[WEB SECURITY] Re: [Full-disclosure] [WEB SECURITY] Re: comparing information security to other industries

coderman coderman at gmail.com
Tue Dec 26 15:02:05 EST 2006

On 12/25/06, Andre Gironda <andre at operations.net> wrote:
> ...
> how about never? http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb/papers/acm-predict.pdf
> it is quite likely that the implications of risk in information
> security is something we just have to live with for our lifetimes and
> probably our childrens' lifetimes.

how seductive; to discard accountability and responsibility with
sophistry.  there is risk, and there is gross incompetence.

the vast majority of software developed does not pursue even trivial
security assurances.
look at the month of kernel bugs to see how common and trivial
validations are ignored in critical kernel interfaces to file systems
and device drivers, thus subverting the integrity of the entire
operating system and applications.

it is indeed folly to expect perfection in a human process of software
engineering, but it is nothing less than incompetence and dishonesty
to suggest that the existing state of affairs is somehow unavoidable.

> here's a disturbing question - when is law enforcement going to mature
> to the point where there is no crime?

law enforcement is a better example of the requisite defense in depth
and reasonable risk management than current IT practice.  there are
elements of prevention, anomaly detection, continual refinement,
mitigation, and accountability in place.  compared to modern software
and information technology systems it has progressed by leaps and

we don't need perfection, but we do need to accept responsibility for
the truly crappy state of IT software and systems in place today.

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