Re: [fw-wiz] How to Save The World
From: Crispin Cowan (crispin_at_immunix.com)
To: "Marcus J. Ranum" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 19:25:59 -0800
Marcus J. Ranum wrote:
>If you drink a couple of shots of tequila to clear your mind of
>preconceptions and really think about this Internet Security
>stuff, there's a couple of glaringly obvious alternatives that we,
>as an industry, have chosen to not explore. What is the cost
>of enumerating viruses and malware and running antivirus
>software ($19/year/desktop...) versus the cost of telling the
>system exactly what code you want to allow to run. (Hmmm,
>let's see - I could define my desktop computer's "allow"
>list in 3 seconds: Eudora, Opera, Photoshop, Powerpoint,
>Word, and directory toolkit)
Put down the tequila :)
Immunix's SubDomain product does pretty much exactly that. While the
security benefits are intuitively obvious, and you would /think/ that it
would be that simple, it is not. The hard part of this approach is:
* Making it actually be simple to enumerate the "allowed" operations
that your computer should do. The direct/obvious approach can a
long time to write out. Immunix makes it fast and simple.
* Making the enumeration flexible enough so that it doesn't break
next Tuesday when you add something. Immunix does that, too.
>For a very long time, now, the industry has been moving
>away from "custom code" based on the premise that
>software is a commodity and should be treated as
>such. But that is obviously an inaccurate premise. If
>you question the premise that software is a commodity,
>you need to question all the "facts" that follow from it.
I think it is pretty hard to make the case that custom software is often
going to be cheaper than commodity software. The reality distortion
field here is brought to you by the much more silly notion of
standardizing on software from a particular vendor in Redmond. There are
two things wrong with that:
* the support costs of patching their particularly atrocious
software are much higher than they need to be
* it is not a "commodity" any more if you give one vendor monopoly
control on the supply, and thus total control of the price
So lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. "Commodity" good.
"Single source commodity" bad :)
-- Crispin Cowan, Ph.D. http://immunix.com/~crispin/ CTO, Immunix http://immunix.com _______________________________________________ firewall-wizards mailing list email@example.com http://honor.icsalabs.com/mailman/listinfo/firewall-wizards