Re: Security Considerations, IoT and Everything

Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org> Fri, 02 December 2016 00:45 UTC

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Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 19:45:04 -0500
From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org>
To: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: Security Considerations, IoT and Everything
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On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 03:25:36PM -0500, Michael StJohns wrote:
> In the early days of the internet, connected devices were mostly big iron -
> main frames and mini-computers.  Next came the wave of PCs.  Next the smart
> phones and tablets.  All of these had one thing mostly in common - there was
> generally a Human in the loop somewhere watching the device.

True, although one consequence of the rise of the bots 15-ish years ago,
and their subsequent evolution, is that even if a human IS watching the
device, they may not be aware of (all of) its activities.

Reviewing that history: by 2007, we'd arrived here:

	Vint Cerf: one quarter of all computers part of a botnet
	http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070125-8707.html

I thought the 150M estimate was a bit high: based on my own research and
on conversations with others about theirs, I thought 100M was closer.
But it's important to note that the number was (and is) not only
unknown, but unknowable, since a bot which does nothing to make
its presence known to detector will remain invisible indefinitely.
Still: with the benefit of nearly a decade of hindsight, I think I was
wrong: I now think 150M was probably a better estimate.

But whether it was 100M or 150M or 200M: that's an alarming number.

The security posture of all those systems was somewhat better than most
of the devices now being deployed as part of the IoT.  I think it's not
unreasonable to expect the IoT ecosystem to be compromised far more
quickly and to a much higher degree.

	"In a relatively short time we've taken a system built to resist
	destruction by nuclear weapons and made it vulnerable to toasters."
		--- Jeff Jarmoc, October 21, 2016

---rsk