Asymptotic Vulnerability Remediation

I was just reading this story indicating that there are still close to 200,000 web sites on the Internet that are vulnerable to Heartbleed and recalled the persistent stories of decade old malware still turning up in honeypot logs on the SAN Internet Storm Center podcast.  It seems that vulnerability remediation must follow an asymptotic decay over time.  This has interesting implications when it comes to things like vulnerable systems being used to botnets and the like: no real need to innovate, if you can just be the Pied Piper to the many long tails of old vulnerabilities.

Also interesting to note is that 75,000 of the vulnerable devices are on AWS.  I wonder if providers, at some point, begin taking action against wayward hosting customers who are potentially putting both their platform and reputation at risk.

I’m also left wondering what the story is behind these 200,000 devices: did the startup go belly up? did the site owner die? is it some crappy web interface on an embedded device that will never get an update again?


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