Monday, August 01, 2005

Wired News: Router Flaw Is a Ticking Bomb

Router Flaw Is a Ticking Bomb The ultimate terrorist event will end not with a bang, but a whimper. If Cisco's IOS really is vulnerable, and the bad guys exploit this, they could bring down the Internet. The thing I didn't appreciate is--how do you fix it? You can't download a patch to a router if the Internet isn't working. Mailing a CD with the patch wouldn't do you any good either--most routers don't have CD drives. Looking at the problem now, the risk seems obvious, but also kind of scary. I'm not sure of the ways that people could die if the entire network went down, but I've got to imagine that hospitals would be in complete chaos, ambulance dispatch would be a mess, etc. Aside from the human tragedy, commerce would be brought to it's knees--for an indefinite period of time. It's not like 911 where the FAA could just decide a week later that it's OK to fly again. More troublesome is the notion that as time passes, the chances are just increasing of this risk being realized.

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