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Re: [Full-Disclosure] Security & Obscurity: physical-worldanalogies
From: DAN MORRILL (dan_20407msn.com)
Date: Thu Sep 02 2004 - 15:18:41 CDT
But since when has anything academic ever matched anything reality? Academia
is more towards opening doors, but not dealing with a real world
environment. Where the real world envionment that most of us on this list
work in see little need for academia.
So why are we whining about a paper? Did it make anyone think about
something, then if so, the end point of any academic work has been met. At
least the guy tried to authenticate the idea first in the field.
>From: Dave Aitel <daveimmunitysec.com>
>To: Peter Swire <peterpeterswire.net>
>Subject: Re: [Full-Disclosure] Security & Obscurity:
>Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 14:27:02 -0400
>On Thu, 2004-09-02 at 12:24, Peter Swire wrote:
> > Here are arguments for why it is useful to think systematically
> > about the relationship between computer- and physical-security issues.
> > > Peter might be much better to concentrate on the realities and forget
> > > about straw-man analogies. What do you think?
> > I think there is a strong analytic similarity between a firewall
> > and physical settings where guards are deciding whether to let
> > people/trucks/etc. through a gate.
> > In both cases, the outsiders might be attackers who want to gain
> > control over the system (physical attackers infiltrating and computer
> > attackers seeking root control).
> > In both cases, the outsiders might be attackers who want to get
> > information about the inside (physical attackers spying out the lay of
> > the land and computer attackers downloading files or getting other
> > information).
> > In both cases, there is "filtering" by the defenders. Some
> > entrants are excluded. Some get more intensive screening. The level of
> > filtering varies with the perceived level of the threat.
> > Three reasons why studying physical and computer security
> > together is useful. First, at the level of analytic understanding, the
> > paper tries to give a unified way to assess when openness is likely to
> > help security (conditions closer to what the paper calls the Open Source
> > paradigm) and when openness is likely to reveal vulnerabilities that
> > create net problems (conditions closer to what the paper calls the
> > Military paradigm). A unified theory is an academic/intellectual gain.
>The thing about a straw man is that it looks a LITTLE bit like a man,
>but then it turns out not to be a man at all. A firewall is like a gate,
>a service is like a window, and a server is like a house, etc. etc. But
>you can't take two non-traitors and have them automatically combine
>voltron-like into one super traitor on the back end of a gatehouse,
>which you can do with a firewall or information filtering device.
>There's just no good analogy for the real work of hacking that can apply
>to a simplistic physical model.
> > Second, policymakers in the government and management in
> > companies have to decide, every day, what should be secret and what
> > should be open. Not everyone has time to read FD an hour a day to
> > become expert in all these things!! The paper tries to give a useful
> > way for decisionmakers to get an approximation of what sorts of things
> > should be disclosed. A unified approach can help decisionmakers.
>Or it can handicap them, because they're basing their decisions on an
>incomplete, unverified model that doesn't correspond to reality.
>Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
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