Hawaii Bob, security consultant and good friend, sent me a link to this article and a question:
DISA Eliminating Firewalls – http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node/11248
The question: Can they be serious?
Bob and I discussed this with Pete Herzog, who pointed out that likely what they’re talking about is some version of the Moebius Defense. Pete’s big on “Defense in Width” over “Defense in Depth,” which I’m still struggling to understand, but about which various American intelligence organizations have been inquiring.
A Moebius strip is a strip of paper, twisted and joined at the ends. If you take a pencil and start on the “outside” of the strip and draw a line all the way around, you’ll eventually close the line – because there is now only one “side” to that strip of paper.
Applied to cyber security, it implies that if you start on the outside you stay on the outside, and vice-versa for the inside. There’s not way to “get there,” at least to the “inside.” How exactly this works, as I say, is still beyond me, but I’m going to be pestering Pete and the big heads at ISECOM a lot about this. If I can figure it out I’ll let you know….
I get a lot of questions about Hacker Highschool. Questions like, “are you training kids to be criminals?” And that’s a shame, because the word “hacker” has been corrupted to mean simply “criminal.” You copied a password from a sticky note, does that make you a hacker? Not a chance; hacking require more cleverness than that.
In Volume 1, Issue 7 of Phrack magazine, +++The Mentor+++ writes about hacking: “The following was written shortly after my arrest…”
This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.
Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
There’s more, and it’s quite good. Read the whole essay at