[Techtalk] 216 ssh login attempts, what to do?

Devdas Bhagat devdas at dvb.homelinux.org
Thu Oct 14 00:24:57 EST 2004

On 12/10/04 22:02 -0700, Carla Schroder wrote:
> On Tuesday 12 October 2004 9:57 pm, Colleen Hatfield wrote:
> >  So it seems that stupid bozos abound
> > on both sides, or it wouldn't be worth it to scan like this in the
> > first place. ;-D
> > 
> I have mixed feelings on this. If we armored our houses the way we armor our 
> computers, we'd be living in underground bunkers. It pisses me off to have to 

You mean, like all those people who stocked up for Y2K? I think of the
security system as more of a balanced diet for healthy living, rather
than as a house securing system. House security is simple, defending the
human body from disease is a lot harder.
Eating junk food is tempting, but it isn't good for the body. The same
goes for running junk software. It is tempting and easy, possibly even
fun for some time, but it isn't good for the computer, and by
association it isn't good for the Internet.

Passwords equate to locks. They keep most of the riffraff out, but those
don't stop the real professionals. I can think of a few people who would
be really really scary if they turned blackhat. Protecting your privacy
from the normal crowd of strangers who want to peep in is equivalent to
putting up a simple firewall. Running secure software is equivalent to
eating a healthy diet and taking your vitamins regularly.
If you only ate fast food at McDonalds for years and fell sick, but did 
not stop that habit, would you blame the rest of the world for it?

> pay so much attention to security. It's like the society in "The Dosadi 
> Experiment", where they lived under non-stop attack. The bozos are the ones 
> who make it necessary to be paranoid.

Remember, just because you aren't paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't
out to get you.

> But that's the real world, so I shall defer railing and raving for another 
> occasion. 

The real world has mechanisms which let the good guys have better ways
of applying force to solve a problem than the bad guys. On the Internet,
the reverse is true. The quick and obvious solutions are usually found
unacceptable on further analysis.

In meatspace, we cooperate to help each other out and enforce social
norms. On the Internet, this cooperation is noticably lacking in large
areas. In meatspace, such lack of cooperation hampers efforts to improve
society, but does not entirely derail those efforts. On the Internet, it
does. If I do not lock my house, then a thief can steal my chattel but
that does no harm to you. However, if a weapons store is left unlocked,
then those stolen weapons can be used to do great damage. General
purpose computers can be turned into weapons of virtual mass destruction.

If you won't rant, I will.

Devdas Bhagat

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