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Security geek developing WinXP raw socket exploit
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 12:24:26 -0500 (CDT)


By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 12/06/2001 at 05:36 GMT

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! 
   -- Matthew 3:2 

Security specialist Steve Gibson has created quite a fracas with his
increasingly vocal opposition to the raw-socket connectivity planned
for Windows-XP, and upon which he bases predictions of impending chaos
for the entire Internet, so he's decided to exploit the very threat he
claims will make the Internet permanently unstable.

The raw sockets which have Gibson so steamed enable a machine to send
or capture data independent of the operating system -- quite handy if
you're a software developer or an advanced hobbyist. And while it's
true that this also enhances the packet-flooding capabilities of a
Windows machine by making it easy to spoof packets, it's also true
that this function is already included in most other operating
systems, and can be added to an existing Win-9x, 'ME, or '2K machine
quite easily with a library called WinPcap.

All right, we'll allow that there'll be a few s'kiddies who might
prefer to use their Win-XP boxes for such purposes. But they can
already do so simply by installing Linux and doing a bit of reading.

There will also be more Windows clients available for malicious misuse
as 'XP grows in popularity; but one can already do heaps of packeting
from Windows machines with SubSeven, and even launch the attack in
bulk from IRC.

True, the boxes will eventually be found because their IPs are
traceable, and admins will contact the owners and let them know
they're infected -- but only long after the damage is done. Raw
sockets in 'XP only marginally improve the situation for a malicious
party. We really don't see an immense growth in packeting on the

Gibson, on the other hand, tells it like a loner in the desert,
living, we would imagine, on locusts and wild honey for a bit too long
a time.

After being packeted into submission last month by a thirteen-year-old
computer enthusiast called "Wicked", he's become obsessed with the
mission of dissuading Microsoft from outfitting 'XP with the same
capabilities as most of its competitors.

He's written thousands of words on his Web site, denouncing Microsoft
for putting something like real power into a consumer operating
system. He's written memos to the company; he's warned all his site's
visitors; but he's still not satisfied. The "XP Christmas of Death" is
coming, he warns, immediately after which all the little s'kiddies
will gleefully baptize us with fire.

According to Gibson's paranoid delusions, everyone with a computer is
a potential criminal, and the only reason the entire Net population
hasn't yet exploded in some mass orgy of evil is because Microsoft has
thus far refrained from unleashing the uncontrollable power of the raw

He'll show the bastards 

Unfortunately, not enough of the right people are listening to him
with the proper degree of attentiveness. So he's decided to show the
bastards: Gibson is developing a free tool which he calls

"We need a tool to hold ISPs accountable and publicly demonstrate
individual ISP irresponsibility," Gibson says.

"Given the universal reluctance they have demonstrated so far, I
believe that only active public scrutiny will bring about the changes
required to insure [sic] a reliable and secure future for the

From that we infer that Spoofarino will enable Netizens to test
whether or not their ISP allows them to send spoofed packets to
Gibson's site. We imagine that any ISP which fails to filter outbound
spoofed packets will be identified for a solid public shaming.

It sounds like a tool with which one could generate raw packets,
though probably in a controlled manner. But if that's the case, it
would lay much of the ground work for an EZ malicious version
leveraging the very threat Gibson is decrying.

"The threat represented by Microsoft's forthcoming Windows-XP
operating system, with its confirmed ability to easily generate
malicious Internet traffic -- for NO good reason -- can not be
overstated," he warns.

"The proper executives within Microsoft MUST be reached with this
message so that those plans can be reviewed in light of the potential
for their system's massive abuse of the inherently trusting Internet."

And so Steve Gibson is going to show us all.

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