Re: [VulnWatch] Details of Sybase ASE bugs withheld

From: Simple Nomad (thegnome@private)
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 07:03:21 PST

On Tuesday 22 March 2005 14:53, Marchand, Tom wrote:
> And what happens when the vendor won't  indemnify the researchers?  No more
> security bulletins?  Wouldn't the vendors love that.  Or would security
> researchers become outlaws?

It gets worse if you consider that the researcher may be researching a COTS 
product on behalf of a client who wants the software evaluated before it is 
implemented/purchased. Now where does the EULA lie? Company X bought the 
software, but pays me to evaluate it in a cubicle on Company X's property. 
Does the EULA apply to me? What if Company X already installed it on a 
computer, and *they* clicked "I Agree" during the license question and I am 
just there to rip things apart bit by bit?

This is why EULAs don't work in this context.

Additionally, myself and/or NMRC has been threatened with legal action from 
several companies or have done "legalish" things to try to scare us ("please 
GPG sign NMRC's disclosure policy with *your personal* GPG key and email it 
to us before releasing your advisory we don't want published"). My experience 
through my employer BindView also leads me to believe that given the chance 
any and all vendors will do anything to prevent public disclosure of bugs.

IMO, several large vendors are waiting for one of the smaller companies to 
risk the bad publicity of going after a security researcher (criminal, civil, 
or both) so a precedence has been set. Assuming the courts decide in favor of 
the company instead of the researcher, security research as we know it will 
end as all the vendors come after us like biblical locust swarms, and we will 
go back underground, old school style.

# Simple Nomad  --  thegnome@private                #
# C1B1 E749 25DF 867C 36D4  1E14 247A A4BD 6838 F11D #
#                     #

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Wed Mar 23 2005 - 08:14:37 PST