I thought that this might be of interest.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 12 Aug 2002 20:20:57 -0000
From: Ed Reed <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: NOVL-2002-FAQ - Novell Security Alerts Facts Sheet
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For Immediate Disclosure
============================== Summary ==============================
Security Alert: NOVL-2002-FAQ
Title: Novell Security Alerts Fact Sheet
Date: 12 Aug 2002
Product Name: Novell Products in general
OS/Platform(s): Netware, Windows, Linux, UNIX, Solaris,
AIX, HP/UX, and others
Reference URL: http://support.novell.com/security-alerts
Vendor Name: Novell, Inc.
Vendor URL: http://www.novell.com
Security Alerts: http://support.novell.com/security-alerts
Affects: None - informational
============================ Description ============================
In light of increased customer interest in Internet-related security
and the migration of Novell's products to the Internet Protocol,
Novell is taking steps to better inform our customers and partners
about security alerts. This fact sheet is intended to answer
questions about this new policy and provide pointers to interested
parties who want additional information.
============================== Impact ===============================
Q: What is Novell's policy for releasing information about
A: Generally, Novell will provide information to the public (both
customer and non-customer) about real or potential security
vulnerabilities in our products along with recommended corrective
actions, patches and other guidance, as those corrective actions
become available; accordingly, we won't disclose information about
theoretical or unsolved (nor unsolvable) problems until a workaround
or product "fix" is available.
Q: Are there exception to this general policy?
A: For any given security vulnerability, we reserve the right to
provide information in a time and manner that we determine based on
the surrounding circumstances.
Q: Under what circumstances might Novell delay publishing information
about a problem?
A: We cannot predict every eventuality. One circumstance may be when
we're aware or a problem but other vendors afflicted with the same
problem have not yet had the opportunity address the issue in their
own products. Such circumstances will usually arise in conjunction
with our work with CERT (http://www.cert.org) or other multi-vendor
Q: How will Novell provide information to the public?
A: Novell intends to publish security alerts to CERT
(http://online.securityfocus.com/archive/1), our own security-focused
web site (http://support.novell.com/security-alerts) and other
suitable public forums that become well known to our customers and
Q: How is this different from past Novell policy?
A: In the past, customers could find information about fixes to
security-related problems, but we didn't make it particularly easy
for customers (or attackers) to find the information. That is what
is changed. Now, customers will be able to go to a single Novell
Support site to find security-related fixes for their Novell
Q: Doesn't it pose a risk to customers to publish information about
A: The risks to customers are the vulnerabilities themselves. Novell
intends to notify customers about the fixes they should apply to help
protect them from those vulnerabilities. It's every customer's
responsibility to maintain (and secure) its own systems and to keep
its Novell products up-to-date by applying security-related patches.
Novell cannot commit to keeping products free of security flaws, but
Novell is committed to providing a process to be used when a product
is suspected of having security problems.
Q: Where and how can people report suspected vulnerabilities in
A: The new web site, http://support.novell.com/security-alerts has a
form that can be used to submit information about a suspected
problem. In addition, reports can be made to [log in to unmask] via
Q: How do people without Novell support contracts report problems?
A: Novell is interested in security-related issues with all our
products, regardless of whether there's a support contract in place.
Use the same web site or email address as above:
http://support.novell.com/security-alerts and [log in to unmask]
Q: Is this a ploy to get customers to buy upgrade protection and
maintenance contracts from Novell?
A: No. In today's world and today's Internet, network systems are
facing many more attacks than ever before. Customers who use our
products (and, for that matter - other vendor's products, too) have
to work harder to secure their systems from attack. That's just the
way it is. This new policy is one way to help customers keep on top
of their systems maintenance, and to easily know what patches and
precautions should be taken with our products. Novell will benefit
if this attention to customer needs results in more sales, but that's
not why we're doing it.
======================== Recommended Actions ========================
Monitor Novell websites (http://support.novell.com/security-alerts)
for Security Alerts and (http://support.novell.com) regularly for
general information relating to the Novell products you have
installed, and follow the recommendations and directions posted
there. It's every customer's responsibility to maintain (and secure)
their own systems and to keep their Novell products up-to-date by
applying security-related patches.
In addition, Novell recommends users periodically review websites
such as the following for reported vulnerability issues:
Security Focus (www.securityfocus.com)
============================ DISCLAIMER =============================
The content of this document is believed to be accurate at the time
of publishing based on currently available information. However, the
information is provided "AS IS" without any warranty or
representation. Your use of the document constitutes acceptance of
this disclaimer. Novell disclaims all warranties, express or implied,
regarding this document, including the warranties of merchantability
and fitness for a particular purpose. Novell is not liable for any
direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use
of, or reliance on, this document or any security alert, even if
Novell has been advised of the possibility of such damages and even
if such damages are foreseeable.
============================ Appendices =============================
================ Contacting Novell Security Alerts ==================
To report suspected security vulnerabilities in Novell products, send
[log in to unmask]
PGP users may send signed/encrypted information to us using our PGP
key, available from the pgpkeys.mit.edu server, or our website at:
Security Alerts, Novell, Inc. PGP Key Fingerprint:
F5AE 9265 0A34 F84E 580E 9B87 3AC1 1974 DE05 0FDB
========================= Revision History ==========================
Original: 12 Aug 2002 - Original Publication
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