Steven Gibson is an American software engineer, security researcher, and IT security gadfly. 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.
From 1986 to 1993 Gibson wrote the "Tech Talk" column for InfoWorld magazine.
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. In that year, his company's website was brought down by a DoS attack generated by a "13-year-old amateur hacker";[this quote needs a citation] the attacks continued for two weeks. Gibson blogged about the attacks and his efforts to track down the hacker. The internet did not collapse, but three years after the Windows XP release, Microsoft limited raw socket support in Service Pack 2.
In 2006 Gibson suggested that a bug, the Windows Metafile vulnerability, was actually a backdoor intentionally engineered into the system. The accusation became an assertion and spread through the internet as a rumor after the technology news website Slashdot picked up Gibson's speculation. The rumor was widely debunked and Thomas Greene, writing in The Register, attributed Gibson's mistake to "his lack of security experience" and called him a "popinjay expert."
Shields Up, a free browser-based firewall testing service; one of the oldest available
SpinRite, a hard disk scanning and data recovery utility first released in 1988. As of February 2015 the current version was 6.0, which was first released in 2004. SpinRite is a commercial product, costing $89 as of February 2015. Gibson's work on SpinRite has led to him being considered an expert on hard drive failure.
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.