Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Apr 2009 09:54 UTC
Bugs & Viruses Whenever the Conficker worm comes up here on OSNews (or any other site for that matter) there are always a number of people who point their fingers towards Redmond, stating that it's their fault Conifcker got out. While Microsoft has had some pretty lax responses to security threats in the past, it handled the whole Conficker thing perfectly, releasing a patch even before Conficker existed, and pushing it through Windows Update. In any case, this made me wonder about Linux distributions and security. What if a big security hole pops up in a Linux distribution - who will the Redmond-finger-pointing people hold responsible?
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RE: Bug fixes
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 15th Apr 2009 17:10 UTC in reply to "Bug fixes"
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MS has a bit more involved system for a few reasons. First, there's a functional test pass of the component and all downstream items to ensure nothing is broken.

At the same time, the security response team reviews the code in the area or any similar code for the same bug.

Then there's the creation of appropriate bulletins translated into a number of languages for worldwide distribution.

Lastly, the patch is distributed during the normal patching cycle unless it is being actively exploited. This is done to make the testing job easier for IT admins. Of course this rule is broken if there are active exploits in the wild.

Usually the time to patch is not the most important factor since most of the famous attacks (Nimda, Code Red, Slammer, and now Conficker) were not exploited by the original discoverers. They were instead exploited by people reverse-engineering a long-released patch (9-12 months in the case of Slammer).

Vulnerabilities will always slip through the cracks, though we try to catch most of them during development by fuzzing and review (I've personally prevented a couple of little NT kernel EoPs). In Vista and later OS releases, this particular exploit is less effective due to better containment of the vulnerable code.

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