The 'Security Digest' Archives (TM)

Archive: About | Browse | Search | Contributions | Feedback
Site: Help | Index | Search | Contact | Notices | Changes

ARCHIVE: 'Phage List' - Archives (1988 - 1989)
DOCUMENT: phage #255 [Op Ed in Tuesday's NYT] (1 message, 887 bytes)
NOTICE: recognises the rights of all third-party works.


From: narten
To: phage
Date: Tue 09:25:21 15/11/1988 EST
Subject: Op Ed in Tuesday's NYT
References: [Thread Prev: 254] [Thread Next: 256] [Message Prev: 254] [Message Next: 256]

"Innocence Is Periled In Computer Eden", by Cornell graduate student
Peter Wayner.

Worth reading.  In my judgement, however, it straddles the fence too
much about whether it was right or wrong to let the program loose.
This is disappointing because the article begins by pointing out:

"....everyone wants to know how computer security could be so lax.
They're missing the point.

Computers here at Cornell and at some of other research sites are
deliberately set up to have a very low level of protection.  We want
fast computers, and security slows everything down. .... Trust takes
the place of security."

For instance:

"Experiments of this sort are common.  I spent the day after the
infection speculating on several other holes in Conrell's system.  If
I find solutions and write a dissertation, Conrell will give me a

No doubt a discouragement to others thinking of doing the same. Also:

"Although a sizeable number think he should be strung up, Mr. Morris
has become a folk hero to a lot of students.  Some faculty members are
probably more distressed by the virus's design flaws than the havoc it
caused.  After teaching everyone to program carefully and precisely,
they must have been torn between condemning his delinquency and
cheering his programming ability."