Adam Penenberg wrote an article titled “The Black Market Code Industry” for FastCompany in which he details his research of two HP employees that actively sold exploit code in their spare time, at least one selling exploits in HP’s own software. According to the article, HP knew about one of the employees at the time of the article and were investigating. While a neat article and fun read, it left me with a lot more questions that I hope get answered at some point (how about a ‘Part 2’ Adam?).
- Does Rigano still work for HP now that the article has been out a week?
- Did either individual have access to source code to make their exploit writing easier? If so, did they have access to edit source code in any capacity (e.g. backdoors, adding vulnerable code)?
- Did Rigano actually sell his exploits? If so, to who and for how much? Checking the Full-Disclosure list archives, he appears to have had exploits for IIS 6.0, Firefox 2.x, MSIE 7, SAP, Apache, Microsoft Office and more.
- If Rigano did sell vulnerabilities, did he vette his buyers or could he have sold them to ‘enemy’ nations or hostile countries (relative I know)?
- Why is the FBI investigating a France based employee of HP?
- Is t0t0 a current employee of HP? If not, did he leave for his exploit selling activities? The article suggests that HP is aware of one of the two sellers. What do they have to say about this article now?
Really IBM, the amount of information common to all three pages is overwhelming. Do you really need a new APAR number issued for component name or level? Can’t you just list them all in one APAR and save us time? More importantly, do we need three APAR entries that say “a security issue has been fixed” and make us dig up the information?
Steven Christey of CVE recently commented on the fact that Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Sun and HP all released multi-issue advisories on the same day (Feb 13). My first reaction was to come up with an amusing graphic depicting this perfect storm. Due to not having any graphic editing skills and too much cynicism, I now wonder if these are the same vendors that continually bitch about irresponsible disclosure and it “hurting their customers”?
These same customers are now being subjected to patches for at least five major vendors on the same day. In some IT shops, this is devastating and difficult to manage and recover from. If a single patch has problems it forces the entire upgrade schedule to come to a halt until the problem can be resolved. If these vendors cared for their customers like they pretend to when someone releases a critical issue w/o vendor coordination, then they would consider staggering the patches to help alleviate the burden it causes on their beloved customers.
In the context of advisories, it’s simple, to help track documents and avoid confusion. Much the same reason a vulnerability database assigns a unique number to an issue. If there is confusion when discussing a vulnerability, you reference the unique ID and ideally, confusion goes away. That said, why does Hewlett-Packard feel the need to assign multiple tracking IDs to a single document/advisory?
HP-UX running WBEM Services Denial of Service (DoS) http://archives.neohapsis.com/archives/bugtraq/2005-12/0231.html
So this is “SSRT051026 rev. 1”, “Document ID: c00582373”, and HPSBMA02088. Three drastically different tracking numbers for the same document. Fortunately, all three were referenced in the same place this time, but still.. why must vendors do this?