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Re: Pentest Criteria
From: Pete Herzog <lists () isecom org>
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 23:18:46 +0200


can you explain how exactly an ISO committee is reviewing a "written manual" that does not exist yet ? And do you 
believe more in the feedback from an ISO committee than from a community
that is working on security in the trenches every single day ?

You misunderstand. ISO isn't reviewing the OSSTMM 3 to better the OSSTMM- they are doing it to see how it fits in the ISO family. The PEER REVIEW of the OSSTMM happens by anyone who can and will review it. We put out calls for reviewers and people show up to review it. Most people never respond back but some do and we go on from there. Some of the best reviews though come from people who just take that which we put out there and start asking questions about it.

The written part is a draft. Just like code that doesn't work, it's just ideas and concepts that's getting put together. The hardest part is putting all the ideas and concepts together so they make sense. So we can publish parts, and we have, but we don't have a whole. It's the equivalent of non-functional code. But just so you know we've also provided the OSSTMM 3 draft in parts to university students working on thesis, NIST, the German government's BSI, the Italian government, a few other government offices that I don't remember anymore and many contributors and reviewers from around the world.

Again, would you be happier if we published nothing at all until each full version is complete?

On another note, OSSTMM 2.2 is even no longer hosted on the ISECOM website. Does it suck THAT hard ?

We don't host it because we could no longer support it. After many requests regarding updates for 2.2 we realized we had to remove it as a direct link off our site to show that we are working on something new. But it's still there. We still carry it in our mirrors. See: http://isecom.securenetltd.com/osstmm.en.2.2.pdf

It's not gone from public use. It's just no longer updated by ISECOM. We can't support it and work on 3.0.

Look, people engaged in using 2.2 because it was good, it was relevant and it was open.  They could refer their 
customers to an open standard, life was good. Companies invested themselves
in using 2.2 because it was worth something.  Then came the promise of 3 and companies invested themselves into a 
paywalled document trusting that, by what they saw from 2.2, would kick ass.
They got people trained on a subset of an unexisting manual at full price , they got people contributing to 3 (how many 
and how much is only known by you) believing one day the sowing would end
and the reaping could start. More importantly, they believed YOU that 3 would make everything about security different. 
They trusted YOU.

People used 2.2 because that's what there was. When we realized that it was too broken to advance and required a new re-write, we did that. We tried to carry 2.2 as long as we could but sometime in 2008 we had to stop supporting it. The new material just did not fit with the old concepts.

The companies who invested in 3.0 are fine for doing so. It's a living breathing project that's growing. They are learning new and better concepts for having invested in it. Many of these companies are also contributors and sponsors so they have versions of the draft they can show their clients.

What is it you don't get ?

I don't get your anger. Nobody said the OSSTMM is dead or was going away. If anything, we've been showing more and more each day that it's alive and we're working on it.

Listen, I do think OSSTMM 3 will make security different and better. I know it's better. I don't think anyone is let down by it. But I can tell you that responding to faulty accusations on mailing lists won't make it happen any faster.


Pete Herzog - Managing Director - pete () isecom org
ISECOM - Institute for Security and Open Methodologies
www.isecom.org - www.osstmm.org
www.hackerhighschool.org - www.badpeopleproject.org

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