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Re: Telco's write best practices for packet switching networks
- From: Steven M. Bellovin
- Date: Thu Mar 07 16:54:38 2002
In message <Pine.GSO.firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sean
>My comment was originally prompted by the meeting minutes which
>reported on the survey data showing that 100% of carriers are implementing
>firewalls in their gateways. The 100% is what caught my eye. As the
>topic comes up in various places, large ISPs repeatedly say they are
>unable to implement filters or packet screening on their high-speed
>links such as at peering points. So the self-reported 100% implementation
>of screening and filtering firewalls at gateways didn't seem to jive
>with my understanding of the limitations faced by large ISPs.
>Firewalls can be a useful tool in the security engineer's toolbox. But
>they get misused a lot. I don't believe security engineers are better
>programmers. If there was a class of programmers in the world that didn't
>make mistakes, I would hire them to write the applications. When the
>firewall is more complex than the application server it is "protecting"
>which is likely to have more mistakes?
Yes and no. I don't think that security programmers are any better
than application programmers. But they might be trained differently.
For example, I suspect that most application programmers have never
heard of format string vulnerabilities. I would hope that most
security professionals have.
But you're absolutely right about the complexity of many of today's
firewalls -- I've been complaining about that for years.
--Steve Bellovin, http://www.research.att.com/~smb
Full text of "Firewalls" book now at http://www.wilyhacker.com