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posted by martyb on Friday January 12 2018, @02:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the update-early-and-often dept.

While everyone was screaming about Meltdown and Spectre, another urgent security fix was already in progress for many corporate data centers and cloud providers who use products from Dell's EMC and VMware units. A trio of critical, newly reported vulnerabilities in EMC and VMware backup and recovery tools—EMC Avamar, EMC NetWorker, EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance, and vSphere Data Protection—could allow an attacker to gain root access to the systems or to specific files, or inject malicious files into the server's file system. These problems can only be fixed with upgrades. While the EMC vulnerabilities were announced late last year, VMware only became aware of its vulnerability last week.

[...] For those familiar with the architecture of these products, the vulnerabilities may not be a surprise—EMC Avamar and the other applications use Apache Tomcat, which was patched multiple times last year to address critical security vulnerabilities. However, it's not clear whether these patches were incorporated into earlier updates of the EMC and VMware products or if any of the bugs just fixed in updates of the EMC/VMware products were Tomcat related.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 12 2018, @03:46AM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12 2018, @03:46AM (#621247) Journal

    Hard nosed engineering, the AC says. I could go for that. We have a myriad of people who work on computers, who make claims to being "engineers". And, so many of them are mere amateurs, dabbling around the edges of mathematics. Engineering? A real engineer designs something, then asks himself, "What could go wrong?" A real engineer is one of his own harshest critics.

    In this day and age of "good enough", at least half of our so-called engineers are unworthy of the name. Yeah, I know, the real engineers don't run things. They are under pressure from higher ups to produce something that will keep the revenue turning. Still - good enough is good enough? Come on people - to call yourself an engineer, you've got to be examining and re-examining your work, at all times, trying to find the flaws in your own work.

    Hard nosed engineering, is what the AC said. Hey, that would really be nice!! The common disclaimer that accompanies software says "We hope you'll like our work, but we make no guarantees of any kind, enjoy!" often accompanied by "Now pay us!". I'd rather see some kind of disclaimer that says, "We've tested this software according to (list of standards), and our work seems to have passed all of these tests for (speed, accuracy, VULNERABILITIES, compatibility and/or other applicable standards). We hope that our work meets your standards. If you encounter any problems, please contact us so that we might improve our software!"

    And, of course, all of that applies mostly to commercial work. Profit is always the driving force. Gotta get something out the door that will sell, damn the consequences. Yeah, open source has had it's problems as well, but those problems usually result from honest mistakes. In the case of closed source, none of us can tell which were mistakes, and which were stupid compromises, or which were decisions driven by profit/greed.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12 2018, @05:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12 2018, @05:02AM (#621262)

    This other guy is simply repeating the main point.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Friday January 12 2018, @09:10AM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) on Friday January 12 2018, @09:10AM (#621315)

    An just-git-'er-done engineer designs something, then asks himself, "What could go wrong?". A real engineer asks "What can go wrong?" first and designs accordingly


  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday January 12 2018, @08:02PM (1 child)

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday January 12 2018, @08:02PM (#621525) Homepage

    "Hard nosed" engineering isn't immune to poor management practices (Volkswagen, anyone?). The problem is corporate/industry demand. The industry demands speed, new UI designs, and marketability over features and correctness. You can't shoot the engineer/messenger for that. If you want to fix the problem, you don't fix the engineers (or "engineers"), you fix the industry (perhaps with regulation *gasp*).

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 12 2018, @11:12PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12 2018, @11:12PM (#621601) Journal

      What Volkswagen did was not "engineering", but "fraud". And, the engineers actively participated in the fraud. I've posted before, that I hate the idea of sacrificing engineers to protect the management. But, I hate the idea of protecting anyone just as much. Doesn't matter how high or how low you are on the totem pole, if you're knowingly, and actively, working to defraud the public, the government, or whoever, you should not have any protections.