Feeds

Steve Gibson picks a fight with Microsoft and The Register

Loud and security-ignorant the pair of us

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Security consultant Steve Gibson - whose claims that Microsoft's latest OS, Windows XP, will destabilise the Internet we have covered extensively - has posted another DDoS diatribe following a conference call with the Beast of Redmond's security team.

In an extremely rare occurrence, however, The Register has been clumped with Microsoft and both received a barracking at his hands [isn't that our job? - Ed]. Well, more precisely Thomas C Greene has been clumped with MS.

Claiming that his concerns and complaints about XP have fallen on deaf ears, Steve Gibson states: "and thanks to many other loud and equally security-ignorant voices which are attempting to confuse the industry on this topic, Microsoft shows no intention of responding to this now very visible threat" with part of the text hyperlinked to one of our stories.

Which one? Er, that'll be the "Steve Gibson really is off his rocker" story. This reporter (me) extensively covered Gibson's claims that XP would enable huge denial of service attacks over the Internet due to its implementation of raw sockets.

This will enable hackers to direct spoofed IP packets at particular sites. The theory runs that since XP will have such a huge uptake with technically illiterate people, hackers will be able to load Trojans onto hundreds of machines and then direct them at will. Hence XP will bring down the Net.

Thomas - who does know a thing or two about security - remains utterly unconvinced by this argument however. As he puts it: "malicious kiddies can already take over Windows machines with Trojans like SubSeven and use them for heavy packeting without the owner's knowledge. Raw socket functionality does not in itself make a machine more or less vulnerable to such infection.

"Furthermore, malicious operators can already do heaps of packet damage using Windows clients without spoofing. Gibson is right that spoofing makes packets nearly impossible to filter, but filtering isn't the answer to a severe packet attack, as anyone who's had to deal with one can attest."

In short, Gibson is "talking absolute bollocks".

So, what does Steve have to say about Thomas' comments. Not much, sadly. The inclusion of the story does seem to calm him down however. Starting with a very angry "Microsoft knows nothing about security and are a bunch of idiots" stance, by the time The Register makes an entrance, Steve has put on his reasoned hat and concluded: "Even though perfect security may be - and probably is - impossible to achieve, increasing the difficulty of criminal exploitation is a worthwhile and effective deterrent."

So there you have it. Check it out for yourself here. Ironically, we found out about this latest installment from receiving an email from Steve sent to email group "My press friends". ®

Related Link

Steve Gibson's latest diatribe

Related Stories

Steve Gibson really is off his rocker
Windows XP will make Internet unstable - top security expert
Everything you wanted to know about DDoS attacks
Security expert waves DDoS white flag
Network ICE CTO responds to further BlackICE criticisms
Network ICE hits back over Gibson jibes
Security expert waves DDoS white flag
Everything you wanted to know about DDoS attacks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.