Debian takes security very seriously… but how?
On http://www.debian.org/security/, I can read:
"Debian takes security very seriously. We handle all security problems brought to our attention and ensure that they are corrected within a reasonable timeframe."
By default, there is no reason to not believe them. But while talking with the administrator of Samba Bugzilla in bug 7121, I realized this was far from being true! What follows is specific to the Bugzilla case, but I guess there are plenty of other similar examples for other Debian packages.
This security report set the urgency to "High", and despite the corresponding bug report has been reported to Debian more than a month ago asking the maintainer of the Bugzilla package to release new versions, nothing has been done so far. Even Secunia marked this security issue as "moderately critical", which is the third level out of five. And I myself emailed the Bugzilla package maintainer at Debian a few days ago, but got no response so far.
So my question is this: how can Debian honestly argue that they take security very seriously? It looks like it takes ages to get something done, which is usually not a big deal when talking about new features, but is definitely a problem when talking about security.
I wanted to know if there were other older unpatched security bugs relative to Bugzilla packages, and I’m a bit irritated to see that there are many! Some of them are two years old! Yes, very seriously!
Bugzilla developers at Mozilla are in no way in charge to maintain these packages, neither for Debian, nor Fedora, nor Mandriva nor any other Linux distro, so we have no control at all on that. And people often come on IRC asking us for help, because their Bugzilla package provided with their Linux distro is broken or behaves in a weird way (typically a broken configuration or customization). And guess what? Most of the time, they use the Debian package. Yes, very seriously! For comparison, Fedora updated their Bugzilla packages the day after we released 3.6.4, and Mandriva the week after! It looks like they take security a bit more seriously.