Wayne -Diamond CS
Posted at Wilders Security Forum
July 21, 2005
Announcement at Wilder's Security
Folks I know this will come as a bit of a shock to some of you, but the TDS software line is to be discontinued, effective immediately. This is one of the biggest decisions I've ever had to make as the director of DiamondCS, so it was not a decision that was taken lightly, but a decision that will ultimately benefit you, our customers. For a full understanding, please read on.
So why on earth did we make a crazy decision like this?!? I hear you ask...
Winding the clock back, TDS was first developed when the very first remote access trojans for Windows were released. This was in the mid-late 90s, and there were just a few of them initially (Sokets de Troie, Acid Shivers, NetBus, Back Orifice) so it was easy for even a single person to keep on top of the situation. Today in 2005 there are tens of thousands of trojans alone with dozens being released on a daily basis, many often incorporating new offensive techniques against security software (one of the reasons ProcessGuard was developed - security software was taking an absolute battering before it was introduced). A lot of work has been put into the development of TDS4, but we have ultimately decided that we will not release it to the public. Not much development time has actually been wasted as a lot of technologies developed for TDS4 will be seen in our next product release, which we're keeping a tight lid on for now but that is literally just around the corner. So why discontinue a product as successful as TDS?
The answer in a nutshell: Time, cost, and constantly tied-up resources. Database-driven scanners (ie. anti-trojan scanners, anti-virus scanners and so on) are not "conventional" programs. By conventional I mean the developer works on a program, releases it, occassionally releases updates for it, but is otherwise free to work on other projects once the project is initially complete. Scanners on the otherhand require DAILY fulltime maintenance, and with the world of viruses and rootkits becoming more complex the time & resource demands are constantly increasing. The end result is that we've been tied down to this one program, which has prevented us from being able to develop so many other security programs, many of which would be considered superior to TDS in their own right, yet because we're tied to TDS we've been unable to pursue our other ideas. If you look at the other anti-trojan developers you'll see the same thing - they're not free to pursue other creations because they're tied down to their scanner. Additionally, it costs a lot of money to pay somebody to maintain the signature database as well, so not only does it require a lot of time, it also requires a lot of money - just to keep the program going from one day to the next. Conventional software does not suffer from this. High levels of piracy were also not helping the cause, as although pirates use our software illegally for free, it still costs us to supply the bandwidth for them to download databases.
By 'freeing' ourselves of the resource burden that TDS had become we are now free to update our existing software more often and we are now free to pursue other software ideas, one of which you will see soon as I just mentioned.
To TDS users, we thank you for letting us help to secure your systems with this program over the years. Many of you purchased TDS when it was just TDS1/2 (~$30), and took advantage of the free upgrade to TDS3, and as we've never charged for database updates that works out to ( $30 / 8 ) $3.75 per year for what many have rated the most comprehensive anti-trojan scanner even made, so as you can see although TDS has done well for itself over the years it has certainly not been a cashcow for us, and I know Kevin (BOClean author) recently shared similar sentiments here at this forum in regards to the expense required in maintaining a scanner. Yes we could start charging subscription fees, but we would still be tied down to the one program which would prevent us from creating so many others.
As a small token of our appreciation to TDS users we have decided to offer a free license to your choice of ProcessGuard or Port Explorer. To take advantage of this special offer please email your TDS3 keyfile along with your registration name and email address to [email protected]. This offer is available for a strictly limited time so don't delay!
Thankyou for taking the time to read this, and I hope you now have a better understanding as to why this decision needed to be made.
Anyway as they say, on with the show ... there's software that needs developing, and a new website nearly ready for release.