Security firm discloses vulnerabilities to vendors who are willing to pay

VUPEN Security has had enough – no more freebies for software vendors. The security company – previously known as FrSIRT (French Security Incident Response Team) – decided to share their discoveries of vulnerabilities only with those who are ready to pay.

According to a post on their official site, they have recently discovered two vulnerabilities in Office 2010 (affecting Word and Excel) and have created a code execution exploit which works with Office 2010 and bypasses DEP and Office File Validation features.

“Technical details of this memory corruption flaw affecting Excel will not be publicly disclosed, however, our Gov customers who are members of the VUPEN Threat Protection Program have access to the full binary analysis of the vulnerability and a detection guidance to proactively protect their critical infrastructures and networks against this potential threat,” says in the post.

And this “private responsible disclosure policy” is here to stay, as VUPEN CEO Chaouki Bekrar revealed to The H Security. That means that details of the flaw won’t be published until the patch is out, but it also means that if Microsoft wants to know the details, it will have to pay for the information.

It goes without saying that details about use-after-free vulnerability in MS Internet Explorer that VUPEN has announced to have discovered yesterday will also be off-limits to those who aren’t prepared to financially remunerate the researchers’ efforts. For, as Bekrar says, “why should security services providers give away for free information aimed at making paid-for software more secure?”

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