Symantec Cries Wolf About ThreatCon 4: Imminent Global Internet Failure

from the aesop's-modern-fables dept

Symantec's DeepSight threat warning system sent out an erroneous "ThreatCon 4" warning on Friday caused by an errant product test. ThreatCon 4 is the highest level of warning that can be issued by the DeepSight system, and is supposed to indicate times where "extreme global network incident activity is in progress." The level 4 warning has never been issued; the last time level 3 was reached was back in 2004. Symantec issued a retraction of the false alarm approximately an hour after it was issued, and so far, no reports of harm from the false alarm are apparent. Actually, it doesn't even seem like anyone took this warning that seriously at all, considering the lack of any sort of response. And without any sort of response, doesn't that make the early warning system, well, not that useful? After an hour without much of a response, they should have just said: "This was a test of the DeepSite early warning system. Had this been a real warning..."


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    Andy, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 3:51pm

    Isn't the fact that you received a message warning of such severity a sign that it's not true?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 5:27pm

    Fear is a great sales tactic.

    Yes, there are real threats; nevertheless, a lot of money is made scaring people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2007 @ 5:39pm

    Rather interesting that your diatribe against Symantec has, right next to it, an ad for Symantec which includes the slogan: "Confidence in a connected world."

    Brought a smile to my face anyway!

     

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    ProphetBeal, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    Not as bad as you may think

    I think you are blowing this way out of proportion. Just because there were “no reports of harm” doesn’t mean that companies or governments that received the message didn’t take action (most likely automated action). The fact is that if someone is using this early warning system they will, most likely, not want to report anything (either success or failure) because that would be seen as a security risk.

     

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