[This was originally published on the OSVDB blog.]
Nutshell What you see here is the output of the ”arfis project”, a simple perl script. It automatically downloads and extract PHP projects from sourceforge.net and checks for Remote File Inclusion vulnerabilities. It then post’s the potential (now it’s -potential-, cause the script is in an early stadium) vuln to this blog.
The idea behind this tool was joked about by several VDB managers over a year ago due to the growing trend of false vulnerability reports popping up in 2006 and 2007. The style of many posts to mail lists were becoming the same, several signatures suggesting a tool or group was involved appeared and it was speculated that many remote file inclusion (RFI) vulnerabilities were the result of a very primitive “grep and gripe” style vulnerability ‘research’. Jump to today and we have this script doing what we suspected all along. Some will proclaim “genious!” and others may be quick to download and taste the fame of being a “vulnerability researcher”. Before you plan your victory party and brush up your resume to include vulnerability research, consider that this script is blindly searching projects for specific lines that suggest an application is vulnerable to RFI. Without looking at the source code manually, there is no way to accurately determine if it is a legitimate vulnerability or a false positive. The people using this script don’t seem to fully understand that and blindly use the tool w/o consideration.
Recently, eight or so of these arfis-found vulnerabilities were reported to milw0rm for inclusion in their database. Upon examination, six of the eight were not legitimate vulnerabilities. Of the two that were, one had been reported two years prior. This is a good indication of how trustworthy the tool is, early release or not, and what kind of burden it places on VDBs who do their best to vet vulnerability disclosures to a limited degree.
[This was originally published on the OSVDB blog.]
New IBM research shows that five vendors are responsible for 12.6 percent of all disclosed vulnerabilities. Not surprising: In the first half of 2007, Microsoft was the top vendor when it came to publicly disclosed vulnerabilities. Likely surprising to some: Apple got second place. IBM Internet Security Systems’ X-Force R&D team released its 2007 report on cyber attacks on Sept. 17, revealing that the top five vulnerable vendors accounted for 12.6 of all disclosed vulnerabilities in the first half of the yearor 411 of 3,272 vulnerabilities disclosed. Here’s the order in which the top 10 vendors stacked up, by percentage of vulnerabilities publicly disclosed in the first half of the year: Microsoft, 4.2 percent Apple, 3 percent Oracle, 2 percent Cisco Systems, 1.9 percent Sun Microsystems, 1.5 percent IBM, 1.3 percent Mozilla, 1.3 percent XOOPS, 1.2 percent BEA, 1.1 percent Linux kernel, 0.9 percent
This article was posted to ISN the other day and struck a nerve. How many times are we going to see vulnerability statistics presented without qualification? Rather than really get into the details, I replied with a single simple example on why such statistics are misleading at best and incorrect at worst. The bulk of my reply follows. My hopes for Lisa or IBM/ISS clarifying this is already dwindling.
One other factor, that Lisa Vaas apparently didn’t ask about, is how ISS X-Force catalogs vulnerabilities, and if their method and standards could impact these numbers at all. Take for example, two X-Force vulnerability database entries: Oracle Critical Patch Update – July 2007 http://xforce.iss.net/xforce/xfdb/35490 18 CVE, 30+ Oracle Oracle Critical Patch Update – January 2007 http://xforce.iss.net/xforce/xfdb/31541 30 CVE, 50+ Oracle So when comparing numbers, you have 2 X-Force entries that equate to 48 CVE entries that equate to *more than 80* unique and distinct vulnerabilities according to Oracle. I’m not a math or stat guy, but I have a feeling that this could seriously skew the statistics above, especially when you consider that Microsoft and Apple both have a more distinct breakdown and separation in the X-Force database. Anyone from IBM/ISS care to clarify? Lisa, did you have more extensive notes on this aspect that didn’t make it in the article perhaps?
Earlier today, Snickers moved on to the happy land of the eternal guinea pig. Due to complications from her ovarian cysts/tumors, she stopped eating shortly after I left for Sacramento. Kay took her to the vet for x-rays and it was immediately clear that her internal system was a mess and it was a matter of days, maybe weeks before it would end painfully. since we got her, she had also dropped in weight from 2+ pounds to a bit over 1 pound, despite eating a lot of vegetables and hay.
after a long night of running through the living room, enjoying cucumbers/blackberries/raspberries, she went back to the vet today to move on. it was a tough decision and i hate the fact i couldn’t be there. i desperately wanted to see her again but making her wait a week would just subject her to a world of pain and that wasn’t going to happen. the first shot that put her to sleep was all it took, another clear sign that she was in complete renal/liver failure.
she seemed very lively (for her) and happy all things considered. as much as it hurt, it was better that she moved on now while happy rather than in a day or three when the pain would have been unbearable. we wished she would be in our lives for years, but it was simply too late by the time we adopted her. her month with us was glorious and she was definitely as happy as she could be in that time.
Snickers is also the start of a tradition. today we adopted a new gpig from the Denver Animal Control. she was one of three brought in, apparently all set loose as a way to get rid of them. since the Denver AC is not a real shelter, they don’t focus on adopting them out and they don’t keep them in good condition. she was in a metal cage alone, with no hay, no food, no toys, just a couple sheets of newspaper. she had about a week at most before they were going to put her down, like they do with all the strays brought to them. so Snickers paved the way for our new unnamed gpig being rescued. pictures and more details to come when i meet her; lucky mangled beast is in my living room and i am not =(