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RE: Follow up on "How much do you disclose to customers?"
From: ethanpreston () ziplip com
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 19:35:47 -0800 (PST)

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Shein [mailto:shoten () starpower net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004, 3:40 PM
To: ethanpreston () ziplip com, pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Follow up on "How much do you disclose to customers?"

That slashdot post talks about something entirely different.  The vendor in
question didn't come up with a list of vulnerabilities that were bad...they
pointed at the sole security engineer as the vulnerability himself.
Furthermore, they then moved in to replace him.  This is rather a no-no in
terms of the OSTMM, for obvious reasons.  It's one thing if a company reacts
or even overreacts to a report of factual findings (an open port is an open
port, regardless of office politics or the sales quota of a vendor) and
fires someone, it's another thing if the company producing the report goes
so far over the line as to state that an employee of another organization is
to blame for insecurity.  I don't feel that if this vendor got sued that I'd
be nervous about legal risk when handing over a report done my way.

If things happened the way the poster said, there's no doubt the vendor was predatory and would probably lose if the 
poster sued. But no one can tell your a totally incompetant network admin on the Internet -- the poster could just as 
easily be an incompetant, and the vendor just outed his total failure to secure the network. At some point, I'd feel 
comfortable telling a client that their personnel wasn't doing their job. Or maybe the client does totally overreact 
and fire somebody... But in either case, how hard would it be for a disgruntled admin to sue your firm? Even if the 
suit's groundles...
I guess my point in linking that article is more that even if you do just report the facts, its possible to step in it 
-- what do people do to stay out of trouble? 

-----Original Message-----
From: ethanpreston () ziplip com [mailto:ethanpreston () ziplip com] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 5:21 PM
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Follow up on "How much do you disclose to customers?"

The list previously hashed out the pros and cons of informing 
the client's entire personnel about the coming pen-test. One 
of the issues that came up was the potential for the client's 
employed security staff to use the advance notice to game the 
results and skew the test results: 
http://seclists.org/lists/pen-> test/2003/Dec/0105.html

does the pen-test community on 
this list deal with possibility of legal reprisal from the 
client's employees? No matter what contractual liability 
limitations you can negotiate with the client, that won't 
extend to an employee that gets canned because one's report 
paints them in an incompetant light.

I think there's a slashdot post on this topic (from the other 
side), where at least some of the posters start muttering for 
legal action. 





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