Re: [fw-wiz] concerning ~el8 / project mayhem

From: Darren Reed (
Date: 08/18/02

From: Darren Reed <>
To: (Marcus J. Ranum)
Date: Sun Aug 18 03:51:01 2002

In some email I received from Marcus J. Ranum, sie wrote:
> Paul D. Robertson wrote:
> >> in the past. If you're a true white hat, you're not replete with
> >> hacking technique and you're not the kind of guy who can whip out
> >> a tool to crack into any website any time, or whatever. UNfortunately,
> >
> >I'm not sure I totally agree with this premise- I think I couldsit
> >and find and code exploits on my test network if I had the time.
> That's not hacking technique, that's commonsense engineering.

I find a lot of IT is just "commonsense engineering", but how things
go so wrong is a mystery. Well, I guess if you're forced to use
broken tools, what can be expected but a mishapen result ?

> I should have been more clear in my terminology: I meant that you
> don't need to run around with a big encrypted CDROM full of your
> toolz to be a security guru. You need to understand the forms and
> functions of categories of attacks so you can defend against them
> or design around them as _categories_ - having specific knowledge
> (or toolz) to break specific versions of software on specific architectures -
> that's just lame script-kid stuff. And there are a kit of "security
> analysts" whose level of expertise is more in the script kiddy vein
> than not. Perhaps we should call them "Scanner-kiddies" ? ;)

Careful Marcus, it is starting to sound like you're justifying things
like CISSP that teach you lots about nothing ;-)

Maybe you should start offering courses in security and give out
certificates titled MRCRISP (Macrus Ranum Certified Real Information
Security Professional. :-)

"security analyst" is just a job title, nothing more, nothing less.
To give you some idea of how worthless job titles are in IT, you
have people calling themselves 'scientists' in the IT security
industry when you're lucky if they have a bachelors degree in anything
and definately not a Ph.D or anything you'd expect a *real* scientist
in something like biochemistry to have.