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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamil...@acm.org>
Subject RE: [DISCUSS] Creation of ooo-security List
Date Wed, 06 Jul 2011 22:35:46 GMT
Well, vulnerabilities are vulnerabilities and if there is an exposure in current code or in
documents produced in current code, isn't that a concern for us now?  Why would it not be?

Also, I don't presume that everyone is downstream from us (as opposed to the OpenOffice.org
that once was).

I think of LibreOffice as a mutual stakeholder because it seems they have a security team
too and like it or not, they are cranking out releases very quickly and may be able to provide
mitigations, hypothetically, months before we ever get a release of ours out the door.  

Also, some security issues may require a jointly-agreed response so that we attend to interoperability
concerns, especially if mitigation involves breaking changes or even introduction of allowed
extensions (in the context of the ODF specifications).  Anything that fits into a discretionary
area requiring producer-consumer agreement to work needs a community to unfold it.

I don't know about the details of having that work.  I do know if I uncover a problem, I am
going to communicate it to every security-conscious entity I can.

To make this conversation concrete: I have security issues I want to raise, which is what
had me looking into this in the first place.  I would like to do this in a manner that is
in keeping with concerns for dealing with security matters privately to ensure that there
is competent review and no danger attached to premature disclosure.  (I suspect not, because
the vulnerabilities I am aware of exist in plain sight, but I want the counsel of someone
having more security experience than I before saying, "Heck, I need something for today's
blog post, why not stir things up with this?")


 - Dennis 

-----Original Message-----
From: rabastus@gmail.com [mailto:rabastus@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Rob Weir
Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 14:40
To: ooo-dev@incubator.apache.org
Subject: Re: [DISCUSS] Creation of ooo-security List

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton <orcmid@apache.org> wrote:
> [I am reminded that the best way to talk to the PPMC is on ooo-dev and there is benefit
in so doing.  Here goes.]
>
> PROPOSAL
>
> ooo-security@incubator.a.o be set up as a private list and a selection of not more than
10 security-aware PPMC members be subscribed to it.  We need to work out what the composition
would be.  The list will be automatically forward to security@a.o.  I assume that there might
be security-aware ooo-podling mentors and other ASF Members included in the small PPMC subscription.
>
> DETAILS
>
> General information about the Apache Security Team:
> <http://www.apache.org/security/>
>
> More details on the handling of security and vulnerabilities by committers and the role
of the [P]PMC:
> <http://www.apache.org/security/committers.html>
>
> Note that creation of a security page on our web site is also part of this.  That should
happen near-immediately also.
>

The website already has a "Security" link on the navigation panel, at
the bottom.  This takes you to the main Apache security page where the
reporter is instructed on how to submit reports.  According to that
page, security reports are routed to the PMC in case we do not have a
dedicated security list.  So I don't see the urgency on creating a new
list or a new web page, especially since we don't even have code in
the repository, let alone a release, and since there already is a
security list and contact address at OOo.  I think that the existing
procedures, in place at Apache, are adequate if someone wanted to
report a problem

The idea of having the discussion in private, on the PMC private list
or on a private security list, is a  good idea, so that any
vulnerability reported would not be immediately exploited by script
kiddies.  Or at least the chances of that would be diminished.  But I
don't think that any of the PPMC members are malicious hackers likely
to abuse any security sensitive information shared on the PPMC list.
Of course, only a subset of the members have security expertise.


> BACKGROUND
>
> I have been nosing around in document-related security areas and that has led me to inquire
what the arrangements need to be for discussing security issues, identified vulnerabilities,
proposed mitigations, etc.
>
> I've learned that the Apache approach is for each PMC taking the lead in handling security
matters related to its releases.  To maintain the security of security matters, the practice
is to have a private list (for us, ooo-security) with not more than ten security-aware subscribers.
>
> Since we may have "common-mode" issues with respect to the use of our common code base
and implementation behaviors, it may be necessary to coordinate with other teams, including
the LibreOffice security team, in our case.  We'll have to work that out on an individual-case
basis, I suspect.  I don't know if we have any PPMC members who are also on that team, and
I don't know what the structure was for OpenOffice.org and who may have been involved.
>

I'd object to us officially sharing advance security-related
information with some downstream consumers of OOo while not doing the
same with others.

>  - Dennis
>
>


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