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Re: Candidate numbering scheme




Elias said:

>The only concern I have is that the candiate numbers never make it
>outside the working group...  Of curse this screws the fact we will be
>using candidate numbers during our discussion and the discussions will
>be public.

I don't think there's really a way around this, but the candidate
numbers might only be exposed to those people who want to observe the
process.  Perhaps we could provide a "disclaimer" or warning that they
should only use the CVE number.

I think having "fully public" candidate numbers serves several
purposes.  To me, the primary benefit is for early tracking of
vulnerability information.  For example, the *Bugtraq moderators could
use their own candidate number namespace to assign to postings (let's
avoid the feasibility of such an approach for a moment).

I think that most or all advisories should reference a CVE number in
their first publication, since advisories are often a primary,
universal source of vulnerability information.  It helps to get *some*
number into advisories that announce a vulnerability for the first
time (say, a vendor's security analysis team).  The sense that I get
is that vendors believe they have a competitive advantage in
announcing discovery of new vulnerabilities in their own advisories,
and may not be willing to give this up.  If they aren't willing to
give away such information (at least to the input forum), then there
are 2 workarounds I can think of.  Public candidate numbers are the
easiest way to address this problem.  A different mechanism might be a
"secure channel" between MITRE and the advisory team which could
result in a "conditional" assignment of a new CVE number.  Probably
the best way would be for the advisory team to post an initial
"pre-advisory" to the Input Forum for a brief and timely discussion,
and CVE number assignment.  The benefits would be twofold: (a) all
vendors would know of the vulnerability and be able to update their
tools [which would immediately benefit *all* tool users], and (b) the
first fully public advisory would have a CVE number.

The greatest risk in having public candidate numbers is in the
potential confusion caused by multiple numbering schemes.  The CAN-
prefix makes it clear to knowledgeable people that the vulnerability
is "unreviewed," but the candidate number could become more widely
used than the CVE number.  We want to minimize this problem as much as
possible, IMHO.  If we decide to adopt a public candidate numbering
scheme, then we need to make it clear to everyone, including the end
users, that candidate numbers are in no way "official."

- Steve

 
Page Last Updated: May 22, 2007