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Re: Windows' future (reprise)
From: "Cassidy MacFarlane" <Cassidy.MacFarlane () grantmanagement co uk>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 10:01:35 +0100

Sent from my HTC

-----Original Message-----
From: Thor (Hammer of God) <Thor () hammerofgod com>
Sent: 15 May 2010 21:59
To: full-disclosure () lists grok org uk <full-disclosure () lists grok org uk>
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] Windows' future (reprise)

No, It's Tim Mullen.  No "Bill" here.  

No, I don't misunderstand:  You said "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."  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.  Congratulation, you can make statements in 
the obvious.

You people really need to get your stories straight.  Isn't there some club or something you guys can join to at least 
sync up your talking points?   First we hear about how AV is stupid, unneeded, useless, a waste of money, and if you 
install it then you are ignorant.  Then we hear about how some people can "bypass AV" using kernel hooks on windows XP 
and call it an "8.0 Earthquake."  Now you come out and say that you predict that AV will not be able to keep up with 
these new "threats" and that people must stop using Windows as a result since Windows "is not likely of producing any 
secure version of anything anytime soon."  

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."  

What it is about .NET that should be avoided like the plague?  Wait, before you answer that, let's make sure you are 
qualified to answer.  One must assume that you are an expert .NET developer and that you have keen insight into the 
very foundation of the platform in order to know unequivocally that it should not be used under any circumstances.   
Please give us some code examples of your .NET projects where it failed so miserably, even given your expertise, and 
then provide the "proper" secure solution in your magic TardWare solution.  Certainly someone speaking with such 
authority on the matter can come up with examples in no time.  

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 would particularly like to know what authentication infrastructure you would 
build to support secure enterprise-based services, your solution for client access and administration, and your overall 
network concepts.  Also, what is your preferred replacement for .NET again?  Details on your SDL process would be 
fantastic as well. 

You've got a great opportunity to really contribute to the industry by providing us with your qualifications and 
subsequent solutions to these problems, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what you have to say on the matter 
beyond "Symantec said we'd have this amount of growth, so I said that too, and I was almost right.  And since I was 
almost right, it is imperative to drop all Windows products and re-write all of your .NET code immediately because AV 
won't be able to keep up with it."

t

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk [mailto:full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk] On Behalf Of 
lsi
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 1:07 PM
To: full-disclosure () lists grok org uk
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 () hammerofgod com>
To:                     "full-disclosure () lists grok org uk" <full-
disclosure () lists grok org uk>
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 () lists grok org uk [mailto:full-disclosure-bounces () lists grok org uk] On Behalf Of 
lsi
Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2010 6:12 AM
To: full-disclosure () lists grok org uk
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 () lists grok org uk/msg37173.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 () cyberdelix dot net - http://www.cyberdelix.net/

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

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---
Stuart Udall
stuart at () cyberdelix dot net - http://www.cyberdelix.net/

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

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