Re: [fw-wiz] tunnel vs open a hole

From: R. DuFresne (
Date: 04/10/03

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    From: "R. DuFresne" <>
    To: George Capehart <>
    Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 09:07:41 -0400 (EDT)

    It seems that the real power holder in the whole debate is perhaps that
    identity having been pointed to and referenced more frequently in recent
    rants on coding styles and such; the consumer. On that bent, perhaps a
    holding of breath for change to take place in forcing companies and their
    coders and such to pay more attention to the details of secureity and
    bounds checks and all, might well result in a number of purple heads/faces
    blowing up under-pressure. Afterall, we as a buying public still payout
    large sums of cash yearly for SUV's that almost need a direct link to a
    gas pump, roll over wiht slight twists of the steering mechanics to avoind
    obsticles, and do extremely poorly in crash tests. Even with seatbelts
    and airbags installed, under federal regulations.


    Ron DuFresne

    On Wed, 9 Apr 2003, George Capehart wrote:

    > On Tuesday 08 April 2003 11:21 pm, Marcus J. Ranum wrote:
    > > Behm, Jeffrey L. wrote:
    > > ><pet peeve>
    > > >When will programmers begin (again) to do basic error checking?
    > > ></pet peeve>
    > >
    > > It's sure as hell not because the tools don't exist. Even back in the late
    > > 1980's you had tools like Saber-C (now CodeCenter) that did huge amounts
    > > of runtime error checking. The tools are there and have been there; it's
    > > the "get it to market yesterday" mindset and the fact that a lot of
    > > software engineers are spoiled brats that have allowed the lunatics to take
    > > control of the asylum.
    > <pre-rant>
    > Yes, there are *many* tools to help write, trace, and clean code. There are
    > also several Web sites, books, and, yes, even coding standards that deal with
    > writing sane (and secure) code. There are even whole programs designed to
    > impose good process on the whole system development life cycle (the Rational
    > Unified Process, the CMMI and SSE-CMM come immediately to mind). And, back
    > in the Dark Ages when I was actually writing code, I *knew better* than to
    > take the shortcuts I was taking, but in the face of having to deliver a
    > product yesterday, for free, I was put in the position of having to slam dunk
    > a system.
    > </pre-rant>
    > <rant>
    > It's my conviction that all of this is a management problem. If the business
    > owner of the product/project or whatever really gave a rat's a**, error
    > checking *would* exist in code. Or, even if the project manager . . . or the
    > technical lead cared, there would be processes in place *at every phase of
    > the SDLC* to identify and manage risk and control errors. We learned
    > (relatively) long ago that the earlier in the SDLC we discover
    > errors/mistakes/problems the cheaper it is to fix. Rhetorical question:
    > When was the last time anyone was on a project where there was serious focus
    > on identifying problems and fixing them as early as possible? Gotta say that
    > I was recently on a very large project ( > 10^7 USD) for a very well-known
    > company and the **_only_** focus was meeting a delivery date. An important
    > point is that the delivery date had assumed a certain start date and certain
    > resource level. The start date had slipped by several months and the
    > staffing level was at less than half of the planned level. So, take a guess
    > how much code review is going on on that project . . . Guess how much testing
    > will be done. Guess how much detail *design* was done. Bottom line: Until
    > business system owners (whether it be of an internal project or a product)
    > are held accountable for the security, quality and performance of the systems
    > for which they are responsible, programmers will continue to work 16-hour
    > plus days busting their humps and *not* doing any more in their code than
    > they absolutely have to because they don't have ***TIME*** to.
    > </rant>
    > My very cynical $0.02.
    > Sorry . . . I get this way. Seems like the people who would care the most,
    > care the least.
    > Disclaimer: I work for neither Rational/IBM or the SEI.

            admin & senior security consultant:
    "Cutting the space budget really restores my faith in humanity.  It
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                    -- Johnny Hart
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