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RE: what we REALLY learned from WMF
From: "Adrian Marsden" <amarsden () jvsdet org>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 05:36:40 -0500

Actually, what this whole situation proves is that a company with an installed base that figures in, what, the 90th 
percentile has an incredible amount of testing to do but that a talented individual can create a patch and issue it 
basically untested with the appropriate disclaimer quite rapidly.

In this instance the patch didn't fix the vulnerable code at the source and was truly a "patch". Had MS issued that 
patch immediately it seems to me that you would have criticised them for putting out a "half-assed" patch. Had they 
issued their actual patch untested and it broke a couple of percent of their user base's installs you probably would 
have castigated them for being irresponsible and not testing the patch.

What actually occured was that they, as is their policy, issued the best workaround they could, (unreg the .dll), and 
promised a patch by a certain date. They beat the schedule by what 25%, maybe 50% from the time they made the promise. 
In any performance evaluation one would have to conclude that MS performed "better than expected".

I would agree that not asking for improvement ever would lead to further mediocrity but at the same time, placing 
anyone in a no-win situation _all_ the time eventually leads to them losing interest. Giving credit where it is due 
isn't unfair in this situation and in the end you always get more with sugar than you do vinegar.


-----Original Message-----
From:   Gadi Evron [mailto:ge () linuxbox org]
Sent:   Thu 1/5/2006 7:12 PM
To:     Adrian Marsden
Cc:     bugtraq () securityfocus com; full-disclosure () lists grok org uk
Subject:        Re: what we REALLY learned from WMF

Adrian Marsden wrote:
This is a silly post.... What are you trying to prove? That in some cases a company can test a patch quicker than in 
others?

MS understood the issue, promised a fix on their scheduled date and did better than expected.... So you criticise 
them....

Way to go.... Make it so they can never win.... then they won't bother... and we all know who suffers then....

I may chose MS as an example that companies CAN do better. I believe 
this "fluke" gave us the perfect example of how security incidents 
should be handled.

Why should we now settle for less?

Naturally, each problem has its own issues and time demands. That 
doesn't change the fact of the matter.

        Gadi.



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