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From Eike Rathke <...@erack.de>
Subject Re: Population of ooo-security
Date Sat, 30 Jul 2011 18:14:00 GMT
Hi Rob,

On Friday, 2011-07-29 10:03:54 -0400, Rob Weir wrote:

> That suggests an interesting approach:
> 
> 1) When a vulnerability report first comes in, it is reviewed by a
> very small circle of people.  So just the PMC members on ooo-security
> and security.a.o.  They do the initial screening and determine next
> steps.
> 
> 2) Additional 3rd party experts are brought in as needed, depending on
> the nature of the issue.  This might include experts from related open
> source projects, but at this point they are contacted for their
> expertise and assistance.  This stage this is not intended to be a
> pre-notification.
> 
> 3) Once a patch is developed, the project needs to decide the next
> step. Do we publish immediately?  Or do we share the patch with a
> pre-notification list first?  The decision will need to be made on a
> case-by-case basis, balancing the risks.  If a zero-day exploit is
> already in the wild, then that would suggest we publish the patch
> immediately.  But if there is no known exploit then there would be
> little harm from having a pre-notification, so long as we "embargo"
> the technical details from public disclosure until a pre-defined
> future date.   If, for one reason or another, the information is
> inadvertently publicly disclosed, then we would go ahead with the CVE,
> patch public disclosure immediately.  You assume that once the
> information is public that the black hats have it as well.
> 
> 4) Go ahead with the public disclosure and CVE and patch publication.

Regarding Apache OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, Symphony, RedOffice,
NeoOffice, BrOffice, EuroOffice, etc. as siblings that share similar
code in their genes from the ancestor OpenOffice.org, this approach has
a shortcoming in collaboration.

Given that usually users / developers / security experts report
a problem to _their_ project's security team, this setup would mean
a one-way communication if that project decided to inform AOOo, actually
being a pre-notification in that direction. What is that project
expected to do from that point on? Wait until AOOo publishes the
disclosure and fix? I think the project would develop its own fix and,
hopefully, share it with AOOo (which would involve a CLA or a permissive
license or a grant) and also with other siblings.

Now if siblings develop fixes independently because AOOo security runs
as a strict Apache closed coterie, we may get into the situation where
fixes are developed in parallel, maybe with different solutions or even
contradictory. I think the best would be if efforts would be bundled
instead and the best of all possible solutions shared as
pre-notification with siblings.

The problem here seems to be the perceived requirement that the Apache
governance would allow only PMC members on a project's security list.
However, I didn't see that requirement, or it's not available somewhere
under http://apache.org/security/

Additionally http://apache.org/security/committers.html states that

| Information may be shared with domain experts (eg colleagues at your
| employer) at the discretion of the project's security team providing
| that it is made clear that the information is not for public disclosure
| and that security@apache.org or the project's security mailing list must
| be copied on any communication regarding the vulnerability.

This IMHO allows also to have selected members of sibling projects as
domain experts on the security list, if I interpret "at the discretion
of the project's security team" correctly.

  Eike

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