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CBC: U.S. unprepared for Net meltdown
Without proper planning, myriad industries--from health care to transportation to financial services--could face devastation if a natural disaster, terrorist or hacker succeeded in disrupting Net access...
The report called for the government to take a number of actions:
• Set up a global advance-warning mechanism, akin to those broadcasted for natural disasters, for Internet disruptions
• Issue a policy that clearly defines the roles of business and government representatives in the event of disruptions
• Establish formal training programs for response to cyberdisasters
• Allot more federal funding for cybersecurity protection
"A massive cyberdisruption could have a cascading, long-term impact, without adequate coordination between government and the private sector," said Paul Kurtz, the alliance's executive director. "The stakes are too high for continued government inaction."
Using biology to fight computer viruses: Can we use the immune system to protect machines?
Stephanie Forrest, a professor of computer science at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, ...argues that computer scientists could learn some powerful lessons from biology about how to develop security systems that can cope with this teeming software ecosystem. Forrest is a pioneer in computer immune system research, a field that aims to take the important attributes of biological immune systems and use them to enhance the protection of our computers.
* For a start, computer security could use some of the autonomy that biological systems possess. "Our computer systems don't work well enough to be trusted to run without human supervision," Forrest says. "Biological systems do this routinely."
* Second, online security lacks the kind of adaptability and self-repair that are a hallmark of functioning immune systems.
* Adaptability is all the more important given that security systems could soon be facing threats that undergo their own kind of evolution. "In today's Internet, it is well-known how to launch attacks that are self-replicating and can spread on their own," Forrest says. "It seems to me that the only missing ingredient of an open-ended evolutionary process is a well-crafted form of automated mutation."
* On that note, another attribute lacking in computer security is diversity.
...the field of computer immune systems is flourishing worldwide, says Peter Bentley from University College London, who studies computation based on biological principles. "Stephanie Forrest was perhaps one of the first doing research into the immune system and computers," he says. "Since then the whole field has really grown."
How Washington will shape the Internet
The most potent force shaping the future of the Internet is neither Mountain View’s Googleplex nor the Microsoft campus in Redmond. It’s rather a small army of Gucci-shod lobbyists on Washington’s K Street and the powerful legislators whose favor they curry.
After years of benign neglect, the Federal government is finally involved in the Internet — big time. And the decisions being made over the next few months will impact not just the future of the Web, but that of mass media and consumer electronics as well.
...All of the major changes are encompassed in a single, sprawling bill that is called a “rewrite” of the 1996 Telecommunications Act but which in fact breaks all manner of new ground. At present the bill is out of committee in both houses but it’s not clear whether it will actually be passed this year; three weeks remain until summer recess and in September members may be more focused on elections than electrons. But sooner or later, Congress is going to lay down the law, and here’s a quick primer on some of the key issues:
original quote by: soficrow
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