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Preferential notice of new versions

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sat Feb 03 23:15:03 2001

On Sat, 03 February 2001, Joe Rhett wrote:
> Just about every very large company that I've ever worked with. Also,
> having spent numerous years working the NAVSEA and other Pentagon systems,
> you are explicitly not permitted to install anything other than a
> vendor-provided patch.

This may explain why Pentagon systems got hit with 250,000+ (depending on
whose numbers you believe) intrusions last year, almost all through "known"
vulnerabilities which had not been patched.  Perhaps the Pentagon would
have fewer intrusions if they fixed their systems instead of waiting for
vendor-provided $700 toilet seat patches.

As far as I can tell, ISC did not say they would stop distributing patches
through the same methods used now.  If you don't want to pay, you will
get the exact same patches, through the exact same methods you get them
now.  Which is pretty good for "free" software.  If you get BIND via a
vendor distribution, such as AIX, Solaris, OSF/1, Redhat, etc; your support
channels will not change.

I suspect the reality will be those companies paying ISC for "advanced
notice" will get some warm fuzzy feelings, and let management feel
they've done something.  But it doesn't alter the fact the software
had a vulnerability, and someone else could have found the hole long
before any advanced notice is issued by ISC.  How many folks will now
query the root-name servers CHAOS version numbers looking for a change.

If you are a clever programmer, I'm sure you can fix all the flaws in
the BIND code yourself, and you never need to pay ISC a penny.

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