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Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 17:32:24 -0800
From: Roland Dobbins <>
Subject: Re: emergent security properties

On Dec 26, 2006, at 4:19 PM, coderman wrote:

> the only example that comes to mind is distributed / collaborative
> anomaly detection systems which become more robust with a larger
> number of entities and interactions to observe.

While scale introduced complexity in terms of opex and maintenance,  
I'm not sure it carries the distinction of qualitative complexity  
implied by the previous poster.

Perhaps a better example would be an anomaly-detection system which  
correlates multiple types of telemetry with differing paradigms (say,  
NetFlow alongside syslog) in order to increase the fidelity of  

Another example would be introducing antispoofing functionality into  
a network infrastructure by deploying uRPF, IP Source Verify, iACLs,  
et. al. - this does introduce more complexity into the system, but it  
has very real security benefits both for the deploying organization  
as well as other organizations who in some fashion interconnect to  
one degree or another with the deploying organization (i.e., everyone  
on the public Internet, business partners interconnected via extranet  
WAN links or VPN tunnels, etc.).  Enabling telemetry export/ 
collection/analysis, deploying iACLS/rACLs/CoPP, enabling telemetry  
export to collection/analysis systems, and many other similar  
activities are also examples of increased complexity leading to  
better security.

As an aside, Slammer did not in fact take down 'much of the  
Internet'; some SP infrastructure was affected, but the vast majority  
of networks affected were enterprise networks.

Roland Dobbins <> // 408.527.6376 voice

		All battles are perpetual.

     		   -- Milton Friedman

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