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Why your vendor has no SNMP fix

And why Microsoft hates Uncle Sam

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Ever wonder why only a handful of vendors had a fix ready for the myriad SNMP vulnerabilities recently reported? The vulns were discovered nine months ago, after all.

We picked up a tip from one of our sources Thursday. It appears that the FBI's NIPC pressured the White House, which in turn pressured CERT, to break the news two weeks sooner than originally planned.

NIPC decided that the vast smorgasbord of holes was a threat to crucial infrastructure, and that forewarned was forearmed. The reasoning here is that a simple workaround beats blithe ignorance hands down.

Most vendors thought they had an additional two weeks to tweak their patches, and that's why so few are available at the moment.

Interesting here is that NIPC's decision flies in the face of Microsoft's neurotic insistence that vulnerabilities not be disclosed until an 'official' patch can be cobbled together. This may be the best criticism yet of MS' security through obscurity regime.

We note that MS was delighted to leave millions of Passport users vulnerable to exploitation while they worked on a patch for a disastrous hole. It was only when their trousers were pulled down by security researcher Marc Slemko that they disabled the 'feature' which left their foolishly trusting customers open to attack.

Apparently Uncle Sam thinks this approach to network security is bollocks.

This may be a golden moment. We think it is too. ®

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