Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)



Hi Bill!

Thanks for the tip on the DIR command, I did in fact notice that,
however it doesn't give percentages (or total space), AFAIK, and my
monitoring bot wants percentages. My df also reports the computer
name (so I can make sense of the output when the space on multiple
machines is listed one after the other in a report, and if an alert
is generated by the monitoring bot).

The new version of my df uitil is 1951 bytes, the version on my site
is old.

I'm sorry I upset you because I mentioned .NET, is it because you
make a living off it? Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. .NET
is merely one case of many, I picked it as an example because I am
currently supporting a customer with a £23,000 .NET application that
has them utterly locked to Microsoft, and I have no hope at all of
selling them unix anything. Which is a shame for them (I just made a
packet cleaning a nasty virus infection from one of their XP PCs).

As for the .NET connector for PHP, yes, I made that up, and the
problem is where? You wanted a migration strategy, I gave you one! I
did say off top of head. You want me to research it? That's
£120/hr.

I also don't see a problem posting my mail from a Windows PC. Why do
I need to be running unix before I can report that malware is
mutating at 243%? I don't, is the short answer.

Why don't you criticise my arguments, instead of myself, or my job,
or my computer, or my email program, or my personal migration
strategy, or my software? Is it because you can't? I think so.

Stu

On 16 May 2010 at 3:06, Thor (Hammer of God) wrote:

From: "Thor (Hammer of God)" <Thor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <full-
disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date sent: Sun, 16 May 2010 03:06:18 +0000
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

This just gets better all the time. I have to admit, it was fun at first, but now's I grow weary, mostly because this is just sad.

For you to actually think that one can't find out how much free drive space in Windows would be funny it were not so ridiculous. And it's been built into DIR forever. Oh, and your .bas file is 60,000 some odd bytes, not 1951. I think you are confusing the size with the last time you actually did research into what you are talking about.

The main point here is for people to see how easy it is for someone who admits that they know nothing about .NET, nor care to learn anything about .NET, to honestly and publically say that people must uninstall it as if it were the plague. You actually get paid to tell people to uninstall it and use "a .NET connector to PHP" - whatever the hell that is. Simply amazing to me.

And yet, it's fine for YOU to continue to use a "closed source" operating system to run your "dear Peg" closed source email program because you don't feel like practicing what you preach. To think that you consider insight into moving a couple of computers over to *nix as the basis to make sweeping generalized statements of how migrating is a one-off cost staggers the imagination. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion, so good luck with yours dude. But what you are doing to the poor people who not only trust you but also pay you seems to be quite a disservice indeed. But that's between you and whatever your ethic is.

So in a nutshell (and I'll drop off after this as I think this has played itself out) you hate closed source and .NET and get paid to tell other people to migrate to non-existent ".NET connector's to PHP" after switching from Windows to BSD, but compose the very email that you so vehemently condemn them on a closed source operating system with a closed source program because you don't have "time to figure out how to use your computer at the same time." (direct quote). I think I got it. Thanks for sharing.

Oh, one last thing - your "dear Pegasus" 4.51 Windows-based program that you hypocritically hold on to while demonizing Windows and .NET was... wait for it.... wait for it.... written with Visual Studio 2008 C++ - a proud Microsoft .NET Framework development platform!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Goodnight!

t

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of lsi
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 7:15 PM
To: full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

On 16 May 2010 at 0:09, Thor (Hammer of God) wrote:

Just as I expected. A wishy washy response, nothing concrete or even
vaguely resembling substantive material, backtracking on an exact
quote, the obligatory reference to your formula ala Craig Wright, with
the final "oh, I'm sure you would like to know, but I'll have to
charge you in order to tell you."

Well spotted, I am a consultant... I get paid to behave that way!

It was your misquote I corrected, if you call that a backtrack, suit yourself! I was giving you my working so you could reproduce my numbers... never mind.

I was wrong to assume that you would try to educate yourself about
.NET

Other than how to uninstall it, I have no desire to know anything about it.

The "amount of free disk space on a drive" utility you wrote

Yeah, how crap, it's called df in unix, everyone hates it enormously!
A truly useless tool. That must be why a df command appeared in Version 1 of AT&T UNIX. Windows doesn't have something like that, so I made one myself. You should see the new version, writes to STDOUT, supports multiple drives on one commandline, 1951 bytes of source, 154k uncompressed EXE, beat it if you can....

P.S. The headers on your email show that you are using Pegasus Mail
for Windows (4.51). I know a guy who can help you switch to Linux if
you want. I think he charges about £120/hr.

Amusing, however Pegasus is a perfect example of the difficulty users face when migrating. As my dear Peg isn't open source, it's one of the reasons this machine still runs Windows (along with Quake, and the tools I have created over years to help me work, and their PowerBasic compiler). I don't want to be on the phone to a customer and trying to figure out how to use my computer at the same time, so I decided to go slow for now. I think this is a fair decision. My servers run unix, it's just this desktop that is left. I'm not in a big hurry, this machine is nicely optimised. I'm not looking forward to the day that I have to rewrite all my tools. I know it will be a total PITA, take ages, introduce bugs and generally cost me a packet.
Unfortunately, long-term, the alternative is even worse. I am very familiar with the issues faced when migrating, as I have those issues. Does this surprise you?

Stu

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of lsi
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 4:15 PM
To: full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

IOW, you took what Symantec's numbers were for one year, and guessed
they would be the same for this year, and then posted how you were
almost right.

You definitely misunderstand. AFAIK, Symantec do not publish the number 243%. I calculated it myself, using this sum:

(0.92 + 3.67 + 1.64 + 1.24 + 4.44 + 2.65) / 6

I also calculated those numbers, using the general formula y(n+1) / y(n). This is all explained on the link I gave in my original post:

http://www.cyberdelix.net/files/malware_mutation_projection.pdf

Even in the most recent report, Symantec only refer to the growth rate by saying it was "more than double" (eg, 200+%) - although I haven't read it closely, they may well elaborate on that at some point.

You people really need to get your stories straight.

There is only one of me, I assure you.

Then you blithe on about how people should "avoid any software that
locks them into a Microsoft Platform like the plague" and
specifically note .NET for businesses but of course fail to provide
any examples of where they should go, or any real advice on your
"mitigation strategy."

I agree Windows needs mitigation, that is why I am posting. I didn't mention alternatives as that's not my purpose, to promote a specific product, and I wouldn't want my observations to be tainted by it.
However, now you've asked, I'd recommend FreeBSD, without even seeing your spec. Desktops? PC-BSD. As for .NET, off top of head I'd suggest a .NET connector for PHP, running on FreeBSD of course.

What it is about .NET that should be avoided like the plague? Wait,

Sorry but I already answered that. It's because it locks the
customer into a Microsoft platform.

One must assume that you are an expert .NET developer

You'd assume wrong - it doesn't take an expert to recognise a dependency.

Additionally, you've clearly performed migration engagements for
these people you "advise." Please let us know what the actual
migration plan was, and how you have so brilliantly created a
one-off cost migration path. I'm really interested in the details about that.

I'm sure you are, and I'd be happy to oblige. My rates for that kind of work start at £120/hr. Please PM me for more info.

Details on your SDL process would be fantastic as well.

Continuous incremental improvement (TQM). RERO. Prototyping. Agile is the word used nowadays I believe... revolution through evolution, as I said....

Stu

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of lsi
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 1:07 PM
To: full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

Is that you, Bill?

I think you misunderstand. 9 months ago, I measured the growth rate at 243%, using Symantec's stats. 9 months ago I posted that number here, together with a prediction of this year's stats. Recently, I got this year's stats and compared them with that prediction. I found that this prediction was 75.4% accurate. I am now reporting those results back to the group. And this is trolling how?

My point is that the prediction was not wildly wrong, and so that leads me to wonder if anything else I said, 9 months ago, was also not wildly wrong.

My main reason for claiming that Windows is inherently insecure is because it's closed source. However it's also because of the sloppy, monolithic spaghetti code that Windows is made of. If you're claiming Windows is in fact inherently secure, I assume this means you don't use AV on any of your Windows machines, and advise everyone you know to uninstall it?

I never said migration would be free or easy. That is why I am posting this data here, because I see it as a vulnerability, a very big vulnerability that many companies have not woken up to. The very fact that migration is hard, lengthy, and expensive, means that the vulnerability is larger than ever.

Stu

On 15 May 2010 at 14:40, Thor (Hammer of God) wrote:

From: "Thor (Hammer of God)" <Thor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <full-
disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date sent: Sat, 15 May 2010 14:40:29 +0000
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

I am constantly amazed at posts like this where you make yourself sound like some sort of statistical genius because you were "able to predict" that since last year was %243, that this year would be %243. Wow. Really?

And for the record, these claims of 'inherent insecurity' in Windows are simply ignorant. If you are still running Windows 95 that's your problem. Do a little research before post assertions based on 10 or 20 year old issues.

This smacks of the classic troll, where you say things like "nothing that Microsoft makes is secure and it never will be" and then go on to say how easy it is to migrate, and how it's free, with only a one off cost, and how to move off of .NET.

Obvious "predictions," ignorant assumptions, and a total lack of any true understanding of business computing. Yep, "troll."

t

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:full-disclosure-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
lsi
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 6:12 AM
To: full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

Hi All!

Just a followup from my posting of 9 months ago (which can be
found
here):

http://www.mail-archive.com/full-disclosure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/msg3
71
73.html

Symantec have released "Internet Security Threat Report: Volume XV:
April 2010". My posting from last year was based on the previous "Internet Security Threat Report: Volume XIV: April 2009". So I thought it would be interesting to check my numbers. The new edition of the Threat Report is here:

http://www4.symantec.com/Vrt/wl?tu_id=SUKX1271711282503126202

You may recall that last year, the average annual growth rate of new threats (as defined by Symantec) was 243%. This enabled me to predict that the number of new threats in this year's Symantec Threat Report would be 243% of last years; eg. I predicted 9 months ago the number of new threats in this year's Symantec Threat Report would be 243% * 1656227, or 3840485.87.

The actual number of new threats in this year's Symantec Threat Report is 2895802, an error on my part of 24.6%.

This is quite a chunk, however it is not that far off. My excuses:

- my number was based on averages, so it will never be exact. There will be a natural variance in the growth rate, caused by many factors.

- in the new edition, Symantec have altered the raw data a little - the number of new threats for 2009, 2008, 2007 etc is slightly different to those same years, as listed in the previous version of the report. I have not updated my projection to allow for this.

- Symantec note that "The slight decline in the rate of growth should not discount the significant number of new signatures created in 2009. Signature-based detection is lagging behind the creation of malicious threats..." (page 48).

Am I retreating from my position? Absolutely not. I am now expecting the number of new threats in next years' report to be 7036798.86. This is 2895802 * 243%. This includes the error introduced by Symantec's changes to the raw data. I don't think it matters much.

As this flood of new threats will soon overpower AV companies'
ability to catalogue them (by 2015, at 243% growth, there will be
2.739 MILLION new threats PER DAY (over 1900 new threats per minute)), and as Symantec admits above that "signature-based detection is lagging", and as Microsoft are not likely to produce a secure version of anything anytime soon, I am not at all hopeful of a clean resolution to this problem.

I continue to advise that users should, where possible, deploy alternatives; that they should, if they have not already, create and action a migration strategy; and that they should avoid like the plague, any software which locks them into a Microsoft platform.
Business .NET applications, I'm lookin' at you.

Those failing to migrate will discover their hardware runs slower and slower, while doing the same job as it did previously. They will need to take this productivity hit, OR buy a new computer, which will also eventually surcumb to the same increasing slowness. They will need to buy new machines more and more frequently. Eventually, they will run out of money - or, for the especially deep-pocketed, they will find they cannot deploy the new machines fast enough, before they are already too slow to use. The only alternative to this treadmill is to dump Windows. The sooner it is dumped, the less money is wasted buying new hardware, simply to keep up with security- induced slowness.

Why spend all that time and money on a series of new Windows machines, without fixing the actual problem, which is the inherent insecurity of Windows? People can spend the same time and money replacing Windows, and then they won't need to worry about the problem any more. The difference is that sticking with Windows incurs ongoing and increasing costs, while a migration incurs a one- off cost.

I don't think it takes a genius to see which approach will cost less.

Notes:
- see page 10 of the Volume XIV (2009) edition, and page 48 of
Volume XV (2010) edition, for the relevant stats

- since my post of last year, I have also noticed a similar
exponential curve in the number of threats detected by Spybot
Search and Destroy (a popular anti-spyware tool). This curve can
be seen
here:

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/updatehistory/index.html

- my projection of growth rates up to 2016 (written last year) is
here:

http://www.cyberdelix.net/files/malware_mutation_projection.pdf

Comments welcome..

Stu


---
Stuart Udall
stuart at@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx net - http://www.cyberdelix.net/

---
* Origin: lsi: revolution through evolution (192:168/0.2)

_______________________________________________
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html
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_______________________________________________
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html
Hosted and sponsored by Secunia - http://secunia.com/




---
Stuart Udall
stuart at@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx net - http://www.cyberdelix.net/

---
* Origin: lsi: revolution through evolution (192:168/0.2)

_______________________________________________
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
Charter: http://lists.grok.org.uk/full-disclosure-charter.html
Hosted and sponsored by Secunia - http://secunia.com/



Relevant Pages

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