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Thread: Operation Honey Pot.

  1. #1
    AO French Antique News Whore
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Operation Honey Pot.

    A Windows computer without the latest security patches is in big trouble. That's the conclusion from a "honey pot" experiment conducted by StillSecure, a Louisville network security firm. StillSecure attached six computers - loaded with different versions of the Windows, Linux and Apple's Macintosh operating systems - earlier this month to the Internet without anti-virus software.

    The results show the Internet is a very rough place.

    Over the course of a week, the machines were scanned a total of 46,255 times by computers around the world that crawl the Web looking for vulnerabilities in operating systems.

    Once the vulnerabilities were identified, the remote computers launched 4,892 direct attacks with a staggering variety of worms, Trojan Horses, viruses, spyware and other forms of malware. The test examined only what happens when computers are turned on and connected to the Internet. The test didn't evaluate additional dangers that computer users face when they use e-mail, surf the Web, click on Internet links or use file-sharing programs. (con't)

    The good news is that none of the up-to-date, patched operating systems succumbed to a single attack.

    The Windows Service Pack 2, or SP 2, system is the most up-to-date Windows operating system. It received 16 direct attacks.

    The Macintosh system received three attacks. Two of the Linux systems received eight attacks each, though Red Hat's version of Linux received no attacks at all.

    But in the end, none of the attacks were successful.

    The Linux and Macintosh sytems were installed out of the box without any additional security patches. Windows SP 2 automatically downloads the latest security patches from the Microsoft website.

    Windows Service Pack 1, or SP 1, however, was another story. It's an older version of Windows that was sold in computer stores until a few months ago.

    SP 1 was attacked 4,857 times. It was infested within 18 minutes by the Blaster and Sasser worms. Within an hour it became a "bot," or a machine controlled by a remote computer, and began attacking other Windows computers.

    Microsoft responded that the tests prove that any operating system is vulnerable when not patched.

    "The results don't surprise me at all," said David Brandt, principal technology architect at Microsoft in Denver.

    Microsoft stopped shipping SP 1 in August and replaced it with the more secure Windows SP 2. Most computers with SP 1 had been sold from stores by Christmas, said Microsoft spokesman Sean Sundwall.

    SP 2 comes with a firewall and automatic security updates, said Sundwall. These features had to be manually turned on in SP 1, which meant that some users missed out on computer patches.

    Many computers around the world are still running Windows SP 1, though exact numbers are hard to come by. Gartner research director Michael Silver estimates that by the end of 2005, half of the world's desktops used in businesses will still be using SP 1.

    "But most companies are pretty good about keeping their PCs patched, and most have corporate firewalls," said Silver.

    Large companies are switching to SP 2 slowly because they have to make adjustments to thousands of different software programs first.

    The honey pot test is a good indication that many small-business and home computers are still using older versions of Windows, according to StillSecure chief technology officer Mitchell Ashley.

    "Why are we getting hit by Blaster?" asked Ashley. "Because there are infected machines out there. Why are they infected? Because they don't have the updated patch."

    Microsoft is concerned about security issues surrounding Windows and Internet Explorer, and the resultant surge of Linux, which can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Most companies, however, chose to pay a Linux vendor in order to receive security patches.

    Experts also consider Linux less prone to viruses.

    "(Security) is a huge pain point for Microsoft," said Silver. "Microsoft takes the threat of Linux very seriously."

    Over the last nine months, Microsoft has gone on the offensive with a "Get the Facts" campaign that argues that Windows is cheaper and more secure than Linux.

    Microsoft's leadership position means that more viruses are written for Windows, said Silver, who estimates that 96 percent of all desktops and laptops worldwide used Windows at the end of 2004. Macintosh has 2.5 percent of the market, while Linux is at 1.3 percent, Silver said.

    "There are going to be security holes in just about any operating system," said Silver.

    Silver predicts that Linux will climb to 3 percent of the market by 2008.

    As of this month, 25 million people around the world have downloaded a free Web browser, Mozilla Firefox, which a variety of security experts have trumpeted over Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

    Microsoft is racing to roll out its new Longhorn operating system in 2006.

    But for the moment, it's sticking with Windows, for which it rolled out a new patch Tuesday.

    "SP 1 is not a current operating system," said Sundwall. "It doesn't surprise me that it only took 18 minutes to get infected."

    Staff writer Ross Wehner can be reached at 303-820-1503 or rwehner@denverpost.com .

    Operation Honey Pot
    StillSecure, a Louisville-based network security firm, connected six computers - with six operating systems - to the Internet for a week without any virus protection. The results: 4,892 direct attacks by viruses, worms and other types of malicious code, and 46,255 scans by remote computers looking for weaknesses.

    Here's what happened:

    Windows XP Service Pack 1
    Attacks: 4,857

    Results: Attacked successfully within 18 minutes by the Blaster and Sasser worms. Within an hour, the computer was taken over and began attacking other Windows machines.

    Windows XP Service Pack 2
    Attacks: 16

    Results: Survived all attacks

    Apple Mac OS X Jaguar
    Attacks: 3

    Results: Survived all attacks

    Linux, Suse Professional 9.2
    Attacks: 8

    Results: Survived all attacks

    Linux, Fedora Core 3
    Attacks: 8

    Results: Survived all attacks

    Linux Red Hat 9
    Attacks: 0
    Source : http://hi-techreviews.com/modules.ph...ticle&sid=2372

    The difference between SP1 and SP2 is HUGE!!!
    -Simon \"SDK\"

  2. #2
    Hi mom!
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Re: Operation Honey Pot.

    Originally posted here by SDK
    The difference between SP1 and SP2 is HUGE!!!
    There are less attacks on a product that hasn't been around that long, that's common sense. Wait a year, try again, and I'll bet you that you'll see significantly more attacks on SP2 machines.
    I wish to express my gratitude to the people of Italy. Thank you for inventing pizza.

  3. #3
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    But in the end, none of the attacks were successful.
    Amazing what can happen when you simply follow best practices.
    Our scars have the power to remind us that our past was real. -- Hannibal Lecter.
    Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. -- John Wooden

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