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From: pauls at (Schmehl, Paul L)
Subject: Sidewinder G2 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> [] On Behalf Of 
> Paul Niranjan
> Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 1:29 AM
> To: 'Michael Gale';
> Subject: RE: [Full-Disclosure] Sidewinder G2 
> Comments please 
> Secure Computing Sidewinder G2 Firewall Stops New 
> High-Profile Sendmail Attack 
> Secure's Sidewinder G2 Firewall with Patented Type 
> Enforcement Technology Prevents Sendmail Attack Warned About 
> in CERT Advisory CA-2003-07 - No Emergency Security Patches Required 

1) You have to patch servers irregardless of whether they are protected
by other mechanisms or not.  You're still vulnerable to an internal
attack on sendmail, which Sidewinder would do nothing about.  <pet
peeve>Security doesn't start and end at the edge.  Blaster/Nachi should
have skewered that canard forever.  So why do vendors still advertise as
if it does?</pet peeve>

2) There are other methods of protecting yourself, such as using mail
servers that aren't made of swiss cheese like sendmail is.

3) What happens when Sidewinder fails?  Does it fail open?  If it does
(and it should), is their version of sendmail still protected?  Or is it
sitting on the Internet bare-ass naked, waiting to be 0wn3d?

4) I'm a big believer in not clumping all your services in one place.
Single points of failure shouldn't result in complete disaster to an
organization.  At least not those parts that you can control.

5) If a vulnerability to sendmail was discovered that Sidewinder
couldn't protect against, you're at the complete mercy of Sidewinder to
provide a fix.  In the meantime, you're screwed.

6) I don't think highly of security companies that use known insecure
solutions.  They could have chosen Postfix or Qmail.  Yet they chose
sendmail and "hardened" it.  Makes me wonder about their powers of

Paul Schmehl (
Adjunct Information Security Officer
The University of Texas at Dallas
AVIEN Founding Member 

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