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From: mfratto at nwc.com (Mike Fratto)
Subject: Sidewinder G2 

>So, then I have to ask here;  do you or anyone 
> else know of a security incident that compromised the 
> perimiter guarded by one of these blackboxen?  

Yes, I did. Through the transparent HTTP application proxy in version 4.1,
as I stated in an earlier email but...

>And I'd direct 
> folks to the sec-focus vuln listings to determine how these 
> systems have faired historically say since oh, 1995 or so.

If you not current with security software to the last two years your screwed
anyway. A search at Cert for "Secure Computing" and "Sidewinder: yielded 6
entries, the earliest in 2002. A search at BugTraq db at security focus
showed 0. Hrmmmm. The consistent response at Cert was that the vuln didn't
yield anything useful due to Type Enforement.

The SideWinder is a proxy firewall and it has application support many of
the common protocols like HTTP, SMTP, FTP, telnet, SQL*Net, H.323, T.120,
etc. What you need to remember is that even if the external proxy contains a
vulnerability doesn't mean that traffic will be passed internal hosts. You
also have to remember the limitations if application proxies, many only deal
with protocol headers and don't even look into the protocol payload. So
exploits against vulnerable servers are typically stopped because 1) the
exploit contains characters outside of the set defined by RFC822 (aka binary
characters ASCII 128-255) or can be contained by header length enforcement
(do you really need a HTTP host: header length greater than 50 characters?).
The application proxy can also limit commands to a subset, which is useful,
but makes support for using TLS within SMTP impossible. Now there are still
ways round this type of processing like sending ASCII encoded shellcode, but
you might also bump into those pesky line length issues.

I have tested Sidewinder 4.1, 5.0, and G2 and for the most part it provided
the protective functions that SecureComputing claimed. I tested G2 by trying
to send illegal characters in the headers, overly long header lengths, and
other manipulations none of which passed through to the internal network.

So the real question is not "how secure sidewinder is" (or any product for
that matter). The real question is what protective measures does the
sidewinder provide AND how well are they implemented.

mike


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