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Chapter 7. Debian Security Infrastructure

7.1. The Debian Security Team
7.2. Debian Security Advisories
7.2.1. Vulnerability cross references
7.2.2. CVE compatibility
7.3. Security Tracker
7.4. Debian Security Build Infrastructure
7.4.1. Developer's guide to security updates
7.5. Package signing in Debian
7.5.1. The current scheme for package signature checks
7.5.2. Secure apt
7.5.3. Per distribution release check
7.5.4. Release check of non Debian sources
7.5.5. Alternative per-package signing scheme

7.1. The Debian Security Team

Debian has a Security Team, that handles security in the stable distribution. Handling security means they keep track of vulnerabilities that arise in software (watching forums such as Bugtraq, or vuln-dev) and determine if the stable distribution is affected by it.
Also, the Debian Security Team is the contact point for problems that are coordinated by upstream developers or organizations such as which might affect multiple vendors. That is, when problems are not Debian-specific. The contact point of the Security Team is which only the members of the security team read.
Sensitive information should be sent to the first address and, in some cases, should be encrypted with the Debian Security Contact key (as found in the Debian keyring).
Once a probable problem is received by the Security Team it will investigate if the stable distribution is affected and if it is, a fix is made for the source code base. This fix will sometimes include backporting the patch made upstream (which usually is some versions ahead of the one distributed by Debian). After testing of the fix is done, new packages are prepared and published in the site so they can be retrieved through apt (see Section 4.2, “Execute a security update”). At the same time a Debian Security Advisory (DSA) is published on the web site and sent to public mailing lists including and Bugtraq.
Some other frequently asked questions on the Debian Security Team can be found at Section 12.3, “Questions regarding the Debian security team”.