BugTraq
Publishing exploit code - what is it good for Jun 30 2005 12:13PM
Aviram Jenik (aviram beyondsecurity com) (2 replies)
Re: [Full-disclosure] Publishing exploit code - what is it good for Jun 30 2005 12:40PM
Joachim Schipper (j schipper math uu nl)
Aviram Jenik wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I recently had a discussion about the concept of full disclosure with one of
> the top security analysts in a well-known analyst firm. Their claim was that
> companies that release exploit code (like us, but this is also relevant for
> bugtraq, full disclosure, and several security research firms) put users at
> risks while those at risk gain nothing from the release of the exploit.
>
> I tried the regular 'full disclosure advocacy' bit, but the analyst remained
> reluctant. Their claim was that based on their own work experience, a
> security administrator does not have a need for the exploit code itself, and
> the vendor information is enough. The analyst was willing to reconsider their
> position if an end-user came forward and talked to them about their own
> benefit of public exploit codes. Quote: " If I speak to an end-user
> organization and they express legitimate needs for exploit code, then I'll
> change my opinion."

> What I need is a security administrator, CSO, IT manager or sys admin that can
> explain why they find public exploits are good for THEIR organizations. Maybe
> we can start changing public opinion with regards to full disclosure, and
> hopefully start with this opinion leader.
>
> TIA.

How about anyone who ever hired a pen tester? It's quite impossible to
have a comprehensive suite of tools without some collaboration, and just
noting that the vulnerability may exist is not enough in many cases.

Blackhats may get along with only a handful of exploits, if they're
willing to try to find targets to match their collection, but a
pentester should have the collection to match the target.

This is doubly true if we're not talking about a dedicated pentester,
but about a sysadmin with a networking/security background who likes to
verify that the patches did, indeed, work.

Lastly, I know *I* subscribe to a mailinglist that announces new
exploits - it gives me a good indication of how long a typical hacker
takes to code an exploit once the vulnerability is released, plus it
indicates when patching is past due.

I'm afraid we're not quite impressive enough, but finding some who are
should not be too difficult.

Also, exploits will be distributed, publicly or otherwise - doing it in
the open means we know what happens when.

Joachim

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