Re: How much cyber security is really there?

On Mar 30, 8:42 pm, Richard Outerbridge <ou...@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article

 bmearns <mearn...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Rather like steam boilers, automobiles, and rifles, eh?
From an operational perspective, all of those things are significantly
less complex than a computer. I'm not talking about the underlying
mechanisms, I'm referring to the complexity of actually using it. You
pull a trigger, push some buttons, etc., and they pretty much do what
you expect them to, though I'll grant you that modern autos can be
operationally pretty complex as well. But that isolation between the
underlying mechanisms and the operational behavior is not as distinct
on computers, and in particular with network application.

One way of describing it might be to say that a rifle, a steam boiler,
and a microwave are essentially black boxes, where as a computer is
more like a white/transparent box. When you pull the trigger, you know
what's going to happen: the bullets going to fire. You may not know
exactly what's going on "behind the scenes", but you really don't care
because it's pretty much entirely encapsulated. When you submit a
password to log in to a website, you know what's going to happen, too:
you're going to be granted access to the web service. But in this
case, the "behind the scenes" is not remotely encapsulated, and an
ignorance of what happens back there is a serious security risk.

Recently I inherited an obsolete rifle that was subject to a safety
recall 30 years ago.  Who would have thought that if you pulled the
trigger while the safety was on, and the gun had a chambered round,
when you released the safety the gun might go off?

Who knows what might have happened had I instead inherited a Toyota?

My point is that steam boilers, automobiles and rifles are black boxes
because they have evolved into technology that can be handled by idiots.
Your point is, if I may speak for you, that computers aren't there yet.

Yes, that is my point, and well phrased, thank you =).

So why do we continue to sell computers to idiots if they are becoming
as dangerous as unlicensed steam boilers, automobiles and rifles have
proven to be in the hands of idiots, without any of the idiot-proofing?

See, I assumed you were being sarcastic about operator licenses for
computers. Personally, I'm not a fan of too much government regulation
to protect people from themselves, and I think that's a major
difference: guns and cars used irresponsibly can hurt other people.
Using a computer without knowing what you're doing will likely only
harm yourself. Yes, there is a certain non-zero chance that you could
hurt someone else because you didn't know what you were doing on the
computer, but the same can be said for pretty much anything.




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