Re: [ISN] Backing Up Oracle's "Unbreakable" Vow

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 00:40:45 PST

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    Forwarded from: Jay D. Dyson <jdysonat_private>
    On Wed, 23 Jan 2002, InfoSec News wrote:
    > If I'm going to buy a secure DB, I'm going to pick whichever company has
    > the biggest balls - Sorry dudes - that's Oracle right now.  If they say
    > "Unbreakable", whether or not it's true, the fact that everyone knows
    > it's a red rag makes me and probably ever other oracle customer very
    > happy because we all think they think they know what they're doing. 
    	And we all know how far that went with Adobe's ebooks, eh?
    	Ah, the "benefits" of living in the time of DMCA.  Companies can
    claim that their product solves world hunger if they want to, and anyone
    who seeks to tear their software apart to determine otherwise can be
    hauled in for violating the law. 
    	Like it or not, the companies don't have "big balls" because they
    have faith in their product; they have _el cojones grande_ because they
    know they can stick it to whoever disassembles their code and proves them
    	The Emperor has no clothes, and pointing that out will get you the
    fine Federal treatment that Dmitry Sklyarov got last July.
    > No it does not.  It's an outdated standard which NAI are dumping because
    > it's massive loss-making venture.  Go visit Thawte to get your keys
    > signed... oh yes... you can't.  They've dropped PGP support too.  And
    > what does PGP do about Magic-Lantern etc?  They warn you with a cute
    > sentence burried inside hundreds of pages of doc that you're on your own
    > - bad luck. 
    	NAI had that caveat in place long before Magic Lantern.  Though
    many were adamant that NAI PGP on Windows didn't suffer from any
    possibility that the user's pass phrase or cleartext wouldn't wind up in
    the Windows swap, they docs nonetheless indicated that all bets were off.
    > > I for one only trust open source software to have any security at
    > > all, and only then because if required to, I could audit the code,
    > > or subcontract someone to do so.
    > That's about the most amusing thing I ever heard.  If you ever spent
    > even as little as 10 seconds looking at the actual source, you'd notice
    > that no matter what product it is, it's been cobbled together by a dozen
    > or more benevolent hackers who combined had only half a clue what they
    > were doing, and even less about how it should be done. 
    	Got some examples to back this up?
    > And you "trust" this?  Have you *any* idea how easy it is to insert
    > deliberate yet heavily obfuscated backdoors?  What's the chance of an
    > open source programmer getting sacked if they're busted?  Hmmm.  So what
    > deterant is there?? 
    	The deterrent is that the source is open to public and critical
    review, unlike closed-source software that will get you criminal penalties
    when you reverse-engineer it.
    	What do you think keeps academic research honest?  Peer review.
    Same story with Open Source software.  We can only wish that closed source
    commercial products were subject to the same scrutiny.
    - -Jay
       (    (                                                         _______
       ))   ))   .-"There's always time for a good cup of coffee."-.   >====<--.
     C|~~|C|~~| (>------ Jay D. Dyson - jdysonat_private ------<) |    = |-'
      `--' `--'  `--------- Quietem nemo impune lacessit. ---------'  `------'
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