Sophos: Buncha crybabies (those other security firms bitching about Microsoft)

Sophos: Buncha crybabies (those other security firms bitching about Microsoft)

Summary: In a press release, Sophos, a competitor to companies like Symantec and McAfee that have been crying over Microsoft's spilt milk, says:Symantec and McAfee should have prepared better for Microsoft Windows Vista. IT security firm Sophos is recommending that system administrators ask their security vendors if they are capable of properly protecting them on the forthcoming 64-bit version of Vista, as arguments continue regarding access to Microsoft's operating system code (kernel).

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TOPICS: Security
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In a press release, Sophos, a competitor to companies like Symantec and McAfee that have been crying over Microsoft's spilt milk, says:

Symantec and McAfee should have prepared better for Microsoft Windows Vista. IT security firm Sophos is recommending that system administrators ask their security vendors if they are capable of properly protecting them on the forthcoming 64-bit version of Vista, as arguments continue regarding access to Microsoft's operating system code (kernel). Sophos has reassured its customers that Sophos Anti-Virus will offer full protection against malware threats on Vista, and suggests that some security vendors may not have given sufficient thought to the new operating system when developing their products...

"Symantec and McAfee may be struggling with HIPS because they haven't coded their solutions with high-spec Vista in mind," said Richard Jacobs, CTO of Sophos. "We've taken a different approach, by focusing on catching bad behaviour before it has a chance to occur. Additionally, we are building our technology by making use of supported Microsoft interfaces rather than by trying to subvert them. That's why we're ready for 64-bit Vista, and others aren't."

While the rest of the security players are complaining about Microsoft's PatchGuard, Sophos is going the other direction:

Sophos believes that PatchGuard is a positive step by Microsoft to improve security in Windows Vista, and is not in itself anti-competitive, provided that Microsoft delivers on its commitment to provide the same level of kernel support and integration to third party security vendors as it does to its own security product team.

Even if it's FUD (anybody want to do some FUDbusting? Please comment below), it's a brilliant chess move by Sophos. Make everyone else look like crybabies.

Oh the skits we could build around this little soap opera (for video).   

Topic: Security

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7 comments
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  • Sophos Product Are Coming of Age!

    Being the Enterprise Security Manager at an airline for some years, I evaluated Sophos and loved their product. The only reason we did not select it was because Symantec was already in house and they made it so so so viable to keep them via their pricing structure. But their updates are super fast due to the size of the update files and the technology they use. The fact that they realize that people dont want any "bloat-ware" on their machines and are not complaining, and my experience with their products personally, if their pricing structure is doable, they will be my pick again when contract renewal time comes around again.
    andrej770
  • Proper design

    For the longest time the *nix world has been laughing at Microsoft as they flail around with a patchable kernel which is not proper design for a kernel. Now Microsoft prevents patching of the kernel and we have teh security companies that have turned that kernel into their gravy train whining that they are locked out. Pardon me if I don't feel the least bit of sympathy for them. Sophos has it right.
    shadowjack9
  • Happy to do some FUDBusting

    As McAfee's VP of Worldwide Corporate Communications, I am happy do some FUDbusting and set the record straight. It is crucial that readers understand the difference between McAfee and those companies that focus on anti-virus software alone. Single-product vendors, like Sophos, may well not have an issue with Microsoft. However, for a security risk management vendor like McAfee, that offers its customers comprehensive security protection, full and unfettered access to the kernel is vital if we are to protect users as they are currently protected with XP.

    For years, independent security developers have partnered with Microsoft to ensure that customers have the safest computing environment. However, all that seems to have changed with Vista, because Microsoft is denying computer security companies access to Vista's underlying technology. Microsoft's flawed logic will only result in making computers more vulnerable to viruses and other attacks because we will not able to get into and monitor the kernel, which allows us to provide security at the operating system level.

    To protect customers from the bad guys, you don't lock out the good guys. Internet security is everyone's business - it is greater than a matter of spilt milk to "cry" over. We hope that Microsoft will return to the collaborative approach that has served customers well in the past.

    Siobhan MacDermott
    VP Worldwide Communications, McAfee
    smacdermott
    • Sophos "only does anti-virus"!??

      With analysts like Gartner and Forrester recognizing that Sophos is a challenger to Symantec and McAfee when it comes to providing comprehensive security at the endpoint and gateway, it's perhaps surprising that Siobhan at McAfee is so out of touch with what our company actually does.

      The fact is that we deliver a complete security solution with anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-adware, HIPS, firewall, application control, anti-spam, policy, appliances, and have announced innovations in web and mobile security. We have shown innovation in our single client which allows
      corporations to benefit from new advances in security technology (such as control of VoIP, IM and P2P software and proactive detection of unknown malware), and in our gateway protection against internet threats, without having to roll out any new software or learn a new management console.

      Sophos has developed an innovative solution that brings the benefits of HIPS to 64-bit Vista users, where other vendors appear to be struggling.

      Gartner is suggesting that system administrators ask their vendors if they will have solutions ready for 64-bit Vista. The answer is that Sophos
      will.
      gcluley
    • time for my field day...

      Let's analyze this so called FUDBuster.

      As McAfee's VP of Worldwide Corporate Communications, I am happy do some FUDbusting and set the record straight. [b]When did you do that? The record speaks clearly, and you haven't shed any new light with this posting.[/b] It is crucial that readers understand the difference between McAfee and those companies that focus on anti-virus software alone. Single-product vendors, like Sophos, may well not have an issue with Microsoft. However, for a security risk management vendor like McAfee, that offers its customers comprehensive security protection, full and unfettered access to the kernel is vital if we are to protect users as they are currently protected with XP. [b]This is your opinion, and one that is not shared by everyone in the security/technology business.[/b]

      For years, independent security developers have partnered with Microsoft to ensure that customers have the safest computing environment. However, all that seems to have changed with Vista, because Microsoft is denying computer security companies access to Vista's underlying technology. [b] No, what Microsoft has done is to give you an API, which you are claiming is insufficient. More opinion, especially considering that others in your industry disagree with you.[/b] Microsoft's flawed logic [b]more opinion-- you should stick to facts[/b] will only result in making computers more vulnerable to viruses and other attacks [b]opinion, how do you know?[/b] because we will not able to get into and monitor the kernel, which allows us to provide security at the operating system level. [b]The root of the issue-- you aren't allowed in, so you cry foul.[/b]

      To protect customers from the bad guys, you don't lock out the good guys. [b]opinion... [/b] Internet security is everyone's business - it is greater than a matter of spilt milk to "cry" over. We hope that Microsoft will return to the collaborative approach that has served customers [b]and yourselves [/b] well in the past.
      -------------------------------------------------

      You make an argument against locking out good guys to prevent the bad from getting in. Interesting. Here's mine: [i]I'm a good guy, but does the US Government allow me access to classified documents? How is it that federal officers do their job successfully everyday and succeed at it, but aren't allowed access to documents above their clearance level?[/i]

      You also make the argument that "we will not able to get into and monitor the kernel, which allows us to provide security at the operating system level." Interesting. So are you telling me that a completely locked out kernel (to everyone) is moore secure when it's been opened for monitoring?

      If this is the best FUDBusting McAfee Corporate could muster-- how do you justify collecting your salary buddy?
      kckn4fun
      • A better analogy...

        [b]You make an argument against locking out good guys to prevent the bad from getting in. Interesting. Here's mine: I'm a good guy, but does the US Government allow me access to classified documents? How is it that federal officers do their job successfully everyday and succeed at it, but aren't allowed access to documents above their clearance level?[/b]

        A better scenario - You have a mansion. To prevent being robbed, you hire a security guard. He's got access to your entire house, including the kitchen. He's gotten fat and lazy over the years as he's cleaning out your fridge. So, when you move to a new, bigger mansion, you change the rules - you relegate him to the guard shack by the front gate and deny him access to the inside of the house (not to mention, the kitchen!). He whines cause he can't get his midnight snack, 9pm snack, 3am snack, breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc... and the rest of the in between snacks the guy's used to getting.

        Taking a little pity on the fat fool, you get him one of them mini fridges. And he still complains cause he can't stuff everything in there.

        Meanwhile, the new house has a new alarm system, cameras and all the other high tech security gadgets and gizmos to keep crooks out.

        Makes you wonder why you need the security guy in the first place...
        Wolfie2K3
    • re: Happy to do some FUDBusting

      Siobhan MacDermott said:

      "As McAfee's VP of Worldwide Corporate Communications, I am happy do some FUDbusting and set the record straight."

      I just KNEW I smelled a paid-by-McAfee shill the other evening when I responded to one of your messages regarding, for the most part, this very subject.

      Kindly answer the following question: If Trend Micro, Kaspersky, Grisoft, and now, Sophos either are able or will be able to provide complete security suites compatible with the Vista Windows Security Center, both 32-bit as well as 64-bit, why is your company either unable or unwilling to re-code your security suite to do precisely the same thing? If the aforementioned companies can do it, surely McAfee's programmers are equally capable as their competitors' are. If they aren't, your company deserves to be cut off at the knees.

      I'm not asking you to speak for Symantec. They've shown themselves to be quite capable of shoving both of their figurative feet at the same time into their figurative mouth.

      What I, and others here, want to know is why McAfee is dragging its corporate feet and not getting down to the business of modifying their products to be compatible with and "play nice" with an OS that has been intentionally designed to be as secure as possible (by blocking ANY direct access to the OS kernel by third-party applications.)

      What I expect from you, however, is to see yet more obfuscation. half-truths, and, yes, FUD.
      M.R. Kennedy