RE: Vulnerabilities in some SCADA server softwares

From: Jim Harrison <>
To: Michal Zalewski <>,J. Oquendo <>
Cc: Luigi Auriemma <>, <>
Subject: RE: Vulnerabilities in some SCADA server softwares


First; while I agree with your statement regarding the overuse of car analogies, the comparison is accurate and fair in this case.  The vendor's customers are now potentially at greater risk because of this announcement that includes no mitigation.

Second; I fundamentally disagree with the idea that public disclosure as a means of vendor notification serves any purpose beyond tooting one's own horn and causing a panic state for the application vendor and users.  Anyone who honestly believes that the "bad guys" are not watching the same lists where the "good guys" are communicating is operating far too close to a famous Egyptian river.  IMHO, "public disclosure" only serves to increase the threat for the vendor's customers.

Third; it is in lists exactly like this on where opinions on security matters and behaviors may be aired (to a degree; that's what moderators and common sense are for).  While it's true that a person will act as he sees fit, you may also reasonably expect that differing opinions on that behavior will be expressed when the opinions are as polarized as in the responsible vs. public disclosure debate.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michal Zalewski [] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:24 PM
To: J. Oquendo
Cc: Luigi Auriemma;
Subject: Re: Vulnerabilities in some SCADA server softwares

> Analogy: Car owner has his car speed up ending up in almost near 
> catastrophe. Car owner goes to media outlets condemning the
> manufacturer: "How could you be so reckless! Thousand of lives..."
> Reality: Car manufacturer was never made aware of the issue. How do 
> you propose a manufacturer fix an issue?

Yes, the discussion definitely needed a car analogy...

The author decided to follow a particular route, probably not out of malice, but because he believes that his responsibilities to inform the public outweigh the responsibility to assist the vendor. You wouldn't do the same, but you haven't discovered these bugs.

Unless your view is that you would rather not know about about security problems at all, than see a disclosure mode you do not agree with, I do not think it's fair to lash out against the reporter; and it's not particularly fitting to do so on BUGTRAQ.


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