OT: A call to arms (sort of)

From: Mark <mark_k_at_iname.com>
Date: Fri Jul 16 13:07:20 1999

On Wed, 7 Jul 1999 William Donzelli wrote:
> Another thing found in service manuals are the tricks that allow
> technicians and engineers to crack passwords and use backdoors. Imagine
> the fun a company would have trying to patch a PR disaster because some
> high school kid keeps fooling around with spanning trees and access lists
> on switches and routers, with techniques available in the back of a manual.

I guess that only applies to a relatively small proportion of all products out
there (that is, networking-related).

> There is a lot of sensitive information in these service manuals that can
> really hurt a company if it falls into the wrong hands. The easiest
> solution, and probably the best as well, is to restrict the manuals.
> ...
> No. Companies simply do not care about "non-official" service agents
> anymore because there are not that many of them to worry about, and the
> companies can always clobber these "non-officials" on replacement parts
> costs, technical support, and the continuation of warranties.

One thing I would like, is for companies to make (internal) service manuals &
possibly other info too, available for old & obsolete products which they do
not support any more.

After five years say, the company may not even be supporting the product at all
(i.e. not providing a repair service), so I can't see how releasing the info
could harm them.

Though the proportion of people interested in this info would be small, I'm
sure some good publicity spin could be given to doing this. And it needn't be
expensive at all; just converting the documentation to PDF format (or scanning
it if only paper copies are available) and putting it on a web page would be

Does anyone know of any companies that have done something like this?

-- Mark
Received on Fri Jul 16 1999 - 13:07:20 BST

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