[ISN] US Used Zero-Day Exploits Before It Had Policies for Them

http://www.wired.com/2015/03/us-used-zero-day-exploits-policies/ By Kim Zetter Security Wired.com March 30, 2015 AROUND THE SAME time the US and Israel were already developing and unleashing Stuxnet on computers in Iran, using five zero-day exploits to get the digital weapon onto machines there, the government realized it needed a policy for how it should handle zero-day vulnerabilities, according to a new document obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The document, found among a handful of heavily redacted pages released after the civil liberties group sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to obtain them, sheds light on the backstory behind the development of the government’s zero-day policy and offers some insight into the motivations for establishing it. What the documents don’t do, however, is provide support for the government’s assertions that it discloses the “vast majority” of zero-day vulnerabilities it discovers instead of keeping them secret and exploiting them. “The level of transparency we have now is not enough,” says Andrew Crocker a legal fellow at EFF. “It doesn’t answer a lot of questions about how often the intelligence community is disclosing, whether they’re really following this process, and who is involved in making these decisions in the executive branch. More transparency is needed.” The timeframe around the development of the policy does make clear, however, that the government was deploying zero-days to attack systems long before it had established a formal policy for their use. […]