Feeds

Security vuln auction site pulls in research

Alternative market attracts 150 listings

Security for virtualized datacentres

A controversial marketplace for security exploits and vulnerabilities said it has exceeded expectations with the submission of more than 150 vulnerabilities in its first two months of operations.

WabiSabiLabi encourages security researchers to sell their findings to vetted buyers. Herman Zampariolo, chief exec of WSLabi which runs the WabiSabiLabi marketplace, said that the quality of the submitted vulnerabilities is as important as their quantity.

Vulnerabilities on the marketplace have had selling prices ranging between 100 to 15,000 euros each. So far 1,000 sellers (researchers) have registered on the site.

The types of vulnerabilities that have made it on to the marketplace include 51 bugs in Windows, 19 flaws in Linux, 29 web application vulnerabilities and two Mac-related flaws. Bugs in enterprise apps have also made an appearance with 10 flaws in enterprise software from SAP and one IBM-related vulnerability. Not all vulnerabilities submitted make it onto the marketplace. So far, WabiSabiLabi has rejected 40 for reasons including the use of "illegal methodology", such as reverse engineering on protected software. Only previously unpublished vulnerabilities are eligible for auction by WabiSabiLabi. In addition the Swiss firm does not accept vulnerabilities that apply to bespoke software.

WSLabi verifies the vulnerability research submitted to it before offering it for sale online. The firm advises researchers how best to auction their research on its site. Only two-thirds of submitted vulnerabilities have successfully passed through its vetting process, WSLabi reports.

"The number of vulnerabilities on the marketplace proves that WSLabi is providing an alternative legal outlet for vulnerabilities, it is diverting research from being used for illegal purposes and generating regular and legitimate revenue for researchers," said security researcher and defacement archive Zone-h co-founder Roberto Preatoni.

The launch of WSLabi marketplace marks a further evolution in the increasing complex market for security research and vulnerability information.

Some security firms try to get an edge over their rivals by paying independent security researchers for bugs they find, defences against which are added to their security products and notification services, thereby boosting their appeal. The approach was first widely applied by iDefense, but has since been taken up by other firms including Immunity and 3Com's TippingPoint division. Payments vary but tend to max out at around $10,000. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
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
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.