Feeds

Spurned security researchers form anti-MS collective

There's power in a union

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated Security researchers irked by how Microsoft responded to Google engineer Tavis Ormany's public disclosure of a zero-day Windows XP Help Center security bug have banded together to form a group called the Microsoft Spurned Researcher Collective*.

The group is forming a "union" in the belief that together they will be better placed to handle flak from Redmond and elsewhere following the publication of security flaws. A statement, published by The Windows Club blog, explains the Collective's stance.

“Due to hostility toward security researchers, the most recent example being of Tavis Ormandy, a number of us from the industry (and some not from the industry) have come together to form MSRC: the Microsoft-Spurned Researcher Collective," it said. "MSRC will fully disclose vulnerability information discovered in our free time, free from retaliation against us or any inferred employer.”

Last week the researcher published a zero day flaw affecting Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The unpatched security bug creates a means for hackers to crash affected systems and stems from a security bug in the Windows kernel. Vupen Security, which published an advisory on the flaw but is not part of the collective (Contrary to early versions of this story, Vupen rates the vulnerability only as a moderate risk bug because it doesn't lend itself to remote execution.)

The debate about responsible disclosure of security vulnerabilities is as old as software development. Security researchers argue that by disclosing problems they give end-users a chance to act and put pressure to act on software developers, who might otherwise be tempted to ignore the problem. Software developers (including Oracle, Adobe and many others as well as MS) argue that disclosing vulnerabilities in the absence of a fix imperils users.

To some outside either camp the argument hinges on whether a vulnerability is been actively exploited. The length of time a vendor has had to fix a bug - a period that can sometimes run into months - is also an important factor. ®

* The name of the group is an obvious send-up of Redmond's own Microsoft Security Response Centre.

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?