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RE: death of the security community
From: "Craig Wright" <cwright () bdosyd com au>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:00:24 +1100

Answer time...
"Is there such a thing as a 'script kiddie security analyst'?"
Yes, the term script kiddie was formulated over a decade ago by Marcus
Ranum to describe the "Big 6" (at the time - Big 4 now) "security
consultants" how where doing scripted tests. A junior staff member would
do the work from a form created by the manager and hence leverage.

As bob put it - Google away - there is more than enough proof. I believe
it was also in the Blackhat 2000 keynote from Marcus. I am sure that
Marcus will have this on his site. This would be the "Script Kiddies
Suck" talk.

Re. "security assessment". The issue is with the wording. All
professional audit firms are covered in law at least in the "West" (and
I will not speak for more than the G8 and Australia) when the wording of
Audit is used.

It is true that the contract will worm around this. It will be an
"assessment", a "review" or a "agreed procedures process" etc. If you
want to have a real test, than it has to be wording using the correct
legal terms. Even than many times the work will be inadequate, but at
least there are consequences if the word audit is used. There is
liability for the audit firm if you can demonstrate a lack of due care
(i.e. scripted tests).

The test is are they willing to give an audit certificate? What is
contained in the audit certificate? Are they just stating BS or are they
stating they have tested the systems and controls?

So as to proof and agreement/disagreement, it first depends on what is
being done - and I will agree that there is a large "worm" factor here
where legal wording is designed to get past this point. I should start a
course on this - "Pulling apart security vendor contracts for fun and
profit" ;) Being form based contracts this is usually easy (I am biased
on this point as it is a part of what I do)

To change tack, it should also be noted that unless (and it is unlikely
to be the case) an assignment of IP (Intellectual Property) is
completed, than the IP is likely to reside with the consulting firm...


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Radvanovsky [mailto:rsradvan () unixworks net]


So tell me (either you, or anyone else reading this on the discussion
forum)...is there such a thing as a 'script kiddie security analyst'?
By this, I am referring to the many (so-called) "security consultants"
from the large security/auditing consulting companies who simply run a
suite of programs that are pre-defined in their requirements and puke
out a large report that looks intimidating, charging  tens of thousands
of dollars to state that they've done a "security assessment".  I
*challenge* anyone who works in this realm of the industry who feels
otherwise -- BUT TO TAKE MY CHALLENGE ERQUIRES PROOF.  If you disagree
with me, your mission is to provide something that disproves me "theory"
(the reason that I state "theory" in quotes is that I've been through 5
security [ahem] "assessments" from rather large, reputable consulting
firms, only to do the EXACT SAME BLOODY THING that I did before they did
theirs, and more importantly, have them charge between $50,000 and
$300,000 for an "assessment" -- I have proof, too) that larger security
consulting companies merely run the same set of suites of programs that
everyone can do (and does) "in-house".

Just because you know know to start the NMAP program does NOT constitute
that you know *how* to "run" NMAP and what it actually does.  Too many
times, people have stated to me that they've run NMAP, but are unable to
tell me how they did their test, and why it was necessary.

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