The perennial problem of bug disclosure has provoked a new squabble between Microsoft and Google. On Sunday, Google disclosed the existence of a Windows elevation of privilege flaw that the company reported privately in October. That flaw hasn’t been patched yet. It will be very soon—the update is due to land on Patch Tuesday, tomorrow—but Google’s publication of the flaw means that, for a couple of days, Windows users are vulnerable to an unfixed flaw.
In response, Chris Betz, senior director of the Microsoft Security Response Center, published a lengthy complaint calling for “better coordinated vulnerability disclosure.”
Microsoft has been promoting “coordinated vulnerability disclosure” since 2010, but the security community has long been split on how best to disclose security flaws. On one extreme is the full disclosure crowd; security flaws are documented and described in full, in public, typically onto a mailing list. In the early days, that disclosure was typically the first time the software developer responsible even heard of the flaw, though some researchers promised to disclose to vendors first.
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