Archives For Vulnerabilities

Google Project Zero

February 15, 2015 — Leave a comment

Zero Day Vulnerabilities are new Security Issues that are found in software and that could be exploited even before who made the Software knows about that.

Google has a project called Project Zero, which collects Zero Day Vulnerabilities and notifies the maker of the Software to allow it to fix those issues, before it is too late. Google’s policy is to publish the vulnerabilities, with all the details needed to exploit them, 90 days after disclosing it to the owner of the software.

Very recently (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/14/google_vulnerability_disclosure_tweaks/), Google modified its policies to grant some more time to fix the issue. Then, Google publishes the vulnerability as soon as the owner publishes the fix or when the grace period of up to 105 days or so expires.

I surely welcome this softening of the policy, but is it enough?

It may be me, but I am sincerely puzzled about Google policy. In the real world, most organization have a tendency to delay the application of the fixes, even security ones; so, if Google publishes the detail about the vulnerability as soon the fix is published, even with working samples about how to exploit the vulnerability, it is only natural that an attacker would enjoy a grace period when most systems are unpatched. Who would benefit of Google disclosure, then?

What Google would have to do, then? The issue is not about disclosing or not the vulnerability. I fully agree that it is better to disclose them, but what is the reason why they have to give full details about the vulnerabilities? Would not be better to give generic information about the issue and to point to the fix, omitting the more practical details that could be leveraged even by the average Joe?