Cisco, Anti-virus Vendors Team on Network Security

Laurence F. Sheldon, Jr. larrysheldon at
Tue Nov 18 20:52:50 UTC 2003

Sean Donelan wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 Valdis.Kletnieks at wrote:
> > > Without the secret handshake Mac OS, Linux, Solaris and other operating
> > > systems will not be able to connect to a Cisco Self-Defending Network
> > > which limits its usefullness for ISPs.
> >
> > A *nix without a secret handshake is like a fish without a bicycle.
> >
> > Yes, viruses *are* theoretically possible on these platforms, but let's
> > be honest here - even if you included all of the platforms, you'd only
> > intercept another 1% or so viruses, tops.
> Well, if you let systems on the network without the secret handshake,
> what's to stop people from connecting Windows boxes with the "security"
> software disabled so it doesn't answer the "I'm Infected" question?  Or
> the next virus can take over the Cisco secret handshake port and always
> answer "I'm Ok" when ever the network asks it a question.
> How does the Self-Protecting Network tell the difference between a
> non-infected Mac or Unix machine from a Typhod Mary Windows bo if you are
> depending on software on the system to answer the question?
> Yes, some level of security works when every obeys the rules.  But the
> current problem ISPs have is not everyone obeys the rules.

Or maybe the problem is yet another single-vendor impostion of a 
"global" protocol standard.

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