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October 22, 2015

The problem with ‘pumpkin spice’ security bugs

by John_A

Pumpkin Spice Sign, Whole Foods, Pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Pumpkin #Spice

Bad Password is a hacking and security column by Violet Blue. Every week she’ll be exploring the trendy new cyberhysteria, the state of the infosec community and the ever-eroding thing that used to be called “privacy.” Bad Password cuts through the greed, fear mongering and jargon with expertise, a friendly voice and a little levelheaded perspective.

When asked, “Why give a vulnerability a website, logo and brand image?” many infosec professionals will confidently answer that flamboyant bugs raise awareness toward fixes. Fixing and patching, we’re led to believe, is almost as fun as a trip to the dentist. Which is true. Heartbleed, Shellshock, Stagefright, Sandworm, Rootpipe, Winshock and the truly terror-inducing nom-de-sploit POODLE are not, in fact, a list of situational phobias. These were named with intent to become PR markers — although looking at the way some of these vulns (vulnerabilities) got their names and brands, it seems like the focus was more on the credit for naming them, rather than the actual usefulness of trying to “pumpkin spice” a bug.

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