[Dailydave] The monetization of information insecurity

Andreas Lindh andreas.lindh at isecure.se
Tue Sep 9 11:31:39 EDT 2014

Hi all,

I won't claim to have a definite answer, but here is one concrete example of something that I believe should definitely be avoided.

Back in 2001, a whole bunch of people in the antivirus industry signed a petition against teaching how to create computer viruses. The reasoning behind this was, and I quote:

"It is not necessary and it is not useful to write computer viruses to learn how to protect against them."


Let's not make this mistake again. Instead, let's have people who know how to attack help design our defenses.

Just my 2 cents.


8 sep 2014 kl. 16:22 skrev "dave aitel" <dave at immunityinc.com<mailto:dave at immunityinc.com>>:

So I'm heading to a conference shortly and I was going to promote them in this email but they're apparently not a public conference. I'm on a panel called "Identification of Emerging and Evolving Threats" with some non-US Government people who seem pretty nice.

Anyways, now that I've guaranteed myself an exciting visit from security services, I wanted to point out the one question everyone should be asking when they go to any conference and a new technology of any kind is proposed as any kind of forward movement for defense. And that is this: "How can we avoid making the mistake of Anti-Virus" ever again?

Because much like the Internet has been hamstrung at birth by the parasitic growth of the advertising industry, the information security community has been devastated for almost its entire existence by the dominance of anti-virus companies and products which demonstrably haven't worked for almost their entire reign, and in theory never could have scaled. They are broken by design. And because they sucked all the money and research and people from the defensive community, no actual defenses were ever created for IT that had a hope of working.

So the only question any team of government executives working on defense needs to be thinking about is "How is this different from Anti-Virus in the long term? How can we avoid making that mistake ever again?" Because until you know how that mistake was made, and can avoid it for the next generation, "Emerging and Evolving" threats will always be beyond your power to stop.


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