O’Reilly Network: The Next 50 Years of Computer Security: An Interview with Alan Cox

Edd Dumbill: You’re talking about the next 50
years of computer security at EuroOSCON. How would you sum up the
current state of computer security?

Alan Cox: It is beginning to improve, but at
the moment computer security is rather basic and mostly reactive.
Systems fail absolutely rather than degrade. We are still in a
world where an attack like the slammer worm combined with a PC BIOS
eraser or disk locking tool could wipe out half the PCs exposed to
the internet in a few hours. In a sense we are fortunate that most
attackers want to control and use systems they attack rather than
destroy them…”