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Risk

3/7/2006
02:07 PM
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Rootkit Evangelist Holy_father Abandons His Mission

His mission unfulfilled, Holy_father has nonetheless stopped offering his Hacker Defender rootkit anti-detection services. I blogged in January about Holy_father's calling, which, he says, is to challenge the IT security industry by providing hackers with rootkits that can be used to install malware

His mission unfulfilled, Holy_father has nonetheless stopped offering his Hacker Defender rootkit anti-detection services. I blogged in January about Holy_father's calling, which, he says, is to challenge the IT security industry by providing hackers with rootkits that can be used to install malware and the accompanying services that help these rootkits avoid detection. Holy_father has stepped down from his pulpit, although there's much more work to be done.In a note posted to the site, Holy_father remarked that he and his apostles for more than a year had been able to "bypass any rootkit detection method and utility" and proved that "current rootkit detection methods are poor or half implemented."

Holy_father acknowledged that, in addition to exposing flaws in current security software, he also armed hackers with tools they could use to launch attacks. "But if you want to fight the attacker you can't produce [an] anti-rootkit solution that just fix[es] or protect[s] one weak point," he writes. Holy_father denies that he created his service purely to profit from other people's cyber-misfortune. "We preferred to sell paid versions for the legal activities such as penetration testing or security conference demonstrations," he writes. "We have never supported criminals and always refused to renew the anti-detection for those who misused our products."

Yet, even as Holy_father hangs up his collar, the sweeping reform in the quality of anti-malware remains unachieved in his mind. "When we started with this we hoped that this game would finish when defenders implement[ed] working secure anti-rootkit solution[s]," he writes. "Unfortunately there is no such solution yet." Still, he graciously tipped his fedora to F-Secure and for that company's BlackLight software, which, in his estimation, started off poorly but evolved into an effective rootkit-detection and elimination tool.

Holy_father also gave props to IceSword for its rootkit-detection capabilities and other features. "We believe that if BlackLight techniques are combined with IceSword techniques that it can lead to implementation of working and secure solution," he writes.

Unsatisfied with the scripture he'd published to his site, I reached out to Holy_father to hear for myself what would become of his flock. I didn't have to wait long; he returned my E-mail within minutes. "I'm often asked these questions," he E-mailed me. "There are many reasons, some of them are written on my site. I also want to concentrate on some real life projects, and also to have a rest from this for a while."

His ways mysterious, his identity shrouded in secrecy, Holy_father left me with this: "We'll see what [the] future brings and whether we'll start new projects or improve existing work." I suspect we haven't heard the last of Holy_father's sermons.

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