Re: [ISN] Experts: Microsoft security gets an 'F'

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Feb 04 2003 - 02:49:18 PST

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    Forwarded from: Mark Bernard <mbernardat_private>
    Dear Associates,
    Actually this statement may not be far from the truth, however it
    needs to be quantified.
    Typically within the information security program framework we measure
    the success of any program by the reduction in the number of incidents
    of a specific targeted group. The question should be, has the number
    of occurrences of this particular type of incident been reduced
    If the group making the statement has measured the success of the
    Microsoft's initiative against how many systems were actually infected
    they may be using the wrong set of quantifiable criteria, thus their
    statement would be unjustified. A typical program takes three years to
    mature and will need to be tweaked a couple times before it hit 100%
    of the target.
    I should also qualify my statement, I am in no way a Microsoft
    supporter. I truly believe that when a group dominates a market place
    such as Microsoft has, the market in question becomes unhealthy.
    However, that's good for information security professionals. More
    balance is necessary.
    Happy hunting!
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "InfoSec News" <isnat_private>
    To: <isnat_private>
    Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 2:24 AM
    Subject: [ISN] Experts: Microsoft security gets an 'F'
    > February 1, 2003
    > SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- Computer security experts say
    > the recent "SQL Slammer" worm, the worst in more than a year, is
    > evidence that Microsoft's year-old security push is not working.
    > "Trustworthy Computing is failing," Russ Cooper of TruSecure Corp.
    > said of the Microsoft initiative. "I gave it a 'D-minus' at the
    > beginning of the year, and now I'd give it an 'F."'
    > The worm, which exploited a known vulnerability in Microsoft's SQL
    > Server database software, spread through network connections
    > beginning January 25, crashing servers and clogging the Internet.
    > Public reminded of risks
    > It hit a year and one week after Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates sent
    > a company-wide e-mail saying Microsoft would make boosting security
    > of its software a top priority.
    > Microsoft placed responsibility on computer users who failed to
    > install a patch that had been available since at least last June.
    > "The single largest message is: keep your system up to date with
    > patches," Microsoft Chief Security Officer Scott Charney said.
    > But the philosophy of patching is fundamentally flawed and leaves
    > people vulnerable, Cooper said. For example, Microsoft didn't follow
    > its own advice as executives confirmed that an internal network was
    > hit by the worm.
    > "Microsoft was completely hosed (from Slammer). It took them two
    > days to get out from under it," said Bruce Schneier, chief
    > technology officer of Counterpane Internet Security, a network
    > monitoring service provider. "It's as hypocritical as you can get."
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