On Fri, Dec 06, 2019 at 07:08:46PM -0800, Apple CA via dev-security-policy 
wrote:
> On Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 3:28:10 PM UTC-8, Matt Palmer wrote:
> > [aside: this is how incident reports should be done, IMHO]
> > 
> > On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 07:23:27PM -0800, Apple CA via dev-security-policy 
> > wrote:
> > > We did not have an accurate understanding of how the vulnerability scanner
> > > worked.  Our understanding of its capabilities lead us to believe it was
> > > scanning and detecting vulnerabilities in EJBCA.
> > 
> > There's a reasonable chance that other CAs may have a similar situation, so
> > I think it's worth digging deeper into the root causes here.  Can you expand
> > on how this misunderstanding regarding the vulnerability scanner came to
> > pass?  What was the information on which you were relying when you came to
> > the understanding of the vulnerability scanner's capabilities?  Were you
> > misled by the vendor marketing or technical documentation, or was it an
> > Apple-internal assessment that came to an inaccurate conclution?  Or
> > "other"?
> 
> In order to identify vulnerabilities, the vulnerability scanner (1)
> attempts to identify/profile software listening on ports and (2) compares
> software versions against public CVEs and proprietary data sources.  EJBCA
> is not broadly used software, and the vulnerability scanner did not have
> custom EJBCA detection logic.  Upon our deeper investigation, we
> discovered that it (1) only scans the HTTP service and not the EJBCA
> software, which we would consider insufficient on its own and (2) is not
> as effective at flagging vulnerabilities in EJBCA because CVEs are not
> published by EJBCA.  We don’t feel we were mislead by the vendor.

Thanks for clarifying how the security scanning software worked; that's
useful.  I'm not confident that we've determined any root causes for the
failure, though, especially things that other CAs in the ecosystem can learn
from.  I'll try a different phrasing, which will hopefully provide more
clarity as to what I'm trying to achieve:

What specific, actionable items would you recommend all CAs undertake to
remove or mitigate the risk of this, or a substantially similar, problem
occurring in their environment?

> CVEs are not published by EJBCA.

Does anyone else feel that this is a really, really, *really* bad idea?  The
CVE system, whilst far from perfect, seems to be the agreed upon medium for
managing these types of issues, and it disappoints me that EJBCA would
appear to be "opting out" of it.  Should discussions with EJBCA, either from
their customers or the wider community, be initiated?

- Matt

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