3.6 Patching Security Flaws

Technical systems always have flaws. In the 19th century, telegraph and telephone technicians spoke of “bugs in the wire” as the source of unexplained buzzing noises and other hard-to-fix problems. We still chase bugs in technical hardware and in software.

Although system developers would like to build error-free software, this has proved to be impractical. Social and economic reasons encourage people to buy lower-quality software at lower prices. Software vendors then provide bug fixes when existing flaws cause too much trouble, or worse, open customer computers to attack.

The Patching Process

Most software developers use a carefully designed process to handle bug fixes. The process collects problem reports ...

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