[RC5] Win32: feature creep

David McNett nugget at slacker.com
Fri Nov 21 08:02:18 EST 1997


Jason Bechtel was heard saying:
>First, I realize that the policy is that the client should
>not be run on machines without approval from the owners, but I go to a
>*rather* large school with vast computing facilities and no one would
>really notice. And besides, the client wouldn't have all of these
>stealth features if it wasn't expected to be used surreptitiously...

Good Lord, no.  No once, No a thousand times.

The reason the client can run in stealth mode is so that it can be
run BY administrators without attracting the attention of their 
USERS.  If you don't have responsibility for a machine, find a person
who does and get their permission.  There are *NO* exceptions to this.

You have made two assumptions that are completely baseless.  First,
you've assumed that the administrator(s) of the machines would not
notice.  That's a dangerous assumption and is most likely false.  Let
me tell you how stealth clients are usually found:

   1) Machine begins behaving strangely (for any number of reasons
      which you and I both know have nothing to do with the client).

   2) Administrator starts problem solving using the shotgun approach
      and noses around looking for warning signs.

   3) Client is found (it's not that hard...) and assumed to be the
source
      of the problem.

   4) User who placed the client on the box is [ Fired | Denied Access
|
      Humiliated | Pusished ] for interfering with the smooth operation
      of the machine.

   5) Original strange behavior persists in machine in absence of the
      client, but said user has so ostracized themselves from
      the sysadmins that it's far too late now.

   6) Admin is so frustrated and now has a serious grudge
      against all of us and will probably never consider
      joining the effort.  We are now lumped into the same
      group as people who use ftp:/incoming as a warez site
      and who download 90mb of pr0n to their homedirs.

You've also made the unspoken assumption that the
administrators are too dumb / too short-sighted to be interested in
this effort themselves.  Let me tell you, if you can convince your
administrator to join your team, the amount of cpu power they will be
able to amass will stun and astonish you.

-/\/



  
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