The BigFix Patch for AIX team has been getting questions about the Source Release Date on the AIX Fixlets, and how that date differs from other vulnerability or security update management tracking tools such as FLRT, PSIRT, and similar.
This article aims to shed some light on the BigFix Patch for AIX content publish schedule, as well as the sources used to identify properties and metadata related to the release, publish, and propagation dates.
What does the Source Release Date refer to?
Source Release Date is based on the first issued date of the IBM Security Advisory document. This date refers to the actual date when the package is released by the AIX team. It does not indicate the Fixlet release date. All Fixlets contain this date.
How soon will the Fixlets be available from the Source Release Date?
BigFix Patch does not base its content generation nor publishing schedule on the Source Release Date, but on the Bulletin Publish Date instead. The Bulletin Publish Date refers to the updated date indicated in the email notifications (MyNotifications) or RSS feed of an IBM Security Advisory. This design explains why the Source Release Date found on Fixlets do not align with the ones on FLRT, PSIRT, and similar.
BigFix Patch targets to release the content within five days from when the fix was announced on the said bulletin publish date.
Is there a way to tell when the Fixlets were released as opposed to when the source was released?
Fixlets contain a hidden MIME field that can tell you the propagation time. The X-Fixlet-First-Propagation refers to the Fixlet MIME field that is used for tracking the Fixlet propagation date, which refers to the date when BigFix published the content to the external site.
mime field "X-Fixlet-First-Propagation" of fixlet 1108101 of bes site whose (name of it = "Patches for AIX")
Note that this may not always be entirely accurate with the way they are automatically generated when content are published. Also, possible differences in timezones should be noted.
What are the ways to track AIX Fixlet releases?
Here are some resources that might be helpful:
Hope you find this information useful.
Should you have any questions, please post them in the forum. Thank you!
Application Engineering Team
IBM BigFix Patch