Why Is Free Vuln Disclosure so Damn Difficult?
Xyberpix described how difficult it is to disclose vulnerabilities to ZDI and iDefense. But even after you sold it, the process is just beginning. Sure, the researcher gets paid and he is free to resume his work, but the work us, the vulnerability coordinator, just begins.
We recently received 2 disclosures to our SecuriTeam Secure Disclosure program for Sonicwall and google vulnerabilities. We received sponsors for both vulnerabilities which means there is a commercial organization out there that was willing to pay the researcher for their efforts. That part ended well for the researchers.
Now both organizations want the vendors to patch up. Sounds easy, right? We are giving Sonicwall and google free information about security holes in their products, and want nothing in return except for them to fix it.
Well, it’s damn difficult.
Google is always difficult when it comes to security. When I reported an information disclosure vulnerability in google calendar they ignored me, then sent their PR person to say “it’s a feature”, then silently fixed it claiming it was never there. Dealing with google on security issues is like talking to a girl that speaks a foreign language. But more on that later – lets start with Sonicwall.
Wouldn’t you be expect security vendors to be more aware of security problems in their products? Well, for the last few weeks we’ve tried to bang every door, calling in personal favors to tell Sonicwall (for free, let me remind you) about a security hole in their product.
Why bang every door? Because they won’t talk to us since “we’re not Sonicwall customers”. We can’t open a support ticket and they won’t give “us” support. security@sonicwall? yeah, right. Even good friends couldn’t help. The system will not accept a report from non-customers.
I guess our only course of action is to pay Sonicwall money to let them know about their vulnerabilities. I wonder if that’s Sonicwall’s long term strategy for profit? BTW, if you work for Sonicwall and can help, please contact me – but keep in mind paying Sonicwall for telling them about their own security issues is not a part of our plan.
But why am I boring you with the broad strokes, go read the discussion:
http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=46795. Nothing we haven’t seen with previous google security bug handling, just ask this guy.
Yes, it is 2010, and we are still talking about Vulnerability Disclosure to vendors. I guess next we’ll be arguing if heap overflows are exploitable.
Update: We were contacted by Sonicwall and the bug will be looked at. Hopefully security@sonicwall will start accepting submissions from non-customers.