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Emily's response to the rumors
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>Emily G. Cohen wrote:
>| Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. would like to assure its
>| customers, security experts, and others that there is no, and never
>| has been, an "agreement" or relationship between Check Point Software
>| and the Mossad, or any other branch of the Israeli government or
>| to create a "back door" into Check Point products.
>| These are false and malicious rumors that have been circulating
>| since Check Point became successful, specifically targeted at
>| damaging the company, and they are always from "anonymous sources."
>| Check Point takes these rumors seriously, and if anyone has information
>| on the source/s of these rumors, we would be very interested in hearing
>| from you, so that we can take appropriate action.
>| Check Point FireWall-1 is the most widely installed network security
>| solution in the world and no customer has ever reported a security
>| breach of this nature. Check Point FireWall-1's customer list includes
>| accounts with the highest level of security consciousness such as U.S.
>| national and foreign governments, the world's leading financial
>| telcos and ISPs. All Check Point FireWall-1 customers benefit from the
>| product's patented Stateful Inspection technology ensuring the highest
>| level of enterprise security available today.
>| Emily Cohen, Director of Corporate Communications
>| Check Point Software Technologies, Inc.
>| 400 Seaport Court, Suite 105
>| Redwood City, CA 94063
>| Tel: 415-562-0400 x228
>| Fax: 415-562-0410
*[mailto:firewalls-owner@Lists.GNAC.NET]On Behalf Of Marcus J. Ranum
*Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2000 1:29 PM
*Subject: RE: Checkpoint and DoD Firewalls
*Ron DuFresne <firstname.lastname@example.org> asks:
*>> the nsa would take great interest in knowing what backdoors
*>> the 'ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim' might have
*>Isn';t this rumor of backdoors in FW-1 one of Marcus' pet peves? Doesn't
*>he have an outstanding award offered for those that can actually backup
*>the rumored claim with positive proofs?
*It sure used to be one of my pet peeves. I used to compete with
*Checkpoint, and, while I never particularly liked their product,
*I don't like people who play "dirty" in this industry. Marketing
*against a competitor by sleazy innuendo just makes all security
*products vendors look lame.
*2 years (or maybe 3 or 5, I forget) (a long time) ago I got so
*sick of it that I offered I think it was $4,000 out of my own
*pocket to anyone who could _prove_ there was a _trapdoor_ in
*Checkpoint. That doesn't include ordinary lameness such as the
*stuff Dug Song's discovered - but a real honest-to-goodness
*trapdoor that says "Mossad Enter Here" in binary. So far nobody
*has come close to collecting (though one guy had a lot of useful
*information on where the misinformation had come from)
*Basically, here's what I've managed to find out: An early version
*of FW-1 was examined by people from X group at NSA. They wrote
*a classified technical report and one of the things in it was
*an observation that allegedly some of the files in FW-1 contained
*hardcoded IP addresses of machines in Israel. The modules in
*question were apparently the SNMP trap generation code, which
*was based on the CMU SNMP library - which, I believe, used to
*have an option where you could hardcode default addresses for
*minimal configurations. This is apparently what had happened.
*I don't know the individuals who did this particular assesment,
*but I've not been generally impressed by the technical skills
*of some of the spooks who've done product assessments. I've seen
*security assessment specialists who don't know C, for example.
*My guess is that the guys in X group had a hissy fit over nothing
*and made a mountain out of a molehill.
*So then what happens? A sales rep from one of Checkpoint's
*competitors (no, it wasn't someone from where I worked) apparently
*got wind of this, and quickly spread word about it, in an attempt
*to grab some market opportunity. The sales guy left that vendor
*about a year later, but the damage was done. I've had "security
*experts" look me in the eye and tell me they _know_ there's a
*trapdoor, but when I ask them to prove it they backpedal into
*"well, a friend, who I really trust, told me about it in confidence."
*So, that's the story.
*I don't think Mossad would do something so amateurish and
*obvious, frankly. Maybe it was actually an FBI hole they found. ;)
*Marcus J. Ranum
*Chief Technology Officer, NFR Security, Inc.
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