Feeds

Show us the bugs – users want full disclosure

Test case needed

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

End-users overwhelmingly support the full disclosure of security vulnerabilities, according to a recent survey by analysts Hurwitz Group, which demonstrates widespread frustration about vendor responsiveness to security issues.

Based on interviews with more than 300 software security professionals, the report shows that end users overwhelmingly support full disclosure - announcing security vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered. The end users surveyed for the report are clearly angry that vendors are releasing insecure applications, and then not responding when flaws are detected, Hurwtiz reports.

"They see full disclosure in public forums and in the press as the only way to force vendors to respond to vulnerabilities caused by poorly written and insecure code. In fact, end users overwhelmingly support full disclosure even if it means exposing security flaws within their organisation that could have a negative impact on their company," it writes.

The research also shows that most end users want the information published and many want it published immediately. A full 39 per cent of respondents said that vulnerabilities should be disclosed upon discovery, with another 28 per cent wanting disclosure within one week.

The study undermines attempts by vendors, most notably Microsoft, to create a charter for the "responsible disclosure" of information of security vulnerabilities which would restrict the release of information about bugs. According to this line of thinking, disclosure should be delayed by up 30 days to give software vendors time to patch a system.

To openly discuss exploits of software bugs is leading to "information anarchy" and undermining Internet security, according to Microsoft. Three out of four security software professionals disagree, Hurwitz finds.

The study indicates a mounting frustration with users about security problems - and the general quality - of computer software. Users may soon seek to use the law to punish software vendors for these problems, Hurwitz suggests.

In the past, end users have had limited legal options, since product liability laws currently protect software vendors, but this may soon end, Hurwitz believes.

"Companies are so angry that they are now willing to take vendors to court," said Pete Lindstrom, Director of Security Strategies at Hurwitz Group. "I think we will soon see test cases in the courts to try to develop some requirements and standards for vendors. It will be interesting to see whether those cases will be successful, and whether standards will ultimately solve the problem for end users." ®

Related Stories

Setback for security through obscurity scheme
MS 'Security Framework' is another .NET vulnerability

External Links

Who's Liable for Security Bugs? Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Full Disclosure, report by Hurwitz Group

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.