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Re: Socat
From: Fyodor <fyodor () insecure org>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 14:39:27 -0700

On Thu, Jun 16, 2005 at 08:17:54PM +0200, Andreas Ericsson wrote:
More like sitting in a wheelchair and building surfboards for no-one in 
particular.

True. Student projects tend to lean somewhat toward intellectual 
masturbation. Let's just hope they don't get carried away with their own 
cleverness.

Just because you don't like to surf, doesn't make surfboards useless.
Sorry for continuing the bad analogy, but the programs are _at least_
ones that *I* would like to use, if no one else.  I spent the summer
of 1997 at Johns Hopkins University, and gave myself a summer project:
write a new and improved port scanner to extend and reinterpret the
excellent but aging and barely maintained strobe.  You may call that
intellectual masturbation or getting carried away with my own
cleverness if you like, but I think the Nmap project has turned out
pretty well.

I wrote Nmap to suit my own needs, and was glad that other people
found it useful as well.  In the same way, my proposals for the Nmap
SoC projects are what I would like to see and use.  And judging by the
hundreds of applications for 5-10 sponsorship slots, many other people
are excited about the prospect as well.  Just because a project
doesn't push all of your buttons, doesn't make it useless.

Something worth while would be write a testing engine for 
vulnerabilities to serially try various exploits on a wide range of 
hosts.

And you were so worried that the revised Netcat would be abused by
script kiddies??!  You declared that "spending quality coding time so
that juvenile idiots ... have a means of quickly doing something
non-constructive and possibly illegal is not my idea of fun."

But seriously -- student absolutely do not need to go by my
proposals.  They can (and some have) propose something totally new or
a major modification of one of these proposals.  And if I think the
proposal rocks, I'll try to get it sponsored.  You need to be a
student for this particular opportunity, and the app deadline has
passed, but if there is something someone really wants to see ... send
me (or nmap-dev) a detailed proposal!  If it looks good, I'll run it
by the applicants and see if any are interested.  I probably will add
at least a couple more projects, if I can think them up.  But it will
have to be in the next few days, as the acceptance deadline is next
Friday.

Remember the major limitations though: it has to be doable by 1
talented student in 2 months.  And I try to propose things that can be
mostly done outside of Nmap's core source code, 'cause having 10
people all trying to hack the Nmap innards would be a mess.  Yet it
still has to be somewhat Nmap related.

Cheers,
Fyodor


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