Follow @Openwall on Twitter for new release announcements and other news
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:01:24 +0100
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: How to deal with reporters who don't want their bugs fixed?

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 04:38:41PM -0500, Luedtke, Nicholas (Cyber Security) wrote:
> On 1/18/2018 4:21 PM, Solar Designer wrote:
> >I think it's best for your project (I guess glibc?) to prominently
> >publish near the security contact address a maximum embargo time you'd
> >(be likely to) agree to.  That's what security at does
> >(7 days) and what we do with (linux-)distros (14 days).  That way, it's
> >less important for you to judge whether the reason for embargo is
> >valid/altruistic or bogus/selfish - a sane maximum embargo time
> >minimizes the damage to all parties either way.  When someone requests a
> >longer embargo for whatever reason, just decline and insist on your
> >previously published maximum.  Those who want to have their issue
> >disclosure timed with some other event will then be expected to delay
> >reporting the issue to your project until it's close enough to that
> >other event.  That's not ideal, but I think it's better than having no
> >maximum embargo time specified.
> I generally agree with this, but it also creates the risk that reporters 
> will simply wait till the maximum time frame fits within their desired 
> reporting time.  Which of course delays the reporting of the bug to the 
> vendor/project.

That's precisely what I wrote above, and I think it's not as bad as the
original situation Florian described.  The project gets less time, but
does it need more time when it can't release a fix anyway?  The reduced
exposure - even if to people and infrastructure of the project itself -
reduces risk of leaks.

Terms like this will also serve as a reminder to the reporter that
they're indeed being selfish and would have wanted an unreasonably long
embargo.  Some, but not all, will change their mind.

> What I have seen in the past is a negotiated partial 
> disclosure where the patch is released with minimum details with the 
> line that says "Full details with be released by XXX at YYY conference." 
> That way if ego is the factor then the reporter also gets a slight 
> teaser for his/her talk. Of course one could just use the patch to get 
> the details depending on the issue.

I think "semi-public" is the worst state an issue can be in, making the
above suggestion the worst of those mentioned in this thread so far.


Powered by blists - more mailing lists

Please check out the Open Source Software Security Wiki, which is counterpart to this mailing list.

Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.