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Any study on patch availability?
From: sudhakar+fulldisclosure () CS Princeton EDU
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2004 12:26:17 -0500 (EST)


Hi all,

Holiday season greetings.

I am a PhD student at Princeton studying security. I am interested in
studying vulnerability statistics. I am interested in answering questions
like:

1. Which are the programs where bugs are found often?

2. Which vendors tend to be frequently affected?

3. What are the common vulnerabilities (buffer overflows I guess)?

4. How often are patches available before a vulnerability is publicly
disclosed?

5. How much time does it take for a typical vendor to patch the bug?
How
diligent are various vendors regarding releasing patches?

6. What are the OS specific statistics?

7. How diligent are users/administrators regarding patching? In some cases
there might be genuine reasons why you cannot patch (loss of availability
etc.). I am aware of "Security holes... Who cares?" by Eric Rescorla.

8. Have there been situations when a patch has not been available for a
long time, say more than a month.

.
.
.
.
.

I am primarily interested in seeing how fast the patches are out. I am
more interested in knowing about those situations when a patch is not
available fast. What did people do to avoid getting hit? I would
appreciate some concrete examples. So I am mostly interested in questions
4, 5, and 8.

Has someone already studied these patterns? Can the community refer me to
some useful links? I would appreciate concrete examples and a quantitative
analysis. I have talked to a few system administrators. But I am confused
whether patch availability is indeed a problem. Unfortunately, the answer
is specific to what software you are running and the answer tends to be
subjective.

Thanks in advance,
Regards,
Sudhakar.



Sudhakar Govindavajhala                   Department of Computer Science
Graduate Student,                         Princeton University
Ph : (lab) +1 609 258 1763                   (office) +1 609 258 1798
               http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~sudhakar
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