Feeds

Show us the bugs – users want full disclosure

Test case needed

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.