RE: Paper announcement: Is finding security holes a good idea?
From: Daniel Whelan (daniel.whelan_at_kickapoocheese.com)
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2004 09:37:45 -0600
I am in a sinking ship. The water flows in at a constant rate and does
not diminish. I begin bailing.
After a little while, I notice that my efforts have had no 'measurable
effect'; the level of water in my ship has not gone down, so I decide to
focus my attention on trimming the sails or 'other' work . . .
Granted, the analogy is not perfect, but it holds some truth.
From: Eric Rescorla [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 5:42 PM
Subject: Paper announcement: Is finding security holes a good idea?
Bugtraq readers might be interested in this paper:
Is finding security holes a good idea?
RTFM, Inc. <http://www.rtfm.com/>
A large amount of effort is expended every year on finding and patching
security holes. The underlying rationale for this activity is that it
increases welfare by decreasing the number of bugs available for
discovery and exploitation by bad guys, thus reducing the total cost of
intrusions. Given the amount of effort expended, we would expect to see
noticeable results in terms of improved software quality. However, our
investigation does not support a substantial quality improvement--the
data does not allow us to exclude the possibility that the rate of bug
finding in any given piece of software is constant over long periods of
time. If there is little or no quality improvement, then we have no
reason to believe that that the disclosure of bugs reduces the overall
cost of intrusions.