Gentoo Archives: gentoo-security

From: Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
To: gentoo-security@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-security] No GLSA since January?!?
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2011 12:14:35
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-security] No GLSA since January?!? by Christian Kauhaus
1 On Sat, Aug 27, 2011 at 4:49 AM, Christian Kauhaus <kc@××××××.com> wrote:
2 > So in consequence I would appreciate to have both mechanisms: a timely
3 > up-front notification via GLSAs (probably more brief than the past ones) and
4 > some sort of security masking.
6 The current GLSA mechanism already provides both of these. There are
7 the email notifications, and there is an xml file that provides the
8 masking information (which the glsa-checker tool and some package
9 managers use).
11 From what I've seen (from a distance), the problem seems to be that
12 both of these are created using a software tool which is apparently
13 very cumbersome to use. However, both are just text files.
15 Part of me wonders if a workflow like this would help solve the problem:
17 1. Some contributor posts a GLSA email and xml file to a security
18 bug. This could be anybody. The content would be trimmed down a bit
19 - perhaps just a CVE reference, and then the information on vulnerable
20 and non-vulnerable versions.
22 2. Somebody on staff with commit access to the xml tree and the
23 mailing list would review and send out the advisory, and mark this as
24 done in the bug.
26 I also wonder if there would be in value in sending out the notice
27 after the fixed version is in the tree but before it is stable. Right
28 now advisories wait until the last security-supported arch stabilizes
29 the package. I would think that earlier notice would be useful - even
30 if sysadmins want to wait for a package to become stable they'll know
31 something is coming, and the delay on the major arches tends to be
32 hours to days. Plus, if somebody can't wait they can test/install on
33 their own, and perhaps even post feedback on the bug.
35 Obviously notices would have to wait until after any blackout period ends.
37 Note that I'm basically advocating ditching the tool. A tool is good
38 when it improves productivity. However, right now it appears that the
39 tool is keeping people from contributing who want to contribute.
40 Certainly things couldn't get worse without the tool. If a user just
41 edits an xml template and email template and posts it on the bug, then
42 very little work should be required to review the files before posting
43 them. Contributors wouldn't need any special access either - freeing
44 up devs to provide more of a QA role.
46 Ditching the tool would also simplify fixes to GLSAs. I haven't run
47 it in a while, but took glsa-checker out of my cron ages ago when it
48 would just report packages with vulnerabilities that had none. I did
49 log bugs, but apparently adding one line to the xml files requires as
50 much pain as sending out the original notice.
52 Bottom line, however, is I don't think that we can't consider
53 ourselves as a serious distro if we don't provide timely security
54 advisories.
56 All that said, I would say that from what I've seen in bugzilla, if
57 you're on x86 or amd64 and running an updated stable tree, you
58 shouldn't have longstanding security vulnerabilities. A new security
59 bug pops up almost weekly, and packages are updated fairly quickly on
60 those arches. The problem is just that we never tell anybody that
61 we're doing it.
63 Rich


Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-security] No GLSA since January?!? Tobias Heinlein <keytoaster@g.o>