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How to Use Security Tracking Bugs

This document aims to outline the proper way to use, and the expectations surrounding the use of, security tracking bugs for Fedora and EPEL.

Handling tracking bugs in Bugzilla

Parent Bug

The workflow for resolving security issues in Fedora and EPEL is through the use of bugs in bugzilla. This consists of both a parent bug (usually with one or more CVE names referenced), and tracking bugs that are used to track the fix of the flaws in the affected products.

Red Hat Product Security largely manages the entry of flaw (parent) bugs and will file tracking bugs as appropriate. What follows is an overview of that process.

Suppose a flaw is found in the "yoyodine" package. A member of Red Hat Product Security creates a bug in bugzilla, in the Security Response product, with a component of "vulnerability". If a CVE is already known, it is noted in the bug (by setting the alias and prepending it to the Summary field). If it is not known, a CVE is requested on the oss-security mailing list.

Some of the parent (CVE) bug's attributes include:

  • It is in the "Security Response" product
  • Applicable CVEs are added as bug aliases
  • Applicable CVEs are prefixed to the Summary description
  • Public issues result in public bugs (no group restrictions)
  • It is always assigned to the "Red Hat Security Response Team" user
  • The priority/severity map to the Red Hat impact rating
  • The "Security" keyword is set

Tracking Bugs

During the process of investigation, if it is found that Fedora and/or EPEL are affected by this flaw, Red Hat Product Security will create the tracking bug(s) via the use of a script. If it is later found that the same code exists in another package (although we try not to embed one package in another, it does happen, particularly with libraries), new tracking bugs will be created against that package for the affected products ("xpdf" historically has suffered from this problem).

Some of the tracking bug characteristics include:

  • It depends on the parent bug
  • It is filed against the appropriate Product/Component/Version for the affected package/product
  • It is assigned to the owner of the component
  • Applicable CVEs are prefixed to the Summary description
  • Applicable affected versions are appended to the Summary description (such as "[fedora-all]" or "[epel-8]")
  • The "Security" and "SecurityTracking" keywords are set
  • The initial description and comment(s) of the bug don't describe the flaw(s) but refer the assignee to the parent bug for details/patches/etc, but do indicate how to correct the flaw via established process (either a filled-out template to use with "fedpkg update" or a link to use with Bodhi).

Handling tracking bugs in Bodhi

The maintainer commits the fixes, builds packages and creates an update request. He refers to both parent bug and tracking bug. Bodhi is able to identify that the bug is a tracking bug and doesn't include it in the new package announce mail. Bodhi closes the tracking bug, and in case all other bugs that Parent depends on it also closes the parent. To keep track, Bodhi adds comments to both the parent and the tracking bug.

Note: The comments in the tracking bug provide a link to Bodhi to ease the inclusion of bugs, particularly when there are a large number of parent bugs.

Handling tracking bugs via fedpkg

The maintainer commits the fixes and builds packages and then submits the update to Bodhi according to the update submission guide.

Note: The comments in the tracking bug (only since July 2014) provide a template that can be used (cut-n-paste) for the "fedpkg update" process.