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From: tim-security at sentinelchicken.org (Tim)
Subject: Vulnerability response times -- MS and others

> Now... what about the following? I cannot read the Forrester report --
> I am not a client, and I do not wish to spend $899 on it... so I
> cannot discuss the metrics used, nor how Forrester determined what was
> a "vulnerability disclosure".
> 
> Given the fact that a lot of the MS security fixes were privately
> disclosed to MS (and public announcement was withheld until MS put out
> a fix), this *may* have played a role.
> 
> Anyways... the report seems to indicate that Microsoft is the fastest
> on solving security issues.
> 
> Comments?

There is a huge mis-conception among some in the security community that
"public announcement" means a whole lot.  When it comes to protecting
your network from malicious individuals (not the 4th rate viruses we are
currently seeing), the most important event is when the vulnerability
was first discovered.  That is also the hardest date to pin down, but it
is critical that from the time the vulnerability was discovered (not
publicly disclosed) to the time a patch is released is small.  Microsoft
lags tremendously on this 
(see http://www.eeye.com/html/Research/Upcoming/index.html for examples).

Any research that doesn't at least attempt to estimate the discovery
date is not worth the paper it is printed on, imho.  Of course I haven't
read this report, but that's my take on the topic generally.

tim


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