sendmail.net: Q&A: Wietse Venema

[ Thanks to Mark
for this link. ]

“When you name a program SATAN, expect your intentions to be
misread. Wietse Venema discovered this firsthand when he and
colleague Dan Farmer released the Security Administrator Tool for
Analyzing Networks, reporting software designed to let
administrators test their own networks for vulnerabilities, but
immediately misconstrued as a toy for budding crackers.”

“There’s little chance that mistake will be repeated.
Venema’s name has since become synonymous with security in the
minds of sysadmins worldwide, thanks to his work on SATAN, TCP
Wrapper, and a host of other tools to keep the scriptkiddies at
bay. This work hasn’t gone unnoticed
: at the LISA ’99
conference last November, Venema received the SAGE Outstanding
Achievement Award, an honor previously bestowed upon the likes of
Paul Vixie and Larry Wall.”

“The other thing Venema’s famous for, of course, is Postfix, the
mail transfer agent he wrote after coming to IBM’s Thomas J. Watson
Research Center from the Netherlands. Known briefly by the name
“VMailer,” Postfix aims to be “fast, easy to configure, and
hopefully secure.” We spoke with Venema by phone about Postfix,
security, and the superiority of asynchronous communication – i.e.,