Security holes: patch and pray?

Wednesday, 9 April 2003, 6:29 PM EST

IT pros know firsthand the pain of patching vulnerable software (especially that which comes out of Redmond). With bulletins coming as frequently as once every five days or up to 80 times a year (depending on the study), they may feel as if they're drowning in a sea of notifications.

And if you think it's any better with open source, think again. Experts say open-source patches are especially difficult to track, since there's no single point of contact for enterprise customers to find code—or even sign up for critical e-mail alerts.

A study by security consulting firm RTFM showed that more than three weeks after the OpenSSL vulnerability was discovered, more than 60 percent of servers probed still weren't patched. Three weeks after the Slapper worm wreaked its havoc, the percentage of unpatched servers was about the same.

[ Read more ]




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