Re: Gaps in security coverage?
On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 10:29 PM John Goerzen wrote:
> Hi folks,
FTR, in case you were trying to contact the Debian Security Team
directly I suggest using email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org instead, debian-security is more of a general
security discussion list than a Debian Security Team list.
> So I recently started running debsecan on one of my boxes. It's a
> fairly barebones server install, uses unattended-upgrades and is fully
> up-to-date. I expected a clean bill of health, but didn't get that. I
> got pages and pages and pages of output. Some of it (especially kernel
> related) I believe may be false positives, but not all. Some of it
> simply isn't patched yet.
That has been the normal state of things since I started running
debsecan many many years ago.
> Diving into it a bit, it seems that somehow we fell down a bit with
> stretch. The first hit on my list is this one:
> Marked fixed in jessie, vulnerable in stretch. And indeed when looking
> at the bug report 802702, I don't see any such changelog entries
> pertaining to this in my stretch version.
You can see at the bottom of this issue:
[stretch] - busybox <no-dsa> (Minor issue)
This means that the security team determined it is not an important
enough issue for them to fix in stable, but the maintainer could still
fix it in a point release if they cared.
> 1) Is this a symptom of a bad process or of not enough volunteers? In
> other words, could we have marked these security bugs fixed in jessie as
> RC for stretch somehow until they were also fixed there?
I would guess mostly a lack of volunteers and also we need to give
package maintainers more responsibility for fixing the issues.
> 2) Is there a need for more help with security in general? If so, what
> kinds of volunteering would be appreciated?
First rule of FLOSS (that also applies to Debian): more help is needed
in almost every area of almost every project.
>From the help Debian page:
You can help track, find and fix security issues within the packages in Debian.
You can also help harden packages, repositories and images and other things.
Personally, I think running debsecan, looking at each item, pinging
bug reports and maintainers, doing stable updates and unstable NMUs,
pushing patches upstream etc would be a great help.
Also, debsecan itself could use a lot of help, the maintenance of it
and addition of new features currently falls on already-busy security
In addition some more automation of ingestion of security info into
the security tracker would free up security team time that is
currently spent on manually updating the security-tracker data.