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Re: counter to claim made on Tenable podcast about upgrading
From: Josh More <jmore () starmind org>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 15:46:52 -0600

Since we're speaking generally, in smaller businesses, I advocate rapid
patching with minimal testing on the belief that the attackers understand
the old bugs better than the organizations understand how to protect
against their exploitation. If you stay current, both the attack and
defense side are equally lost and even if attackers learn faster than
defenders do, the periodic learning level resets are valuable.

Sure, it can cause problems, but the problems they cause are directly
attributable to the patch / new version and can be tested then. The
problems resulting from exploitation take a lot longer to trace and figure
out.  If updating a particular application causes repeated problems, that's
in indication that the organization should look towards replacing it.

In large organizations with dedicated and competent defenders focused on
the application space, the analysis ends up differently, of course.

-Josh More



On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 2:58 PM, Frank McClain <frank.mc.42 () gmail com>wrote:

Well, we've all seen times when a new release creates vulnerabilities that
did not previously exist; in some of these cases, the new ones were worse
than the old ones (never mind issues of performance, stability, etc).
 Rushing to adopt a new version without thoroughly testing first can create
problems.

Patches, I tend to view as less of an issue for adoption, especially if
they're for security reasons.  If a vulnerability has been discovered, and
the vendor is actually going to patch it, then it's probably important to
at least seriously look at it in light of your environment.  You do have to
make sure that it's not going to break some other functionality, while
still ensuring that you're covered from the vulnerability standpoint.  If
you're in a regulated industry, your options may be limited when external
auditors discover vulnerabilities that they say you should have patched.

On the other hand, if you feel it's important not to immediately push out
new versions or patches, I wouldn't stay too far behind.  Reason is, you
risk the vendor no longer supporting prior versions.  I've seen some cases
where it seemed that the vendor dropped an older version rather quickly,
because the newer one had more bells and whistles.  Obviously, one revision
behind probably isn't too far out of line.

Regards,

Frank

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robin Wood" <robin () digininja org>
To: "PaulDotCom Mailing List" <pauldotcom () mail pauldotcom com>
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:46:50 AM
Subject: [Pauldotcom] counter to claim made on Tenable podcast about
 upgrading








Hi
I'm listening to the latest Tenable podcast and Paul was talking about
making sure you upgrade to the latest version of apps just in case someone
has an exploit for an old version which has either been deliberately, or
accidentally, fixed in the latest version.

I'd counter that with older versions of apps have been around longer so
have had more time to probed by the good guys and so vulnerabilities found
and then announced. The latest apps haven't yet been probed so may have new
issues which have been introduced in the new version.

The idea suggested of being one version behind, as mentioned, may
therefore be best from this point of view as the app has had time to be
looked over but isn't too far out of date.

I'd agree that you should stay up-to-date but don't think this argument is
the best to use.

Robin

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