Steve Gibson (computer programmer)

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Steve Gibson
SteveG.jpg
Steve in between shots on Leo Laporte's Call For Help in Toronto (April 2007).
Born (1955-03-26) March 26, 1955 (age 60)[1]
Nationality American
Education University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Software engineer and security analyst
Known for Security Now! podcast on TWiT.tv
Website
www.grc.com

Steven Gibson is an American software engineer, security researcher, and IT security gadfly.[2] In the early 1980s, Gibson was best known for his work on light pen technology for use with Apple and Atari systems. In 1985, Gibson founded Gibson Research Corporation, best known for its SpinRite software.

Personal[edit]

Gibson started working on computers as a teenager, and got his first computing job with Stanford University's artificial intelligence lab when he was 15 years old.[3] He studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.[4]

Career[edit]

Gibson was hired as a programmer for California Pacific Computer Company in 1980, where he worked on copy protection for the company's products.[5]

Gibson founded Gibson Laboratories in Laguna Hills, California in 1981; Gibson Labs developed a light pen for the Apple II, Atari, and other platforms and went out of business in 1983.[6][4]

In 1985 Gibson founded Gibson Research Corporation (GRC) is a computer software development firm.[4]

From 1986 to 1993 Gibson wrote the "Tech Talk" column for InfoWorld magazine.[7]

In 1999, Gibson created one of the first adware removal programs, which he called OptOut.[8]

In 2001, Gibson predicted that Microsoft's implementation of the SOCK_RAW protocol in the initial release of Windows XP would lead to widespread chaos by making it easier for Windows XP users to create denial of service (DoS) attacks.[9][10][11][12] In that year, his company's website was brought down by a DoS attack generated by a "13-year-old amateur hacker";[3] the attacks continued for two weeks. Gibson blogged about the attacks and his efforts to track down the hacker.[3] The internet did not collapse, but three years after the Windows XP release, Microsoft limited raw socket support in Service Pack 2.[13]

In 2005 Gibson launched a weekly podcast called "Security Now" with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv, with its archives hosted on GRC's website.[14][15]

In 2006 Gibson suggested that a bug, the Windows Metafile vulnerability, was actually a backdoor intentionally engineered into the system.[16] The accusation became an assertion and spread through the internet as a rumor after the technology news website Slashdot picked up Gibson's speculation.[16] The rumor was widely debunked[17][18] and Thomas Greene, writing in The Register, attributed Gibson's mistake to "his lack of security experience" and called him a "popinjay expert."[16]

GRC products[edit]

GRC has created a number of niche utilities, most of which are freeware.[19][20]

  • DNS Benchmark, freeware that lets users test the performance of the domain name servers used by their internet service providers.[21]
  • Securable, freeware to test whether a pre-Windows 7 computer is 64-bit compatible. It also tells the user if Data Execution Prevention is enabled.[22]
  • Shields Up, a free browser-based firewall testing service; one of the oldest available[23][24]
  • SpinRite, a hard disk scanning and data recovery utility first released in 1988.[25] As of February 2015 the current version was 6.0,[26] which was first released in 2004.[27] SpinRite is a commercial product, costing $89 as of February 2015.[26] Gibson's work on SpinRite has led to him being considered an expert on hard drive failure.[28]
  • Spoofarino, freeware released in 2006 and promised since the controversy over the launch of Windows XP in 2001, it enables users to test whether their internet service providers allow them to send forged or "spoofed" packets of data to Gibson's Web site.[2]

Works[edit]

  • Gibson, Steve (1991). A Passion for Technology, 1986 - 1990 Cumulative Index and 1986. Aliso Viejo, California: Gibson Research Corporation. ISBN 1-880814-86-2. 
  • Gibson, Steve (1991). A Passion for Technology Volume One 1987. Aliso Viejo, California: Gibson Research Corporation. ISBN 1-880814-87-0. 
  • Gibson, Steve (1991). A Passion for Technology Volume Two 1988. Aliso Viejo, California: Gibson Research Corporation. ISBN 1880814889. 
  • Gibson, Steve (1991). A Passion for Technology Volume Three 1989. Aliso Viejo, California: Gibson Research Corporation. ISBN 1-880814-89-7. 
  • Gibson, Steve (1991). A Passion for Technology, Volume Four 1990. Aliso Viejo, California: Gibson Research Corporation. ISBN 1880814897. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://twit.tv/show/security-now/500
  2. ^ a b Rosenberger, Rob (April 1, 2006). "Steve Gibson finally releases DDoS attack tool". Spyware Point. 
  3. ^ a b c Millar, Stuart (June 5, 2001). "Teenage clicks". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ a b c Gibson, Steve. "Steve's Resumé". GRC.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ Knudsen, Richard (January 1981). "Exec California Pacific: Innovative Marketing Budges" (PDF). Softalk Magazine 1 (5): 34. 
  6. ^ Mace, Scott (December 26, 1983). "Hardware: Light Pen Technology looks to the Micro". InfoWorld. p. 61. Retrieved January 27, 2015. The Gibson Light Pen has been developed for Atari home computers. 
  7. ^ "SpinRite upgrade". InfoWorld. October 11, 1993. ...Steve Gibson, whose Tech Talk column has run in InfoWorld for close to eight years... 
  8. ^ Lavasoft. "The History of Spyware". Lavasoft.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  9. ^ Radcliff, Deborah (October 22, 2001). "Windows XP: Is it safe?". Computerworld. 
  10. ^ Greene, Thomas C. (12 June 2001). "Security geek developing WinXP raw socket exploit: Has Steve Gibson finally lost his mind?". The Register. Situation Publishing Ltd. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ Raw Sockets Debate: Steve Gibson with Tom C. Greene. Online Tonight with David Lawrence (video). 2001. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  12. ^ Fogie, Seth (June 21, 2002). "Raw Sockets Revisited: What Happened to the End of the Internet?". InformIT. 
  13. ^ Griffiths, Ian (August 12, 2004). "Raw Sockets Gone in XP SP2". IanG on Tap. 
  14. ^ "Security Now! Episode Archive". GRC.com. Gibson Research Corporation. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  15. ^ Bowers, Andy (December 9, 2005). "Slate's Podcast Roundup". Slate. 
  16. ^ a b c Greene, Thomas C. (21 January 2006). "Windows back door rumor is bunk". The Register. Situation Publishing Ltd. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  17. ^ Toulouse, Stephen (January 13, 2006). "Looking at the WMF issue, how did it get there?". Microsoft Security Response Center. 
  18. ^ Helweg, Otto (January 18, 2006). "Inside the WMF Backdoor". Mark Russinovich's Blog. 
  19. ^ Luo, John (March 2004). "Open-source and general public license programs cost little or nothing. Are they right for your practice?" (PDF). Current Psychiatry. 
  20. ^ Coolidge, Daniel S. (January–February 2006). "Cyber-Vermin: Dealing with Dangerous Fauna Infesting the Internet". GPSolo Magazine. 
  21. ^ Softpedia. "DNS Benchmark". Softpedia. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  22. ^ Orchilles, Jorge (2010). Microsoft Windows 7 Administrator's Reference: Upgrading, Deploying, Managing, and Securing Windows 7. Syngress. p. 10. ISBN 9781597495622. 
  23. ^ Biersdorfer, J. D. (April 6, 2010). "Q.&A.: Torching Your Firewall — On Purpose". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ Leonhard, Woody (2005). Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 429–30. ISBN 9780764596179. 
  25. ^ Mendelson, Edward; Stark, Craig L. (October 11, 1988). "First Looks". PC Magazine. 
  26. ^ a b "SpinRite". GRC.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  27. ^ Mainelli, Tom (August 2, 2004). "Review: SpinRite 6 to the Rescue". PCWorld. 
  28. ^ Anderson, Nate (February 25, 2007). "Experts: No cure in sight for unpredictable hard drive loss". Ars Technica. 

External links[edit]