IBM's ISS blasts security rival Trend Micro over bugs

A security company owned by IBM is publicly blasting rival Trend Micro

In an unusual move, a security company owned by IBM has publicly blasted a rival for not patching reported bugs in its enterprise-grade, server-side antivirus software.

On Monday, David Dewey, a researcher with IBM's Internet Security Systems, explained why his company had released several advisories that covered multiple vulnerabilities in Trend Micro's ServerProtect software, even though according to IBM, Trend has not fixed the flaws.

X-Force, the research arm of IBM's security group, reported the first bugs to Trend two years ago, said Dewey, and followed up with additional vulnerability reports through January 2008. But Trend's response was unsatisfactory. "Each time, Trend would assure us that fixes would be provided in the next scheduled patch," he said in a post to the X-Force blog. "We have worked with them through four security patches, and in all cases, the reported vulnerabilities were ignored or the solution they implemented was inadequate."

One fix Trend released, Dewey said, was "easily evaded in a matter of minutes after installation of the patch."

When X-Force got nowhere by working with Trend Micro directly, it instead tried to coordinate with its competitor through CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center) and JPCERT, Japan's CERT group. Trend Micro is headquartered in Tokyo.

Even that, however, didn't work, Dewey claimed. "They responded to each of those organizations the same way they did to us, which was to dismiss true problem resolution and try to indicate their workarounds were sufficient to consider the issues addressed," he said.

X-Force essentially tossed in the towel. "It is apparent that we have reached a crossroads with Trend," Dewey said, "where they are unable or unwilling to sufficiently patch these eight critical vulnerabilities reported by X-Force. At this point, I feel it is important to let our customers know about the inherent and abundant security risks of running TrendMicro ServerProtect."

Tuesday, the company posted four advisories that sketched out only the vaguest details about the eight vulnerabilities X-Force says it has found in ServerProtect, an antivirus program that runs on Windows, Linux and Netware. Unlike traditional advisories, which are usually issued only after a patch is available, X-Force's omitted the kind of technical details that might give hackers clues on finding and exploiting the bugs.

A security researcher and an industry analyst both said X-Force's public chastising of Trend is unusual.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags antivirustrend microiss

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?