Re: [SC-L] re: Why Software Will Continue to Be Vulnerable

2005-05-03 Thread Blue Boar
Bill Cheswick wrote:

Probably like many of you, I'm the local friends-and-family computer
fixit guy.

 My father has repeatedly asked why he should care that his computer is totally
 owned.  I've told him that his CPU engine is blowing blue smoke all over the 
 Internet,
 but that doesn't help.

I think people would care if they knew, but they don't know.

 An outbreak of user-obvious malware might change the equation, but I am not 
 suggesting
 that someone run the experiment.

I think just about the only time I've been called out to lay hands on
someone's computer in the last two years (with one exception I can think
of), the problem has been malware/spyware.  I.e. it had misbehaved to
the point where it was untolerable.  The browser no longer works, the
machine grinds to a halt, the screen goes wonky (screwed up the video
drivers), it's popping porn ads at the kids, etc...

So my assertion is that much of the malware is very obvious.  I'll avoid
the temptation to rant at the poor quality of the malware/spyware code
itself.  I'll also add that I think this is the current big problem for
Windows users.  Windows itself (XP+) has become reliable *enough*, and
the hardware reliable enough (or cheap enough to suffer a forklift
upgrade), that it works great... except for the damn malware.

The typical reaction I get is incredulity that there are people who sit
around all day writing this stuff (malware/spyware.)  Any consideration
that there's a fault with the OS that allows it in is waaay down the list.

So if MS can find a way to make the effects of malware unobservable,
then they just about have that market sewn up.

Ryan




Re: [SC-L] re: Why Software Will Continue to Be Vulnerable

2005-05-02 Thread Gunnar Peterson
It appears that the user-obvious malware would need to reach the anterior
insula to make a difference in computer security.

From Business Week -- Why Does logic often takes a backseat in making
decisons?:

The National Hockey League and its players wrangle over a salary cap. The
impasse causes the season to be canceled. Everybody loses. What went wrong?

According to the new science of neuroeconomics, the explanation might lie inside
the brains of the negotiators. Not in the prefrontal cortex, where people
rationally weigh pros and cons, but deep inside, where powerful emotions arise.
Brain scans show that when people feel they're being treated unfairly, a small
area called the anterior insula lights up, engendering the same disgust that
people get from, say, smelling a skunk. That overwhelms the deliberations of
the prefrontal cortex. With primitive brain functions so powerful, it's no
wonder that economic transactions often go awry. In some ways, modern economic
life for humans is like a monkey driving a car, says Colin F. Camerer, an
economist at California Institute of Technology.

http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/05_13/b3926099_mz057.htm?chan=mz;

-gp

Quoting Bill Cheswick [EMAIL PROTECTED]:


 Here's a depressing survey

 I found it utterly unsurprising.  The bad guys almost never erase hard
 drives, or
 do other terribly inconvenient things to the machines they own.  They simply
 run in the background, mostly, and the users don't understand the issues.

 My father has repeatedly asked why he should care that his computer is
 totally
 owned.  I've told him that his CPU engine is blowing blue smoke all over the
 Internet,
 but that doesn't help.

 An outbreak of user-obvious malware might change the equation, but I am not
 suggesting
 that someone run the experiment.

 ches