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Re: Hakin9's new Nmap Guide
From: alexandru <alex () hackd net>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 16:03:47 -0700

On 2012-09-28, at 1:05 PM, Fyodor <fyodor () insecure org> wrote:

On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 05:50:31PM +0200, Luis MartinGarcia. wrote:

Just a FYI. The Hakin9 magazine publishes an Nmap guide this month. I
haven't read it, since it's only available to paid subscribers but I had
the opportunity to have a look at two of the articles via the reviewers
mailing list and, to be honest, they were a bit disappointing 

Hahahaha, I just saw the guide.  The best article is the first one,
which Hakin9 apparently published without even reading.  And they told
me I could post it as a sample of their work.  Here it is:


The article is by some well-known researchers:

Jon Oberheide, Nico Waisman, Matthieu Suiche, Chris Valasek,
Yarochkin Fyodor, the Grugq and Jonathan Brossard, Mark Dowd

Maybe they were sick of Hakin9's constant
please-write-an-unpaid-article-for-us spam and decided to submit some
well-crafted gibberish in response.

hakin9 sounds like the kind of operation that would fake authorship claims for SEO juice =) At least @mdowd disavows 
contributing to the article: https://twitter.com/mdowd/statuses/251849760967901185

But the whole thing is a pretty smart ruse, and big chunks of it seem to be obtained from Markov chain text 
generators[^0] applied to a corpus of 'related' work.

Props to the original author(s), wherever they troll^W roam.

[^0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markov_chain#Markov_text_generators

Even the paper title is ridiculous:

Nmap: The Internet Considered Harmful - DARPA Inference Cheking Kludge Scanning

They clearly chose that title so just so they could refer to it as
DICKS throughout the paper.  There is even an ASCII penis in the
"sample output" section, but apparently none of this raised any flags
from Hakin9's "review board".

Plus it is full of text like:

"Our experiments soon proved that exokernelizing our fuzzy Knesis
keyboards was more effective than making autonomous them, as previous
work suggested. Our experiments soon proved that microkernelizing our
PDP 11s was more effective than exokernelizing them, as previous work
suggested. We note that other researchers have tried and failed to
enable this functionality."

"NMAP requires root access in order to allow B-trees."

"First, cyberneticists added 10 GB/s of Internet access to our
network. Further, we removed a 7TB USB key from our highly- available
cluster to consider our Xbox network. Furthermore, we reduced the
effective tape drive throughput of our stochastic overlay
network. Similarly, we tripled the effective floppy disk space of our
Internet-2 overlay network."

"Once the remote operating system has been identified, DICKS will
trigger a remote pool overflow in the IP Stack of the kernel. A
combination of ROP and pool heap spraying enables relatively good

"While we know of no other studies on autonomous methodologies,
several efforts have been made to analyze object-oriented
languages. Similarly, Thomas and Raman suggested a scheme for
refining autonomous theory, but did not fully realize the
implications of digital-to-analog converters at the time [7, 12,
13]. Furthermore, we had our method in mind before Wilson published
the recent seminal work on Lamport clocks. In general, NMAP
outperformed all existing systems in this area [14-17]."

The figures are great too, including one charting "the 10th-percentile
latency of NMAP, as a function of popularity of IPv7".  They cite 27
reverences, including seminal journal articles like "Towards the
Synthesis of Vacuum Tubes" and "Decoupling 802.11 Mesh Networks From
Hierarchical Databases in DNS".

Bravo, Mark Dowd and crew, Bravo!


PS: I think the authors used this "Automatic CS Paper Generator" as a
   starting point: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

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