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The point of this discussion on Raw Sockets is to debunk any myth that Microsoft's choice to include Raw Sockets capability with Windows XP will result in a total crash of the Internet. To date, there have been no major DoS attacks that can be attributed to this additional feature.

When this warning was released, most of the security community disregarded it as a method of getting attention (for example, http://grcsucks.com). GRC (and Steve Gibson in particular) has been in the news before with his prophetic statements. In a 1992 article in InfoWorld, he predicted the end of the pattern-matching virus scanners. However, it is now 10 years later, and pattern-matching remains the most commonly used method of virus protection programs.

For those of you are who are still concerned about Windows XP and Raw Sockets, I suggest you enable the Windows XP firewall, which was also included as a new feature to Windows XP. After the firewall is enabled, why not let Mr. Gibson test your computer using his own "ShieldsUp" program? You will most likely find that the operating system he predicts as the beginning of the end for all Internet users scores a "Full Stealth!" This means that it passes his own test with flying colors.

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