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RIP Full Disclosure: Security world reacts to key mailing list's death

'I realised that I'm done' sighs co-admin of vulnerability clearing house

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Welcome to the world of no disclosure – more reactions

"Vendors in the earlier stages of The 5 Stages of Vuln Response Grief won't get why the loss of Full Disclosure is a loss to us all," Katie Moussouris, security strategist and self-described mother of the Microsoft Bounty Program said on Twitter, referring to her RSA 2013 talk on how companies deal with security bug reports (see video below).

"Full Disclosure mailing list shutdown makes me sad. I remember starting Symantec Vuln Research and posting our advisories there and BugTraq."

Other security researchers reckon the shutdown will only have a minimal impact on the way vulnerabilities are shared.

Jon French, security analyst at AppRiver, said: "Places that disclose security vulnerabilities are all over the internet. The big difference between many of these sites is the user base. A user base of hackers and nefarious users will likely have a much different public image and draw more scrutiny than one of security professionals.

"In this case, Full Disclosure has made the decision that the user base is to a point they no longer think is viable and the legal issues are no longer worth the trouble."

"It doesn’t sound like it was closed for fear of legal interventions, but rather that he’s just tired of dealing with the attempts of legal intervention. It’s hard to judge the decision to close down as being a right one or not since we don’t know the details. While this is a blow to websites that try to be open and free, I don’t think it will have too much of an impact on the way vulnerabilities are shared," French added.

Tom Cross, director of security research for Lancope, commented: "Having a forum where vulnerability details are disclosed helps ensure that everyone is aware of that information as soon as it emerges. The loss of this forum may result in more chaotic disclosures which will make remediating these issues more challenging. Hopefully an alternative forum will emerge."

Some are already beginning to think of ways to fill the gap left by Full Disclosure.

Chris Wysopal, co-founder and chief technology officer at code review firm Veracode, said: "Full disclosure can easily still be done with a tweet with ‪#fulldisclosure‬ and a link to Pastebin or other text hosting site."

More reflection on they sad demise of Full Disclosure can be found in a blog post by security blogger Javvad Malik here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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