"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Information Security Defense In Depth Lessons (from a Bronze-Age Fort)

On a side note, the vast majority of computers in a botnet, the people infected with keyword loggers, adware, rootkits, ect, are simply unwilling to treat a computer like a device that should be secured. It’s instead treated like a multi-functional television. Convenience/accessibility always outweighs security concerns. Most of the computer security industry is about creating the illusion of security, because people want to feel safe more than the care about securing things. AV software that tries to target based off of known signatures is faulty because there’s a never ending stream of new variants. You’re better off using GMER to keep track of processes and clear out rootkits, and do all the OS/browser/flash/java/ect updates, and only allow manual execution of flash/java. The key is that they don’t want to raise your suspicions.

If the Internet is primitive, then its security is prehistoric. Cerf’s and Mockapetris’s future visions of the Internet will rely on that changing. Read on to see what Bronze Age wisdom Dun Aengus can impart that will help security evolve in the Digital Age.

Open Your Perimeter Only When and Where Necessary. Dun Aengus ranges over 14 acres; if laid out in a straight line, its walls would stretch more than a mile. Yet Cotter says there would have been only one or two doorway openings in the walls. In terms of security, entrances are obviously weaknesses since they require the least effort to penetrate. Fewer portals meant fewer weak points, or, if you prefer, vulnerabilities.

Compare that to today, when many damaging worms succeed simply because ports, the virtual equivalent of doorways, are unnecessarily left open.

Sometimes Security Must Trump Efficiency. Dun Aengus’s location was highly inconvenient for people whose business was the business of survival. Fishing and trading (requiring access to boats) meant long trips down the sloped land, far from the protection of the fort (and then long trips back); the lack of a fresh water supply forced inhabitants to collect rainwater; metals and other raw materials used to make tools and weapons, or jewelry and other goods for trading, were mined far away and then transported to be forged or crafted locally.

Control Traffic. Since the architects of Dun Aengus assumed attacks would come, they designed the fort so that attacks would be as difficult as possible. Fort entrances faced downslope, forcing enemies to charge uphill. Doorways were narrow, hard to find and, when you did find them, had high stone thresholds. You couldn’t just run through. Once you did get through, more walls would force you to turn right, thus exposing your weapon-carrying arm to attack. If you managed to keep going, you’d eventually reach the massive band of chevaux-de-frise (upturned stones jutting in every direction), which would certainly slow you down. Cotter found that the chevaux-de-frise at Dun Aengus was mapped out with flat stones before it was created, and its distance from the inner enclosure was consistent with chevaux-de-frise at other sites40 meters. “Forty meters,” Cotter says dramatically, “is a human’s missile-throwing range.” Link

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