mailing list archives
Re: Vulnerabilities in some SCADA server softwares
From: Luigi Auriemma <aluigi () autistici org>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 16:54:16 +0000
I fundamentally disagree with the idea that public disclosure
as a means of vendor notification serves any purpose
no problem, if you don't agree with full-disclosure or how I and the
other researchers like me handle these security vulnerabilities you have
the full power and freedom of finding them by yourself and handling them
as you desire.
so now the question is, why don't all these "good guys" spend their
personal time and skills to find these vulnerabilities and reporting
them to the vendors before me?
the answer is that usually such people don't have the skills or simply
don't like the idea of doing a professional work completely for free and
even with the obligation of doing everything the vendor wants before
the releasing of the patch that can take months or even years...
practically a slave.
or do you think that you can contact the vendor asking funds for the
research you have already found?
it would be logical but it's a non-written rule in the security
community: it's better to go with full-disclosure for free.
the only exceptions are Mozilla and Google with their bug bounty
programs but oh well, they are pioneers.
anyway regarding this particular case of SCADA I didn't like the
behaviour of ICS-CERT at all.
this entity has the full power for handling the security research and
the communication between vendor and researcher with benefits
(knowledge, funds and credits) for both but simply does nothing as
resulted from the mails I exchanged with them covering all these
aspects... I even don't understand what should be its work at this point
except saying "there is a bug in this SCADA" and "now the vendor says
beyond tooting one's own horn and causing a panic state for the
application vendor and users.
my mail was completely neutral and had no alarmism in it, I'm even
amazed that someone noticed it.
as usual the panic is generated by non-technician people or people who
have personal interests in speculating on the thing.
Bugtraq is a technical mailing-list for people in the security field and
in same cases its content may not be ready or correctly filtered for the
other people who could see risks that are different than the reality.
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.
be sure that the "bad guys" are already aware of similar problems but
you can't know it.
if I can find these vulnerabilities in some hours without knowledge of
SCADA and with a motivation not much far from the "mah let's try this
program" imagine what can be done by how has strong motivation, time and
IMHO, "public disclosure" only serves to increase the threat for the
take the following consideration:
SCADA systems are intended to work in isolated private networks so
nobody except the authorized users should be able to even "ping" the
machines where are running the vulnerable softwares.
if this happens means that the security of the company has been already
now that the users of the vulnerable products are aware of the
vulnerabilities they can verify if their network is really safe like it
should be in any case and in the meantime they will wait the patches of