February 14, 2005

Full disclosure: for and against

How to address Internet security in an open source world is a simmering topic. Frank Hecker has documented his view of the Mozilla Full Disclosure debate that led to their current security policy. He makes the point that the parties are different: with open source there are many vendors, which complicates the notion of disclosure. Further, the bug fixers can be anyone, following the many eyeballs theory. This then devolves into the creation of a search for a policy where anyone can be an insider, Mozilla's current policy is that result; and we are very fortunate to have the story recorded.

Meanwhile, Adam points at an attempt by Microsoft to slow down open disclosure of exploits. In this case they are attacking the release of source code to exploit, Adam responds that this is perhaps more in the interests of defenders than attackers. My view: it looks less dramatic if treated as gameplay by Microsoft. The short term end goal is to get the patches out there, and Microsoft have succumbed to the easy blame opportunity to create a sense of urgency.

(Thread: Towards an Economic Analysis of Disclosure and papers listed there, additional costs, and consumer's adjusting risk profile.)

Posted by iang at February 14, 2005 06:46 AM | TrackBack
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