Legal threat stops flaw info release

Legal threat stops flaw info release

By Jaikumar Vijayan
MARCH 25, 2005
COMPUTERWORLD

A threat by Sybase Inc. to sue a U.K.-based security research firm if it publicly discloses the details of eight holes it found in Sybase’s database software last year is evoking sharp criticism from some IT managers but sympathetic comments from others.

Blocking the release of vulnerability information “would set a bad precedent” for the software industry, said Tim Powers, senior network administrator at Southwire Co., a Carrollton, Ga.-based maker of electrical wires and cables.

Responsible disclosure of software flaws by vulnerability researchers has “significantly improved” the security of products, Powers said. “Preventing disclosure through the threat of legal action can only hurt security,” he said.

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