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Re: Xen Security Advisory 82 (CVE-2013-6885) - Guest triggerable AMD CPU erratum may cause host hang
From: Ian Jackson <Ian.Jackson () eu citrix com>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2013 17:22:45 +0000

Xen.org security team writes ("Xen Security Advisory 82 (CVE-2013-6885) - Guest triggerable AMD CPU erratum may cause 
host hang"):
This issue was predisclosed under embargo by the Xen Project Security
team, on the 27th of November.  We treated the issue as not publicly
known because it was not evident from the public sources that this
erratum constitutes a vulnerability (particularly, that it was a
vulnerability in relation to some Xen configurations).

Since then, the fact that this CPU erratum is likely to constitute a
security problem has been publicly disclosed, on the oss-security
mailing list.

This is a reference to this message:
  http://www.openwall.com/lists/oss-security/2013/11/28/1

This was sent by MITRE as part of the CVE assignment.  It seems likely
to us (the Xen Project security team) that the CVE assignment was a
consequence of our embargoed predisclosure to xen-security-issues.

The effect of this has been that we have had to end the embargo early.
I think there is room for discussion here about whether we all did the
right thing.  In particular:

 * Should the Xen Project security te4am have treated this issue with
   an embargo at all, given that the flaw itself was public ?

 * Should we have anticipated that other software would be in a
   similar position and sent message(s) to some other suitable set of
   vendor(s) ?  Which vendors, and how ?

 * Should MITRE have been asked /not/ to publicly disclose the
   relationship between CVE-2013-6885 and AMD CPU erratum 793,
   until the embargo ended ?

 * Were we right to treat MITRE's message as a trigger for disclosure ?

Thanks,
Ian.


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