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RE: Steve Gibson smokes crack
From: "William Lefkovics" <william () lefkovics net>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 14:28:26 -0800

Notwithstanding the high probability that there was an unintended bug in the
intentionally planted bug.  (Which bug do they patch?)

And no matter, the subject line of the thread remains true regardless.

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk
[mailto:full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk] On Behalf Of bkfsec
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 1:58 PM
To: jasonc () science org
Cc: full-disclosure () lists grok org uk
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Steve Gibson smokes crack?

Jason Coombs wrote:


The Microsoft corporate entity may not be malicious in terms of 
purposefully planting backdoors with knowledge and consent of Gates et 
al (this assertion is of course questionable) however, individual 
programmers at Microsoft have probably planted backdoors on purpose.
This happens frequently in many software shops.

Oh I'm quite certain that it happens...

The corporate culture at Microsoft made it easy to do so, and get away 
with it, as you so accurately described. Individual product managers 
who encouraged the least safe configurations and least safe 
feature/code designs might have done so for the purpose of preserving 
widespread access to such backdoors.

Perhaps... it's really tough to tell the difference.  My assertion would be
that it can be difficult to tell the difference between an accidental bug, a
design flaw, and an intentionally planted bug.  Of course, that would depend
on the bug and any evidence in the code regarding the bug, but unless
there's something that says "My exploit here", as sort of happened with the
NSA backdoor fiasco, it still might be difficult to prove.  Even then, we
still don't know that that was an NSA backdoor beyond a shadow of a doubt.
There are worms out there with copyright notices listing the government of
China.  Did China actually create the worm?  Why would it put a copyright
notice in the code?  More likely that data is there for the purpose of
deception.  So even comments and symbols aren't 100% trustworthy.  (Not the
same scenario, but still illustrates that trust is difficult)

I think we need to be careful about making accusations without solid
evidence.

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