Chapter 5. Issues to be aware of for stretch

Table of Contents

5.1. Limitations in security support
5.1.1. Security status of web browsers
5.1.2. Lack of security support for the ecosystem around libv8 and Node.js

Sometimes, changes introduced in a new release have side-effects we cannot reasonably avoid, or they expose bugs somewhere else. This section documents issues we are aware of. Please also read the errata, the relevant packages' documentation, bug reports and other information mentioned in Section 6.1, “Further reading”.

5.1. Limitations in security support

There are some packages where Debian cannot promise to provide minimal backports for security issues. These are covered in the following subsections.

Note that the package debian-security-support helps to track security support status of installed packages.

5.1.1. Security status of web browsers

Debian 9 includes several browser engines which are affected by a steady stream of security vulnerabilities. The high rate of vulnerabilities and partial lack of upstream support in the form of long term branches make it very difficult to support these browsers with backported security fixes. Additionally, library interdependencies make it impossible to update to newer upstream releases. Therefore, browsers built upon the webkit, qtwebkit and khtml engines are included in stretch, but not covered by security support. These browsers should not be used against untrusted websites.

For general web browser use we recommend Iceweasel or Chromium.

Chromium - while built upon the Webkit codebase - is a leaf package, which will be kept up-to-date by rebuilding the current Chromium releases for stable. Iceweasel and Icedove will also be kept up-to-date by rebuilding the current ESR releases for stable.

5.1.2. Lack of security support for the ecosystem around libv8 and Node.js

The Node.js platform is built on top of libv8-3.14, which experiences a high volume of security issues, but there are currently no volunteers within the project or the security team sufficiently interested and willing to spend the large amount of time required to stem those incoming issues.

Unfortunately, this means that libv8-3.14, nodejs, and the associated node-* package ecosystem should not currently be used with untrusted content, such as unsanitized data from the Internet.

In addition, these packages will not receive any security updates during the lifetime of the Jessie release.