet,
but the disclosure made the potential damage time
limited and so it was worth switching to exploiting
this hole at this time instead of other work
Try and prove that none of these could ever happen!
(But don't just prove that they will sometimes not
happen - I already admit that, but that is irrelevant.
You are arguing that immediate disclosure should be
done for every case.)
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