Vendors face hostility over security reporting

Tuesday, 24 June 2003, 5:23 PM EST

Industry plans to change the way third parties report security vulnerabilities in software systems will probably be ignored say experts.

The Organisation for Internet Safety (OIS), set up in September 2002 and backed by Microsoft amongst others, had earlier this month announced a ‘best practice’ draft for making public security vulnerabilities found in software – including major operating systems such as Windows.

The date for final comment on the draft was set for July 7th.

Now it looks as if the security community – especially information providers issuing real-time security alerts – will simply ignore the initiative, leaving Microsoft and other OSI members facing an uphill battle to gain support.

The OSI initiative has so far failed to convince researchers that reporting security holes to vendors before putting them in the public domain was in the interests of anyone other than vendors themselves.

“They should not try to dictate,” said Thomas Kristensen, CTO for Danish security advisory company Secunia. “If Microsoft [and others] is successful, it might be difficult to get to this information.”

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