Fred Blonder wrote:
> Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SCT.
> I'm reluctant to dive into a raging argument, but I was at the SCT
> 'Hospitality Suite' at the NCSC Conference in Baltimore last week, and
> have a few comments to toss in.
> One of the more amazing/appalling 'features' of this system which no
> one has mentioned in the discussion is that all executables are in the
> 'executable' domain, and all such executables are not modifiable while
> the system is in connected to the network. The kernel will execute
> ONLY files in this domain, hence there's no way for a user to import a
> virus-contaminated program and execute it.
> I asked point blank: "How do you compile and run a program on
> The answer was: "You don't."
that seems pretty reasonable. i don't develop code
on my homegrown firewall host either.
in fact if i could do what sidewinder's doing and explicitly
forbid execution of any new programs on my firewall host, i'd
> I presume that you can compile and link a program file, but if you
> the kernel detects it as a 'security violation'.
> This is a simple way to detect viruses: Assume EVERYTHING is a virus
> and you can't possibly miss any. ;-)
i wouldn't consider a new program to be a virus. it could however
be a security problem.
> One of the more disturbing aspects of the system is the 'content based
> filtering'. Apparently, arriving mail is spooled in one domain,
> inaccessible to the users, then the content-based-filter demon comes
> along and processes it, moving whatever mail it approves into the
> 'user' domain. The filter demon uses some elaborate AI techniques
> (lots of hand waving at this point in the explanation) to evaluate the
> content of the mail, and enforces the company policy on mail-content.
> They had an elaborate glitzy demo with cute animations, which
> demonstrated the filter 'in action' rejecting a piece of mail because
> the text of the message was determined by the filter to be
> "offensive". The example message in question was an anonymous message
> directed to the president of a fictitious company, which said basically
> "I can't believe they promoted a woman to the presidency of XYZ Co.",
> with assorted explitives thrown in.
> This could be either: 1) More advertising hype, or 2) a really powerful
> tool for controlling what information your employees are shipping
> around. They'll want you to believe #2, which I find very scary.
unfortunately a lot of employers would find it comforting.
there's also possibility #3: the demo 'filter' and 'offensive mail'
was cooked up by a marketing weenie who doesn't know what a piece
of mail to say trip sendmail bugs would look like, but is familiar
with the rules on sexual harrassment.
ericm ericm @