How Should Researchers Handle Exploit Code?
While good reasons really do exist for releasing exploit code for security vulnerabilities, there are also good reasons not to. One prominent researcher has given up on publicly releasing exploit code. Perhaps the answer is just to make it harder to get.Nobody really knows where worm authors go shopping for exploits to develop, but its widely assumed that they are greatly assisted by exploit code released by legitimate researchers. Go look at most vulnerability reports, and youll see references to where exploit code may be obtained. Why would a "legitimate" researcher do such a thing? If you think about how youd want to run security management at a large organization with some time and budget behind it, its not hard to see how exploit code is valuable. Wemeaning vendors and researchers and mediatell you to test patches before installing them on the production network.
Of course, a lot of you would get laughed at by your bosses if you proposed creating a test network, but assume you were testing a patch before deploying it. You would want to test your software with the patch installed to make sure it still worked correctly, but youd also want to test the patch to make sure it worked correctly.