My last column raised as many new questions as I had when I researched it. This one concerns the back-door login that had been compiled into Borland's InterBase code. If anyone knows the answer, or knows someone who might, give me a shout.
My last column raised as many new questions as I had when I researched it. This one concerns the back-door login that had been compiled into Borland's InterBase code. If anyone knows the answer, or knows someone who might, give me a shout.So here's the deal: Borland licensed a whole bunch of InterBase servers between 1994 and 2000, and every last one of them contained that hard-coded back-door account. Yet neither Borland nor any of its customers, to my knowledge, have ever admitted a case of unauthorized access, much less a case of lost or stolen data.
Like I said in he piece, this is fishy for one big reason: the login and password for the back-door account were dropped into the code as plaintext strings. A simple ASCII dump of the InterBase executable binary would have revealed the prize -- assuming someone was motivated enough to sift through a really big pile of dirt in search of that priceless nugget.
By the mid-1990s, I don't think there was any shortage of people willing to party down on a couple hundred enterprise DB servers with wide-open, undetectable back doors. In fact, that seems like a no-brainer. So the whole game comes down to a couple of questions:
- How likely a target was InterBase for cold-calling intruders williing to probe the software purely on spec ?
- Assuming InterBase ever received this type of attention, how likely is it that an attacker would have tried a plain ol' ASCII dump, presumably with an eye out for anything resembling a login or password text string.?
Got a clue about this sort of thing? Let me know about it, please.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.