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Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 17:28:10 -0600
From: Krainium <krainium@...il.com>
To: full-disclosure@...ts.grok.org.uk
Subject: Re: [WEB SECURITY] Re: comparing information
	security to other industries

On Tuesday 26 December 2006 14:02, coderman wrote:
 
<snip>

> the vast majority of software developed does not pursue even trivial
> security assurances.
> look at the month of kernel bugs to see how common and trivial
> validations are ignored in critical kernel interfaces to file systems
> and device drivers, thus subverting the integrity of the entire
> operating system and applications.

Agreed.  It's interesting to note that many of these issues could be prevented 
simply through security-minded coding practices.
 
> it is indeed folly to expect perfection in a human process of software
> engineering, but it is nothing less than incompetence and dishonesty
> to suggest that the existing state of affairs is somehow unavoidable.

Programmers I know usually like to take a sense of accomplishment and  
ownership in the software they write.  But when management enforces 
unrealistic and draconian project milestones, quality suffers.  This is a 
simple case of "follow the money."

> we don't need perfection, but we do need to accept responsibility for
> the truly crappy state of IT software and systems in place today.

We are accepting responsibility for the vulnerability-riddled IT  
infrastructure we all depend on daily.  The mushrooming demand for IT 
security professionals is a direct result of businesses and users taking the 
responsibility.  

This in itself is very interesting - we have an entire market segment where 
the buyer/user shoulders an expense (and often a liability) caused from the 
producer's defective  products.  How long would a pharmaceutical company 
exist if it's drugs were known to be poisonous?  Would the patient buy and 
take the antidote so they could continue using the drug, much like we now buy 
and use all kinds of antivirus, anti-trojan, anti-spyware, etc? Restaurants 
have expired because of word-of-mouth rumors of poor tasting food.  Yet 
mega-billion dollar software companies flourish and grow, pumping big money 
into glitzy advertising campaigns, hawking products infested with weakness. 

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