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SANS Report Says Organizations Focusing On the Wrong Security Threats 98

Posted by timothy
from the here's-mud-in-yer-eye dept.
yahoi writes "Companies around the world are leaving themselves wide open to Web- and client-side attacks, according to a new report released today by the SANS Institute that includes real attack data gathered from multiple sources. SANS found that most organizations are focusing their patching efforts and vulnerability scanning on the operating system, but they're missing the boat: 60 percent of the total number of attacks occur on Web applications, and many attacks are aimed at third-party applications such as Microsoft Office, and Adobe Flash and other tools. Exacerbating the problem, they're taking twice as long to patch Microsoft Office and other applications than to patch their operating systems."
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SANS Report Says Organizations Focusing On the Wrong Security Threats

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  • by symbolset (646467) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:13PM (#29428397) Journal
    Chart [sans.org](jpg) shows 92% 'other'.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Unless I am reading that wrong, the 92% is the other blue item: MS08-067 (buffer overflow).
      Other is only 2%.

      Though they really should have used colors that contrasted better than light and dark blue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553)
      I find it hard to trust the credibility of the report, after a statement like this:

      SANS' Ullrich says patching third-party applications isn't easy. "Third-party applications can be tough. There's no good system" for patching them, he says. The key is inventorying third-party Web applications, which the report shows are a major attack vector, Ullrich says.

      It's called apt. It's already widely deployed in Debian and Ubuntu, and has been for a long time. The problem is solved.
      • It's called apt. It's already widely deployed in Debian and Ubuntu, and has been for a long time. The problem is solved.

        Did you forget to read the top of the figure where it says "Microsoft OS" and not "Linux"?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Knuckles (8964)

          Yeah, and if they were honest and serious that's were they would have said, "third-party applications can be tough. There are very good systems for patching them, like Debian's APT, but sadly most vendors of proprietary software have made practically no progress in this area in two decades".

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Artifakt (700173)

          The claim that there is no good system is just the sort of claim that gets quoted out of context, and when it happens, supposedly expert technical people will be the ones making the mistakes.
          Think of it like politics. Someone writes a story specifically about the Democratic party in Ohio. Five paragraphs in, they say "There are no particularly distinguished front runners for the upcoming election.". What happens when that gets quoted by itself - is there much chance at all that someone

        • I also forgot to read all the disclaimers that tell me that no one is responsible for anything.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553)
          Did you forget to read the top of the figure where it says "Microsoft OS" and not "Linux"?

          No, I didn't forget to read it. It wasn't there. "Microsoft OS", "Windows", these were not mentioned in the article nor in the report. Things that were mentioned were things like Flash, Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Office. I get my updates to Flash and Acrobat through apt, so I think it's pretty relevant. My office suite is also updated via apt, although it wasn't made by Microsoft.
      • Windows has apt? Cool. I never knew.

        Protip - we're talking about business computers. Business Computers == WindowsXP (to a first approximation).
        • Windows has apt? Cool. I never knew.

          Actually, it does [sourceforge.net]. Unfortunately, the repository seems to be wildly out of date; e.g. Firefox is only at 2.0.0.11, OOo at 2.3.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by HangingChad (677530)

          Business Computers == WindowsXP

          I guess we're one of the approximations. ;) Our office is more Ubuntu than Windows and people, astonishing to the Windows faithful, don't have any trouble getting their work done.

          Almost any office could replace many, if not most, of their desktops with Ubuntu with very little difficulty. The level of effort increases to another level if you want to try replacing all of them.

          Imagine having APT for a large percentage of your desktops. A couple keystrokes to run a script

        • Windows has apt? Cool. I never knew.

          Protip - we're talking about business computers. Business Computers == WindowsXP (to a first approximation).


          Pro tip - Business Computers = Tools that solve problems to make money

          I've been solving problems and making money using open source tools for years. If your tools don't work, then maybe people should be giving their money to me instead of you.
      • ...for some odd reason I can't get APT to compile on Windows Server 2003 or 2008. Help? :)

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        It's called apt. It's already widely deployed in Debian and Ubuntu, and has been for a long time. The problem is solved.

        What proportion of third party vendors distribute their software using apt ?

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          As with operating systems, it tends to be the commercial vendors who don't produce and distribute packages in the standard way, instead preferring to use their own nonstandard installer which doesn't integrate with the existing mechanisms for keeping things up to date.
          I would consider lack of integration with the standard update system to be a big black mark against something when evaluating it relative to possible other options.

          Incidentally, Nokia use apt on their maemo platform, which includes the new N90

        • It's called apt. It's already widely deployed in Debian and Ubuntu, and has been for a long time. The problem is solved.

          And for completness:

          • on openSUSE it's "zypper".
          • on some embed Linux distros it's "ipkg" and it's derivate (like opkg).

          What proportion of third party vendors distribute their software using apt ?

          There is :

          • a great dealy of 3rd party opensource producers who provide repositories for their softwares. Not only binaries, not only packages, but full repositories which can be added to apt/zypper/
  • by spinkham (56603) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:13PM (#29428401)

    Wait, let me get this straight... Attackers are going after the things that aren't getting fixed as quickly? Who would have guessed!

    • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:30PM (#29428603) Homepage Journal

      As a long time sysadmin and also as a programmer, I know that sysadmins generally try to draw their line of responsibilities or at least what they will take care of just below the "user installed software" level. I do have general knowledge of some of these applications and know which ones have vulnerabilities, but I usually ask that the programmer or user of the software maintain it. Although they seldom do and then ask for help when something gets hacked.

      Perhaps the responsibility for these apps should be in the hands of the sysadmin as well, but the number of apps you have to maintain as you go up to that level increases exponentially. Plus, since they are usually not part of the OS, your OS company is not going to provide you with an easy way to maintain them, so you either need an application administrator or you need to train the programmer/user. Companies probably don't see the point.

      • by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:37PM (#29428709) Homepage

        For commonly used applications that make the CSV lists I find the Personal Software Inspector an excellent tool.

        http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/ [secunia.com]

        Amazing how many userland applications out there have some kind of exploit against them : /

        • by suso (153703) *

          I was thinking of server side stuff, but that may be a good client side program.

          Actually, something like that for web applications would be nice. Probably is already something, just hard to find among the barrage of apps out there.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by spinkham (56603)

            Cassandra [purdue.edu] is probably the best resource for that, you can build a profile of the software you use, and it will alert you when a vulnerability is fixed in that software.

            Secunia of course offers commercial tools, but I've never used them, so not sure how useful they are.
            http://secunia.com/advisories/business_solutions/ [secunia.com]

            Also, vulnerability management/discovery software like NeXpose or Nessus also can find many similar problems, especially if you give them access credentials.

            • by spinkham (56603)

              Of course, none of the above finds publicly unknown bugs such as you'd have in custom apps, that's a whole different suite of tools/professionals..

      • Plus, you eventually end up with a system where all applications have to be approved by the BOFH. Then, when a developer/techie who knows what he's doing needs to use a new tool to solve a problem it ends up in a 6-month queue for "approval".
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dkf (304284)

          Plus, you eventually end up with a system where all applications have to be approved by the BOFH. Then, when a developer/techie who knows what he's doing needs to use a new tool to solve a problem it ends up in a 6-month queue for "approval".

          What actually happens is that the user complains to Heap Big Boss (board-level or equivalent) and they instruct the poor BOFH to approve their pet project immediately or find another job. It's a really bad idea to be the person who says "no" to another person doing their job, especially if they have the ear of higher up (and most users will only deliberately use a new app if it is something dictated from on high; the rest of the time they'll cling to old stuff far more than a BOFH would).

  • by 2names (531755) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:19PM (#29428477)
    My place of employment is lucky to have our "patch management" guy. He is absolutely fanatical about keeping up-to-date on patches for OS and apps, anti-virus updates, and anti-malware updates. I make sure that I tell upper management about him every chance I get so he continues to be properly compensated. He would be difficult to replace. In fact, I doubt I would find another person with his level of dedication, which is kind of sad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by localman57 (1340533)
      Well, kudos to you (er, him!) for keeping everyone's computers up to date!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Inda (580031)
      The cheque's in the post mate. Cheers.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      awwww... someone has a man crush.

    • by blhack (921171)

      That's awesome, man. Good on him for doing his job, and good on you for making sure that management knows it.

      I think that, all too often, people who don't work in tech don't understand how much work there can be in tech.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      I run a network of linux machines (debian/ubuntu/gentoo) and find it very easy to keep everything up to date, every midnight our mirror server pulls down the latest package lists for the 3 distros, every 3am every box pulls the latest package list from our mirror server (and we log any boxes that fail to do so), then at 8am every box is polled by nagios to see if it requires any updates and an email alert is sent... By the time i get to work at 9am, there may or may not be a list of systems and packages whi

      • every box pulls the latest package list from our mirror server (and we log any boxes that fail to do so), then at 8am every box is polled by nagios to see if it requires any updates and an email alert is sent...

        That is nice and all, but gathering the latest updates is the easiest part. There are tools for every major OS to do that, often many different tools. The difficult part, and the reason many companies have difficulty keeping up with patch releases are the logistics involved with applying updates - the testing (you _will_ be bit eventually, this pays off), keeping them consistent, rebooting them, restarting apps, outage notifications, failover preparations, etc. There are always gotchas in a large environ

    • Umm... nothing against the guy, but I can literally replace him by a very small shell script:

      eix-sync && emerge -auDNtv world && revdep-rebuild && emerge -atv --depclean
      (Yes, there's a tool to run that in parallel on at least a couple dozen computers... from one system.)

    • by Nyder (754090)

      No, all you need to do is find someone who hates fixing compromised computers (or has OCD for updated software).

      God, I hate fixing peeps software problems, so I try to make sure everyone has updated software and crap on the computers i work on.

      rather spend 5 mins or so installing software then 5+ hours fixing the crap.

  • OpenBSD vs Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:24PM (#29428525) Journal

    I had this discussion -- and yes, it was civil -- on deadly.org a while ago. Pointing out that web servers were like the circus coming to town. Setting up Linux was like using strong wooden poles to hold the tent, and using OpenBSD was like using steel poles.

    Neither really mattered because people who wanted to cause trouble would simply be slitting the fabric (the apps) or cutting the ropes. Thus, a lot of the nit picky little stuff that OpenBSD fanboys focus on vs Linux doesn't really matter. The issue isn't Linux or OpenBSD or Windows, it is now mostly .ASP, .PHP and other homebrew web code where people didn't sanitize input, do bounds checking, etc.

    • Sort of... but you have to remember - at least when PHP gets popped (is there really any other culprit these days?), the OS is still untouched (if you built the box right, anyway). When ASP code gets popped, you stand a good chance of losing the entire server to the penetration (though not a perfect chance, depending on setup).

      In your analogy, it's like the tent poles of the "windows" tent are made of cardboard tubes... they might hold up due to the imbalance of newly torn cloth, or they might not.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ToasterMonkey (467067)

        when PHP gets popped (is there really any other culprit these days?), the OS is still untouched

        So what?

        Today, the PHP service that got popped was running on the... PHP server. Is the OS important when someone snarfs up your web app and all data it had access to?
        Are you keeping unnecessary sensitive data on your PHP server? I hope not, but sure.. MAYBE it would be protected if your OS was secure.

        In your analogy, it's like the tent poles of the "windows" tent are made of cardboard tubes... they might hold up due to the imbalance of newly torn cloth, or they might not.

        You're completely missing the point. If someone tears through your tent, its game over, circus down. Nobody gives a damn about tearing your poles down, they have better ones at home.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Penguinisto (415985)

          Is the OS important when someone snarfs up your web app and all data it had access to?

          Depends on how long you want to spend in doing recovery. If I have incremental copies (in addition to normal backup/DR actions) and a live copy of the DB transaction logs sitting on the local box outside of the chroot jail (and thus remain untouchable)? It is a lot easier and faster to disable the offending script (or apply the needed patch), copy over the last known good data, and be up and running - with a very short downtime.

          If the OS is untrusted, you get to rebuild the entire - which means you get to r

          • You're still missing the point totally.

            Good luck telling your customers that "Who cares about your identity theft problem? Who cares that someone stole stuff from your account? It's not a big problem since we don't have to rebuild the O/S, so we don't have to wait hours to get it back up."

            Uh huh.

            The loss of the O/S hardly matters. The DATA does.

            1) There are ZILLIONS of copies of the O/S out there, and many of them are the latest and greatest versions. There aren't zillions of copies of your data, and the fe
            • Yes, the data is highest in importance, etc. However, the data does not an entire server make, and getting that data back up and spinning ASAP is even more important.

              Yes, the site getting popped for any reason still sucks. However, there's still the question as to how big of a crater gets left behind, to use an abstraction.

              Pull the zoom back a bit and look at the larger picture. If the data gets corrupted, most-to-almost-all of it (depending on how you built things) can be restored and recovered. If you bui

              • by TheLink (130905)
                Just like the SANS report says, you're focusing on the wrong security threats.

                What if the data is corrupted but you don't know when? It could be stuff just doesn't add up.

                You can find SQL injection and web app security flaws really easily. Why bother trying to break a server at the O/S level, especially when it's behind a firewall and there are easier ways in?

                Who cares about chroot jails, when you can already get to the data. I have managed to get bank and other webapps to do stuff they shouldn't allow, and
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by greenbird (859670) *

          Today, the PHP service that got popped was running on the... PHP server. Is the OS important when someone snarfs up your web app and all data it had access to?

          Yes, it's very important. To extend your analogy a little, with Microsoft all the goodies are sitting on open tables inside the big tent so a tear in the big tent generally allows complete access to all the goodies. With linux there are locked covered cubicles inside the tent that you can keep the goodies in. If the goodies are kept in the cubicles, as they should be, it's much harder to get at them even after you tear through the outside tent. With OpenBSD there are steel cubicles for the goodies.

          • by TheLink (130905)
            But SQL injection goes all the way to the goodies whether it's Linux, OpenBSD or Windows.

            Typically the webapp has keys to those locked steel cubicles where the data is stored. Since the webapp needs to read and change the data.

            So whether it's OpenBSD or Linux or Windows it doesn't matter for the problem at hand.

            In my experience it does matter a bit whether it's PHP with its "mysql_definitely_real_escape_string_this_time_no_really", or some thing less crap (since PHP does make it easy to do th wrong thing an
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by bloodhawk (813939)
            As a hacker and I am going to walk into your PHP cubicle, snarf up all your customer data to sell for identity fraud. But don't worry you can tell all your customers your OS was safe and the hacker was not able to break out of the sandbox to get access to your other apps. I am sure they will feel so much better about that having their details sold on the black market hearing that wonderfull news.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jafiwam (310805)
        The security model of PHP in Windows is still pretty bad.

        The default install of PHP can let a user put files in a web site that can compromise or infect the operating system.

        Plus, a lot of third party add-ons for PHP want you to add "read/execute" to CMD.exe and put it in the PATH to the PHP services to piggy back their apps into working. Which, is well, stupid.

        Maybe on Linux PHP is no harm to the OS, but on MS boxes that is not a safe assumption to make.
        • by dkf (304284)

          Maybe on Linux PHP is no harm to the OS, but on MS boxes that is not a safe assumption to make.

          PHP is a problem, but if you're properly paranoid you can avoid most of the problems. Removing from your production webserver all things like wget that can download a rootkit is a good start. You also don't want to have compilers on those systems. It also helps if you crucify any web developer who puts an "email a friend" form up. (Careful firewalling can help detect when such idiots have been about; you don't have to wait for your server to appear in one of the spam blacklists...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by javaman235 (461502)

      That's a really great post. It reminds me that any OS which grants their users freedom for their apps to do what they like also grants the freedom for some app running on them to do bad things, whether it effects the OS or not. It will always be like that.

      The only solutions I can think of are to 1) create programming languages that result in really secure code through lots of input restrains etc. 2) create a lot of transparency to see what's going on. And even those don't do enough: A language with too much

      • by dkf (304284)

        A language with too much checking will be slow (Java has a much better security name in this department than C for instance)

        The best way to do this is to have all the requirements and guarantees written in the code, right down to the low-level, and then to have a compiler that can remove explicit checks once it proves that they're not necessary. This is the sort of idea behind a language like Eiffel. (And the cost of checking at runtime for buffer overflow and other things like that is actually not that high. A lot of the time, you can compensate by building/using a proper high-quality buffer management lib rather than rolling y

    • Uhhh, I don't really get it. Can you put that in the form of a car analogy?

    • by caluml (551744)

      Setting up Linux was like using strong wooden poles to hold the tent, and using OpenBSD was like using steel poles.

      Linux + GRSec [grsecurity.org] + RBAC + PIE + SSP + etc etc = much much tougher.

    • Well, that's what rights management is for. Why do you allow them to do that? Because it's hard to set up SELinux, and simply deal with the non-allowance of so much stuff?

      I understand that. But unfortunately, it's no real excuse. :/

      I think there can be a ton of money made with a automation/optimization of setting up and maintaining such rights.

    • I had this discussion -- and yes, it was civil -- on deadly.org a while ago. Pointing out that web servers were like the circus coming to town. Setting up Linux was like using strong wooden poles to hold the tent, and using OpenBSD was like using steel poles.

      On OpenBSD, for years, the default Apache install has run:

      1. As an unprivileged user.
      2. In a chroot jail.
      3. With no ability to write to any of the files in this jail.
      4. With stack canaries, W^X protection, and address-space randomization.

      A lot of these have now been back-ported to the mainline of Apache. I think Apache on Linux now tends to use SELinux so it should be comparable (ignoring the recent few SELinux vulnerabilities), but a few years ago Apache on OpenBSD was a lot more secure than Apache on any othe

      • by chill (34294)

        And my point was that in a real-world situation, this is mostly meaningless.

        1. How does this protect from someone compromising Apache to read the .php files on my server without them being parsed; extracting database login information; and pillaging my database?

        2. How does this protect from someone compromising Apache to read all the files in a shared web host?

        The whole "prevent them from getting root" mentality is like operating with blinders on. Great! They didn't get root or compromise the core OS. Ho

        • The database has its own access control. Compromising Apache on Linux and getting root access meant that you could just read the filesystem and get (or modify) the contents of the database. Compromising Apache on OpenBSD meant that you then had an entry point for attacking the database. This concept is called 'defence in depth'. The database should be regarding the web application as a barely-trusted client. It should not, for example, be allowed to read password information, it should provide password
  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:26PM (#29428539)

    SANS found that most organizations are focusing their patching efforts and vulnerability scanning on the operating system, but they're missing the boat

    They make it sound as if it's the fault of the client companies. In fact they probably apply all the security patches they get from their suppliers. If most of them come from the O/S vendors and relatively few come from the application vendors - you can hardly blame their cleints.

    Maybe SANS should, instead, be asking why application vendors are so tardy about providing fixes for the vulnerabilities that SANS seem to think are the most exploited? Of course, the answer would be that the baddies focus their efforts on the weakest link, which is why more attacks target the (weak) applications than the better supported operating systems.

    • by 0racle (667029)
      They did also mention vulnerability scanning to the patching when saying companies were focusing in the wrong place. This means a company can say "We scanned that box with X app and found no X OS holes" when in all reality they are running vulnerable versions of Y and Z apps and the companies scan didn't pick that up because they were focusing on OS vulnerabilities.

      There are also many companies that while being diligent on patching their OS's, they are not so quick to apply application patches when they ar
    • by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @01:07PM (#29429039)

      I don't think the problem is lack of application patches being provided, but the lack of them being delivered well.

      The problem as I see it is there is no good method of application patch delivery on Windows (And Mac for that matter). On Linux and BSD, you have package managers built into the distro that handles everything from the repositories (either the distro repositories or the application's repositories). On Windows, there is no such thing (Yes, there package managers available, but they are not included stock and aren't widely used) and every application has to handle things itself, either by checking on startup or adding yet another background process taking up resources, both of which are decidedly non-optimal solutions.

      In the former, with infrequently used apps (Stuff like Adobe Reader comes to mind), you're going to have infrequent (and thus large) updates, which would result in something like "What? A 15MB update? I don't have time for that, I need to read this PDF." with the obvious consequences or the file being opened before the update option is presented, with the same result.

      • It's even worse than that, because in most environments users don't have administrator rights and therefore cannot install application updates themselves. But as you say, there's also no good, widespread way of delivering patches for third-party applications without user involvement.

        Sometimes it seems like the easiest way is just to reimage every PC every week/day.

        apt and friends aren't perfect, especially when dealing with large applications. On the other hand, reinstalling the entire app does mean you don

  • Usually the "lowly" task of patching is sloughed off onto the sysadmins, while the developers in their hubris think there's nothing wrong with anything they wrote. OS/app patches are easily obtained and applied because many people use them. In house apps take a lot more resources to analyze and patch, and add the previously-mentioned hubris and you have a situation where resources will never be spent patching the in-house apps, because it's not their problem anyway.
  • Most companies I have worked for will overly lock down one area of security (ex. overly tight settings on web browsing)and completely ignore all other forms of security (ex. employee ability to install unlicensed SW on local PC). I can't say I've ever seen any of them install a patch for MS Office unless I did it myself on an individual machine. I'm sure the cost of manpower hours far outweighs the risk in most CFO's minds (CIOs probably look at it differently but don't get the final say). I've also noticed

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Patching msoffice is a pain, installing updates can actually break document compatibility with unpatched versions... Also unless you install something like wsus, you can't patch them easily..
      Third party apps are another big problem, because there is no standard centralised way to patch them at all that doesn't cost a lot of money.

      These are just some of the hidden costs of running windows, that are often overlooked and cause problems as a result (by contrast, linux typically has such functionality out of the

    • WSUS does Office patching, not an issue

      What's a lot harder is patching Adobe products and the like. We're currently investigating Shavlik Netchk Pro for patching apps

      http://www.shavlik.com/netchk-protect.aspx [shavlik.com]

  • Insecurity Experts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573)

    Always telling you what you're doing wrong, never telling you how to do it right.

    How do you serve up the content and services end-users expect without the security risks?
    Simple answer: You can't.

    Unless you're writing your own operating system and rolling your own PDF viewers and office suite and publishing your own flash-like plug-in that no one will ever want to install, you'll end up running around like a chicken with it's head cut off every once in a while because of fucking adobe, fucking bill, fucking

    • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@s[ ]hdot.fi ... m ['las' in gap]> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @04:08PM (#29431327) Homepage

      The problem is that while there are solutions, they often won't be considered for various reasons...

      There are expensive patch management systems for windows, but they are often extremely expensive and typically complex to manage.

      There is the option of moving to linux, where on any modern distro it's easy to keep all your applications up to date with patches, but people are either locked in to windows applications, afraid to try something new or simply have no knowledge of linux.

      I would say that the benefits are a lot more than the 1.9% you mention, and if done correctly actually requires *less* work... I keep a small network of linux boxes fully up to date and spend very little time doing so, while other people managing a similar sized windows network tend to lag behind badly (especially on third party apps). I have the package manager update its package list daily, and alert me if theres any needed updates.

      • People keep talking about Linux and apt as if there is no Windows equivalent. I've not used Windows for about five years, but I know that a Windows Domain Controller can push out MSI installers to all workstations in a domain, containing updates to any software that the administrator packages. Before this, there was Novell Zen, which did the same thing. You just need to roll up the patches on one machine and they will be pushed automatically to the whole network.
  • IE6 (Score:4, Funny)

    by godztempus (1081497) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @12:41PM (#29428743)
    Seriously big corporate needs to get off their asses and upgrade their internal web apps to run on IE7 or IE8 atleast.
    • Ha. I programmed mine for Mozilla (Seamonkey) and Firefox. "IE? Sorry, no can do. Technically not possible. Or will cost four times the time and money. How are you going to justify that? By not wanting to take five minutes to install Firefox? You can be sure that I will show the boss those costs that your laziness caused. Oh boy will you be fired. ^^"

  • If a medium is presented that interacts with something it must be patched! The more prevalent the medium, the higher the level of patching required.

    Whether that medium is email, your browser, the OS, office or the like should not matter. It doesn't matter if a new killer app comes out, if it interacts with your computers, you need to patch it for security issues on a routine basis.

    Really, the OS, vendor, and the rest don't matter, what matters is that routine patching is done. At first people were surprised

  • This would have been so much easier to understand with a proper /. car analogy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slinches (1540051)

      This would have been so much easier to understand with a proper /. car analogy.

      Here you go:

      It's like locking your car doors and keeping up with the manufacturer recall notices, but ignoring that the remote start system you had installed uses an unencrypted signal.

  • duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @01:25PM (#29429281) Homepage

    Patching Windows is the main focus because it is the best bang for the buck. There are many tools to automate this process (Active Directory, Group Policy, SUS). There are no tools to automatically discover XSRF, XSS, and Injection attacks in your custom web apps, then write patches for them, then deploy and manage those patches. That's orders of magnitude more expensive.

    When you have limited resources, you will just go for the lowest-hanging fruit. Obviously.

    • Nessus has a pretty good plug-in for finding SQL injection and cross-site vulnerabilities.

      But getting them fixed, yeah, that can be painful...

  • by gmuslera (3436)
    People are the ultimate vulnerability. And that goes from applying the same solution for all problems (that desktop environment looks nice for personal trusted use, lets use it to let it run for hundreds of untrusted ones), to opening attachments, to confusing authority with knowledge (i am the boss and want full access to internet and all the corporate servers) to admins and thousands of etcs.

    The security suite to solve it is education and common sense. One takes too long to get, while the other could take
  • While installing office 2007 this morning, I too exacerbated... but I don't feel guilty or self-conscious about it. :D

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