How the Apache worm could have been prevented

Thursday, 4 July 2002, 2:07 AM EST

One of the most contentious issues in the security community today is how and when those who discover vulnerabilities communicate their knowledge to both the companies that make the products and the public. Usually, it's considered appropriate to notify the vendor first, so it has time to come up with a fix before the public--which includes malicious users--knows about the security hole.

But how much time is appropriate? And should the process be sped up when several security experts--and perhaps some malicious users--already know an exploit exists?

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