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Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 15:04:28 -0500
From: Tim <>
To: Nguyen Pham <>
Subject: Re: emergent security properties

> In real world, we can have many examples of these properties such as the
> shape of a flock of birds or shoal of fish. The problem is that I can hardly
> find out some real examples in the field of network security in terms of
> sub-networks, firewalls, servers, applications, etc. with their
> corresponding security properties.
> ...
> Could you give me some examples on that?

I can't think of any examples in the defense side of the house, but
certainly viruses can exhibit these emergent properties.  The slammer
worm did nothing explicitly malicious to any machines.  It spread in
memory only, not touching disk, and did not attempt to phone home or
otherwise do explicitly malicious actions.

However, it did take down much of the internet, in what, 11 minutes?
The emergent result of it's spread was catastrophic failure.  Based on
what I understand of emergent behavior, this fits the bill.  I'd be
interested to hear if you disagree.

Viruses communicating with one another, autonomously, would be a very
interesting area of study.  I believe some vague doomsday articles are
out there on this topic.


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