Monthly Archives: January, 2010

January Update: OSVDB Winter 2010 Fundraising Goal

Well, it’s been almost a month since we issued our original challenge for the “OSVDB Winter 2010 Fundraising Goal”. As mentioned in our initial post, we’re pretty transparent about how much work we do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Thanks to Twitter, pico, and my /home/lyger/wtf-ever folder, we present January’s results:

2010-01-01: 23 vulns pushed, 56 vulns updated
2010-01-02: 21 vulns pushed, 194 vulns updated
2010-01-03: 11 vulns pushed, 143 vulns updated
2010-01-04: 25 vulns pushed, 104 vulns updated
2010-01-05: 50 vulns pushed, 184 vulns updated
2010-01-06: 13 vulns pushed, 94 vulns updated
2010-01-07: 15 vulns pushed, 78 vulns updated
2010-01-08: 33 vulns pushed, 162 vulns updated
2010-01-09: 1 vulns pushed, 127 vulns updated
2010-01-10: 17 vulns pushed, 208 vulns updated
2010-01-11: 30 vulns pushed, 325 vulns updated
2010-01-12: 32 vulns pushed, 385 vulns updated
2010-01-13: 21 vulns pushed, 119 vulns updated
2010-01-14: 18 vulns pushed, 79 vulns updated
2010-01-15: 26 vulns pushed, 199 vulns updated
2010-01-16: 65 vulns pushed, 102 vulns updated
2010-01-17: 15 vulns pushed, 75 vulns updated
2010-01-18: 21 vulns pushed, 130 vulns updated
2010-01-19: 20 vulns pushed, 48 vulns updated
2010-01-20: 22 vulns pushed, 142 vulns updated
2010-01-21: 18 vulns pushed, 83 vulns updated
2010-01-22: 16 vulns pushed, 86 vulns updated
2010-01-23: 16 vulns pushed, 27 vulns updated
2010-01-24: 6 vulns pushed, 30 vulns updated
2010-01-25: 25 vulns pushed, 114 vulns updated
2010-01-26: 8 vulns pushed, 70 vulns updated
2010-01-27: 16 vulns pushed, 90 vulns updated
2010-01-28: 26 vulns pushed, 87 vulns updated
2010-01-29: 20 vulns pushed, 28 vulns updated
2010-01-30: 14 vulns pushed, 52 vulns updated
2010-01-31: 11 vulns pushed, 40 vulns updated

As of early morning February 1, we have pushed 655 new vulnerabilities into the database since the beginning of 2010. Please take a moment to look at the dates listed above; if you find a day missing from January, please let us know. Yes, we laid off on the 9th (Jericho made the save with OSVDB 61571 : EcShop /admin/integrate.php Multiple Parameter Arbitrary Command Execution), but the honest fact is that we generally work on OSVDB *every day* in some form. Some days are slower than others, sure… we still have families, friends, and other hobbies (believe it or not). Actually, the number of OSVDB moderators who own a Wii with the Fit Plus package is scary, but I digress.

So, about the challenge we presented… I’m still willing to put up $0.50 HARD U.S. DOLLARS for every new vulnerability we push from January 1, 2010 through April 1, 2010. I pushed it through April 1 and not just March 31 because a) April 1 is a much cooler day to end a contest, 2) February 29 is a special day and should never be left out of any year, so an extra day was warranted, and d) that’s the period that Dave set up the end of the fundraising goal for, and we try to keep him happy so things don’t randomly 500 when we do something like enter weird support tickets..

Any company or person who still wants to match my offer, please feel free to do so. Even though we’re only at about 2/3 of our usual push rate, we’re not intentionally laying back to keep the new vulnerability count lower. Coming off a holiday season takes time to get back in the groove, not only for us but our reference providers as well. Please mail us at our moderators@ address if you want to contribute.

- Lyger

Microsoft, Aurora and Something About Forest and Trees?

Perhaps it is the fine tequila this evening, but I really don’t get how our industry can latch on to the recent ‘Aurora’ incident and try to take Microsoft to task about it. The amount of news on this has been overwhelming, and I will try to very roughly summarize:

Now, here is where we get to the whole forest, trees and some analogy about eyesight. Oh, I’ll warn (and surprise) you in advance, I am giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt here (well, for half the blog post) and throwing this back at journalists and the security community instead. Let’s look at this from a different angle.

The big issue that is newsworthy is that Microsoft knew of this vulnerability in September, and didn’t issue a patch until late January. What is not clear, is if Microsoft knew it was being exploited. The wording of the Wired article doesn’t make it clear: “aware months ago of a critical security vulnerability well before hackers exploited it to breach Google, Adobe and other large U.S. companies” and “Microsoft confirmed it learned of the so-called ‘zero-day’ flaw months ago”. Errr, nice wording. Microsoft was aware of the vulnerability (technically), before hackers exploited it, but doesn’t specifically say if they KNEW hackers were exploiting it. Microsoft learned of the “0-day” months ago? No, bad bad bad. This is taking an over-abused term and making it even worse. If a vulnerability is found and reported to the vendor before it is exploited, is it still 0-day (tree, forest, no one there to hear it falling)?

Short of Microsoft admitting they knew it was being exploited, we can only speculate. So, for fun, let’s give them a pass on that one and assume it was like any other privately disclosed bug. They were working it like any other issue, fixing, patching, regression testing, etc. Good Microsoft!

Bad Microsoft! But, before you jump on the bandwagon, bad journalists! Bad security community!

Why do you care they sat on this one vulnerability for six months? Why is that such a big deal? Am I the only one who missed the articles pointing out that they actually sat on five code execution bugs for longer? Where was the outpour of blogs or news articles mentioning that “aurora” was one of six vulnerabilities reported to them during or before September, all in MSIE, all that allowed remote code execution (tree, forest, not seeing one for the other)?

CVE Reported to MS Disclosed Time to Patch
CVE-2010-0244 2009-07-14 2010-01-21 6 Months, 7 Days (191 days)
CVE-2010-0245 2009-07-14 2010-01-21 6 Months, 7 Days (191 days)
CVE-2010-0246 2009-07-16 2010-01-21 6 Months, 5 Days (189 days)
CVE-2010-0248 2009-08-14 2010-01-21 5 Months, 7 days (160 days)
CVE-2010-0247 2009-09-03 2010-01-21 4 Months, 18 days (140 days)
CVE-2010-0249 2009-09-?? 2010-01-14 4 Months, 11 days (133 days) – approx
CVE-2010-0027 2009-11-15 2010-01-21 2 Months, 6 days (67 days)
CVE-2009-4074 2009-11-20 2009-11-21 2 Months, 1 day (62 days)

Remind me again, why the “Aurora” conspiracy is noteworthy? If Microsoft knew of six remote code execution bugs, all from the September time-frame, why is one any more severe than the other? Is it because one was used to compromise hosts, detected and published in an extremely abnormal fashion? Are we actually trying to hold Microsoft accountable on that single vulnerability when the five others just happened not to be used to compromise Google, Adobe and others?

Going back to the Wired article, they say on the second to last paragraph: “On Thursday, meanwhile, Microsoft released a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer that fixes the flaw, as well as seven other security vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to remotely execute code on a victim’s computer.” Really, Wired? That late in the article, you gloss over “seven other vulnerabilities” that would allow remote code execution? And worse, you don’t point out that Microsoft was informed of five of them BEFORE AURORA?

Seriously, I am the first one to hold Microsoft over the flames for bad practices, but that goes beyond my boundaries. If you are going to take them to task over all this, at least do it right. SIX CODE EXECUTION VULNERABILITIES that they KNEW ABOUT FOR SIX MONTHS. Beating them up over just one is amateur hour in this curmudgeonly world.

Challenge: OSVDB Winter 2010 Fundraising Goal

OSVDB has just announced its Winter 2010 Fundraising Goal, which currently hopes to raise $9,000 before April 1, 2010. Looking back over the last couple of years of advances in the project, it’s easy to see not only how the project has evolved, but also how operational costs have increased to cover software development, content development, server hosting costs, and other assorted expenses to help keep OSVDB interesting, timely, and functional.

On an average, OSVDB has promoted 10,000 to 12,000 vulnerabilites per year for the last the last few years. Breaking that down to about 1,000 per month, the vulnerabilities in the database are gathered from a variety of sources, such as CVE, Secunia and various vendor changelogs and advisories. Keeping up a pace of about 1,000 newly listed vulerabilities per month hasn’t always been easy… but it’s about to get interesting.

I recently resigned my position as Chief Communications Officer with Open Security Foundation to focus more on the “content” aspect of OSVDB and DataLossDB. The extra time gained from giving up administrative duties will hopefully help the sites keep content fresh and accurate. Jericho, CJI, and I are going to keep working on new vulnerabilities as we can and keep the ball rolling.

With that said, I’m issuing a challenge: For every new vulnerability issued an OSVDB ID from January 1, 2010 through April 1, 2010, I will donate $0.50 (fiddy cents) of my own money to the OSVDB fundraiser. I challenge anyone who feels that OSVDB is a valuable resource to the security community to match my donation.

To make a few points clear:

  1. I am no longer an OSF officer. My donation comes out of my own pocket, not the OSF coffers, and I will accept no compensation from OSF for this offer. If I have to sell a kidney, I hear you only need one anyway.
  2. Since Jericho, CJI, and I are the ones who generally push new vulnerabilities to “live” status, there will be no slacking to save my bank account. If anything, I’ll be more motivated to push the potential donations higher and they’ll be motivated to watch me suffer on April 2. That’s how we roll.
  3. At an average of 1,000 vulnerabilities a month, over three months I expect to donate $1,500. It may be less, it may be more. There will be a maximum cap of $2,500 donated by myself and anyone who matches it. If we can push 5,000 vulns in three months, something is either very wrong or very great. YMMV.
  4. If five other people and/or groups take me up on the challenge and we meet our average, OSF will meet its goal. We still hope everyone else will contribute not only time but *effort* to help the project.
  5. This is not a gimmick. It’s not smoke and mirrors. You can see what OSVDB pushes on a daily basis on our Twitter page and on our contributors page. We will push all legitimate vulnerabilities just as we have been doing for years. If we’re slow for a few days, don’t worry. We’ll catch up.

So, that’s the challenge. If anyone wants to play and match my offer, please contact us at moderators[at]osvdb.org. I’m going back to work now.

- Lyger

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