Irresponsible Disclosure

Friday, 28 June 2002, 1:13 AM EST

The Apache security hole reported by ISS last week ends one of the most remarkable streaks in computer security. The last major Apache security holes were reported in January 1998. Four and a half years without a serious vulnerability in so widely used an application is an incredible record, one for which the Apache team should be commended.

Unfortunately, the circumstances under which the vulnerability was reported leave a bad taste in my mouth and the mouths of many other proponents of full disclosure.

ISS emailed Apache about the bug for the first time at 9:44 a.m.on June 17th. Then they went public with it that very afternoon, according to a mailing list post by ISS's Chris Klaus. The advisory hit Bugtraq at 3:57 p.m.

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