I want to propose a situation and gain insight from the communities thoughts.
A customer, call them Customer X has a contract with a vendor, Vendor Y to provide an application and services. Customer X discovers a serious authentication vulnerability in Vendor Y's software. Vendor Y and Customer X has a discussion.
- Vendor Y acknowledges/confirms flaw.
- Vendor Y confirms they will put effort to fix.
- Customer X requests Vendor Y to inform all customers impacted by this. Vendor agrees.
Fast forward 2 months, and the flaw has not been fixed. Patches were applied to mitigate but the flaw still exists. However, no customers were informed of issue.
At this point customer X contacts Vendor Y to determine the status and understand why customer's were not informed. The vendor nicely reminds the customer they are under an NDA and are still working on the issue.
A few questions/discussion pieces out of this.
- By discussing a software flaw with a vendor, does this imply you have agreed to any type of NDA disclosure? Additionally, what rights as does Customer X have to inform other customers of this vulnerability if vendor does not appear willing to comply?
- I (the op) am under the impression that when this situation occurs, you are supposed to notify vendor of issue, provide them with ample time to respond and if no response you are able to do what you wish with the information.
- I am thinking back to the MIT/subway incident where they contacted transit authorities, transit authorities didn't respond in a timely fashion so the students disclosed the information publicly on their own.
- Few things to note about this: I am not the customer in above situation, also lets assume for purposes of keeping discussion inline that customer X has no intentions of disclosing information, they are merely concerned and interested in making sure other customers are aware until it is fixed so they do not expierence a major security breach.
(More information can be supplied if needed to add context to question. )