Bad Beowulfs &c (OFF-TOPIC)

Nathan L. Cutler livingston at
Sun May 14 13:03:44 PDT 2000

On Sun, May 14, 2000 at 05:39:16AM -0500, jok707s at wrote:
> Nathan L. Cutler mentions the speed with which many of the security holes are 
> discovered and how fast the fixes are developed and made available.  This 
> leads him to argue that a centralized "map" of Internet weaknesses would 
> become obsolete fairly quickly.  Of course, there is a big difference between 
> a patch being *available* and that patch being actually *applied* to all the 
> appropriate systems.  

I have faith that the "full disclosure" and "script kiddie" phenomena have
forced the administrators of the higher-up systems whose functioning is key
to that of the Internet as a whole to keep those systems reasonably
up-to-date when it comes to security patches and that those administrators
are smart enough to click on .vbs scripts or take other dubious actions
that could threaten the mission critical servers they administer.

Furthermore, I am inclined to believe that there are more and more capable
system administrators "out there" wearing white hats than the other

I do concede that this is a leap of faith on my part.  But really.
Terrorist groups are always on the margins of society.  Personally, I doubt
if they could muster the resources or brainpower to inflict significant
long-term damage, much less "hold the world hostage" (e.g., something like
"Give us U.S.$5 billion in unmarked bills and we'll turn the Internet back
on").  Remember, terrorists always have some kind of political agenda and
they plan their actions according to how far they think it will get them
towards achieving that agenda.

I apologize for getting involved in an off-topic discussion.  I promise I
won't write any more on this thread.  "Better to lurk than to blabber O-T
and get flamed."

Nathan L. Cutler < livingston @ >         telephone: +420-2-51611648
Livingston Professional Translations		 fax:       +420-2-6514377
** When "pretty good" is not enough **           mobile:    +420-602-259964

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