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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Rob Rosenberger

I lost count of all the 'firsts' this time

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Wednesday, 16 February 2000 SOMEBODY ALWAYS NABS a "first" in the computer security world. You can count on multiple firsts after a high-profile event. Check out the latest crop of industry leaders:
Network Associates was the first on the block to be first. Twice!
  • 2/10/00
    • Network Associates announced "the first and only on-line solution available to detect a family of computer vulnerabilities and 'zombie' agents, stopping hackers' ability to secretly link networked computer systems in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks."
    • McAfee (a subsidiary of Network Associates) announced "its flagship VirusScan product is the industry's first and only anti-virus product to detect the 'Zombie' code responsible for launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks."
  • 2/11/00
    • Symantec announced "the industry's first integrated personal Internet Security Solution, combining firewall, parental control and anti-virus technology to ensure a safe Internet computing experience for all."
  • 2/15/00
    • BindView announced its "Zombie Zapper [is the] first to defend against ... the recent denial of service attacks plaguing major e-commerce sites."
    • Ensim announced "the industry's first scalable security appliance that helps service providers secure 'always-on' computers from becoming launch-pads for Internet Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, like the ones witnessed last week."
  • 2/16/00
    • ProactiveNet announced "the first intelligent e-transaction performance products that increase site reliability, provide early detection of site problems, and increase the speed at which site problems are resolved ... allow[ing] site owners to quickly detect if hackers or other activities are beginning to affect site performance and pinpoint any problems before they become catastrophic."
    • AXENT announced it was the "first to Discover Signature for and Provide Countermeasures to Help Block New Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack Stealth Tool."
My apologies if I missed any other vendors' firsts. On a related note, suicidal email service provider StarLabs fired off a press release after discovering their "first" virus. A deadly über-virus, natch. We found a new generation of virus, we detected it before any other antivirus vendor, we found it using software we developed, and we we we all the way home. StarLabs calls their detection software "Skeptic." I can't wait for them to market it. Oh, and the newly discovered über-virus contains "pornographic material" of two pandas in the throes of passion. Mouthpiece Alex Shipp warned "virus writers have mixed the elements of the most malicious viruses with porn... [What we discovered] is very damaging, and pretty offensive too." "Offensive"? Pandas mate five days a week on the Discover[1] channel, you know. I saw two lions going at it in a PBS documentary. Barn owls, same thing. A frog ejaculated all over his mate's eggs in yet another documentary — and you haven't lived 'til you watch a praying mantis courtship on TV. Shipp needs to get out of his cubicle more often if you ask me. Hmmm. Shipp's mom shouldn't take him to the zoo — the gazelles might give him an eyeful.