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February 3, 2002 2:26 PM UTC
Firewall vendor Sygate has been up to dirty tricks, according to network guru John Adams, who tested their SOS firewall testing site and found that no matter the configuration, no matter the platform, Sygate would always report the same vulnerable Microsoft-specific ports wide open and recommend an immediate purchase of the company's firewall.
Following a typically glowing review at 8wire, John interspersed with some observations of his own:
I've got a problem with Sygate. While checking which wallware I want to settle down with, every time I'd have a scan done on the Sygate SOS site I'd be notified that everyone and their brother could climb into my box through ports 137, 138, and 139 with either TCP or UDP traffic.
Being not exactly a newcomer to networking or security, Adams was doubtful of this diagnosis and further tested the SOS site both on a box protected by Sygate's own firewall, on a box protected by LinkSys, and - unbelievably enough - even on a Linux box, with the same results each time - the typical Microsoft Windows NT ports were wide open, the Sygate firewall must be purchased immediately.
The most innocent interpretation is that this is same kind of dorky stuff that appeared recently at the McAfee site, where client-side logic was used to calibrate the time since the last major virus alert, with immortal aphorisms such as 'no major alert since 1 January 1970'.
The most damning interpretation is that the site was deliberately geared to sucker in the clueless and make a fast buck off them.
I can't recommend the software of a company that appears to lie on their test site to generate sales, and doesn't even have it together to check to see if their own product is installed to turn off the apparent lie so that their customers will have a sense of security, whether it's false or not.