Risk
11/22/2006
04:59 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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To Improve Holiday Safety, I'll Start A House Fire Every Day In December Using A Different Christmas Decoration

The gimmick of churning out software security flaws on a daily basis for some set period has gotten ridiculous. First the Month of Browser Bugs, then the Month of Kernel Bugs, now the research firm firm Argeniss plans the Week of Oracle Database Bugs. Security researchers play an irreplaceable watchdog role. But it's time to retire this publicity stunt.

The gimmick of churning out software security flaws on a daily basis for some set period has gotten ridiculous. First the Month of Browser Bugs, then the Month of Kernel Bugs, now the research firm firm Argeniss plans the Week of Oracle Database Bugs. Security researchers play an irreplaceable watchdog role. But it's time to retire this publicity stunt.Larry Greenemeier early this year explored security researchers' practices in depth, laying bare the risks they create but ultimately concluding it's a necessary price to pay for good software. Agreed.

But this business of the Week of, Month of is without redeeming value. The Month of Browser Bugs was original enough to be somewhat interesting, making the point just how weak browsers could be. Now these are nothing more than a naked grab for publicity-and even that may backfire, warn some commentators on Slashdot, including this from "ajs (35943)": "My concern is that folks that are good at security testing, but too young to know how to direct their efforts constructively are going to destroy their fledgling careers before they get started. Many such bright kids these days assume that they'll make a name for themselves, and then the consulting bucks will roll in. Problem is that the wrong kind of press can lead to SOME work, but far less than you would have gotten by building a reputation in the industry through the quality of your work and references."

So it's time to end all such efforts, starting with cancellation of the upcoming Wood-B (Week of Oracle Database Bugs.) In return, I'll promise not to try to burn anyone's house down with a lighted Rudolph hologram yard decoration.

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