Is SSM Dead?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by nameless, Jul 1, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    1,184
    I've been wondering for awhile if SSM has been abandoned. As has been pointed out in the SSM forum itself, no beta has been posted since April 18, 2007. Two SSM staffers who used to post daily each stopped posting on the same day in March, 2007. (I checked that date myself--it's true.)

    It's kind of hard to believe that they're just "really, really hard at work behind the scenes."
     
  2. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Posts:
    2,201
    Location:
    Fayetteville, Ga
    There is some discussion of this on the SSM forum. I certainly hope they don't fold like Diamond CS did. The death of PG is what sent me to SSM. Now I have two lifetime subscriptions to SSM. Maybe I shouldn't pay for subscriptions to anything. They have a great program and it would be a shame for it to dry up.
     
  3. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    8,010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yes it would be a shame, I do hope that they will be able to sell the app to some other company. But if I´m correct they are working on a new version at the moment. However, even old versions of SSM are still very useful against malware attacks.
     
  4. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Posts:
    2,201
    Location:
    Fayetteville, Ga
    I think that one of the problems they have is the misconception that it is a complicated program. It can be used by anyone. The average user may be intimidated by it and it could be made a little more user friendly for the masses.
     
  5. Thankful

    Thankful Savings Monitor

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Posts:
    3,731
    Location:
    New York City
    Posted by vitk at SSM Forum:

     
  6. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Posts:
    1,422
    Location:
    New Mexico, USA
    I wonder if a lot of potential buyers aren't going for the supposedly easier to use virtualization products such as Sandboxie and others instead of the somewhat intimidating (to a newbie) SSM.

    Everything collected in a sandbox or secure folder - no rules to make or try to learn, and just empty the folder at the end of a session. This is what your average computer user wants, and even that's too much for some people.
     
  7. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Posts:
    2,201
    Location:
    Fayetteville, Ga
    I also believe in the sandbox, virtualization programs but I don't use them all the time because of the amount of updates and changes to the system.
     
  8. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    I talked to Vitk about a month ago. They've got a lot of work making SSM compatible with Vista.
    Rick
     
  9. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Posts:
    2,753
    Exactly the main weakness of virtualization.Otherwise,when people don't change often programs,something simple like Power Shadow ,with a second partition to save the things you want,is the simplest way for an average Joe.I have both SSM free and Pro,but i prefer PS,because i avoid the hassle of replying to pop ups or having slowdown due to hooks etc.Also installing a new application with SSM on,requires either learning mode or clicking "allow" half a dozen times.The the other day the SSM gui had disappeared for no apparent reason.

    While you can use PS,reboot once a day for installing programs and updating the antivirus and you are done.And oddly enough,browsing seems faster with PS!

    Oh yeah,a malware can bypass PS through low level access.And a meteorite may hit me on the head just as soon as i leave my doorstep. :D
     
  10. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    1,184
    It seems "they" is now "he". And I don't see why SSM's outlook would improve from this point on, given that as time goes on, the competition only gets harder and harder (i.e. KIS 7, NOD32 Security Suite, etc.).
     
  11. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Posts:
    2,201
    Location:
    Fayetteville, Ga
    The truth of the matter is probably a majority of people buy a computer with an AV installed ,never pay to keep it up to date and drive off into the sunset.
     
  12. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    1,184
    Yeah, you're right ("What's this 'McAfee' thing I see all the time?"), but even more-advanced users have more choices as time goes on, which doesn't seem to be doing SSM any favors.

    SSM may not be "dead" yet, but from where I sit, it seems to be on life support and fading fast.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2007
  13. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    Even if SSM did go under as a company, that wouldn't make their software any less effective. I'll keep using it either way, both on my PC and on those I maintain for others.

    Once an app like SSM matures and the bugs are fixed, it doesn't need regular updating, except for keeping it compatible with new operating systems. I have to wonder why some people think a company has to release a new version every few months to protect a 6 year old operating system like XP. That's the wrong criteria for evaluating an app or its vendor.

    The fact that SSM is not a combined security suite and that it requires interaction and at least some knowlege from the user limits their potential market. Most users don't want and can't deal with that level of control. There's a lot of competing apps targeting the small percentage of users that do like choosing their own components. Unfortunately, quality and performance are not always the deciding factors that determine who survives. More often, it's the depth of their pockets and income from other already developed products that decide that.

    I should pick up copies of all their apps, just in case I ever do get a different version of Windows. I still have a beta tester license I've never used.
    Rick
     
  14. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Posts:
    5,648
    Location:
    Hawaii
  15. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Their latest beta, 618, is excellent. It would be disappointing especially as a paid subscriber to see the product abandoned, but there was another post in the forum indicating they are still working on the final release due by the end of July, with at least one more beta before then. Maybe reducing staff was the only way to keep afloat. After all, it is a tough product to sell, and with such fierce competition combined with an overall lack of recogniton and understanding toward a HIPS utility, the market is restricted to only a niche following.

    As will I.
     
  16. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    1,184
    It hasn't really matured; the current version is in beta, with quite a "to-do" list in place.

    While XP may be old, new exploits that work on XP do continue to appear, and new bugs and limitations in SSM do as well. For example, there are at least a couple leak tests that the latest version of SSM fails.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2007
  17. lu_chin

    lu_chin Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Posts:
    294
    You may want to download the trial version of SNS and run it with your existing security applications first. I bought both SSM and SNS and I would say that SSM was way more compatible with my other security applications than SNS.

     
  18. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Posts:
    3,408
  19. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Posts:
    5,648
    Location:
    Hawaii
    ProSecurity is pretty good, but here again it's a 1-man operation. The app hasn't been updated since version 1.3 March 2007. The forum has become dormant, & the developer hasn't posted there for >2 months.

    If you are referring to Matousek's latest leak tests, here is a partial quote of his descri[ption of those tests...

    SSM was included in this test even though it is a HIPS, NOT a firewall. All of the apps tested by Matousec were either firewalls, or else (like OnlineArmor) they had a specific module clearly designated as a firewall. SSM was the only non-firewall included in Matousec's tests.

    SSM has a "network" module, but it only controls outbound connections and is turned off by default. It will not afford control over protocol, ports, or local/remote hosts. In other words, SSM is NOT a firewall nor is it designed to be such. Even though it is a non-Firewall, SSM scored higher in Matousec's tests than several apps that ARE designed as full-time firewalls.

    FOOTNOTE- Only one other HIPS-type program (Dynamic Security Agent - DSA) was included in Matousec's tests. However, DSA is designed to include all the capabilities of its parent firewall (Private Firewall) except for configurability as such. That is the reason why I use DSA in lieu of a firewall.
     
  20. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    1,184
    I know all about SSM's features. When the "Network" feature was added, they referred to it as a "Basic Network Firewall". The owner of SSM still refers to it as a "firewall module". I understand that it's not designed to be a complete firewall solution. This is obvious. But it is designed to be capable of catching outbound connections, and there are some it fails to stop. (In fact, in the past, I've used some simple programs that it failed to stop.) That was part of my point.

    There are also rootkits that SSM fails to intercept. I am not mentioning this to incite a "YOU CALLED MY KID UGLY!" response. My point is that it does matter if SSM development stops or continues. This was my previous point; I'm just clarifying.

    So please, don't misunderstand me: I know that SSM is excellent. I know it isn't designed to be a complete firewall. I am simply saying that it's not so perfect that it doesn't matter if it becomes abandonware at this point.
     
  21. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Posts:
    5,648
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I agree totally. It would be a real shame if SSM can't remain current & viable in this increasingly competitive market for security apps that are not blacklist-based.

    Quickie Off-Topic: Just took a look at Antihook as a possible SSM replacement. It requires dot net 2.0 --- gooooood grief!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2007
  22. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Posts:
    1,184
    That's kind of funny to me, since I just popped back on at this unholy hour (3:50 AM) because for some reason, I became curious to know if AntiHook was still being developed. (I am a vampire by nature anyway, FWIW.)
     
  23. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Posts:
    11,047
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia/ Pakistan
    It,s really sad and disappointing. PG died, SSM seems so. AD and NG might remain in beta for good. EQSecure might go the same way, PS is stagnant as well.
    I think next MS windows( after Vista) will erase the HIPS altogether. Really bad feeling.
     
  24. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Posts:
    5,648
    Location:
    Hawaii
    SSM still has the owner & chief programmer working there. He CAN do the job. There are several 1-man software outfits who are doing okay - DW, Ges, Ps, etc. The big guys (NAV, McAfee, KAV etc) will have the mainstream, of course -- but as long as the little outfits like SSM realize that they are "niche software" -- and place their main efforts on satisfying the folks who occupy their particulr niche -- they can & will prosper.

    I am a niche person. I have firmly decided to renew my license with SSM.

    Please forgive me for getting into the pulpit for a moment. I would like to briefly sermonize as follows: Namely, a thread entitled "Is SSM dead?" is likely to function as a *self-fulfilling prophecy*. It's sort of like asking Joe Blow, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" That sort of question leads people to believe that Joe Blow HAS been beating his wife, even if he hasn't been doing so.

    In my OPINION, the answer to the thread's question can be very much affected by how we react to it. If we all react by bailing out on SSM -- which I admit was my initial gut reaction -- then SSM very likely WILL be dead. On the other hand, it doesn't take all that many niche customers to keep SSM going as a 1-man operation.

    I just tried Safe'n'Secure. Doing that made me realize again just how superb SSM is for those who like high configurability and strong (but complex) protection. SnS lacks many of SSM's features, such as readily configurable parent-child controls & start-up management. Its application & process controls seem equal to SSM's, but a blocked process was NOT blocked by it, its GUI HAS to have the screen set to high resolution or you can't view the control buttons, it slows my computer down whereas SSM does not, & the help file for setting rules says to look at "the following examples" whereas there are no such examples. In fact, the remainder of the page is blank. Finally, SnS was unstable for me -- as it has been for other posters here at Wilders. SSM is rock-steady.

    I no longer want to place my main trust on blacklist-based security. Thus, I will continue to keep my eyes open for new & better HIPS. As of this moment, my money (cold, hard cash, that is) remains on SSM.

    End of half-baked sermon (And everybody said... ?)
     
  25. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Posts:
    2,201
    Location:
    Fayetteville, Ga
    Bellgamin,I agree with you 100%. I just recently purchased two lifetime licensees for SSM. DefenseWall is another great 1 man operation. You can't beat the support that Ilya provides. I certainly hope that SSM sticks in there.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.