[cap-talk] monitoring cap systems or POLA systems

Ian G iang at systemics.com
Tue Nov 15 08:21:36 EST 2005

John Carlson wrote:
> David Hopwood wrote:

>> Before we ask whether this approach should be applied to
>> computer systems, is it actually secure in the real world?
>> On the contrary, I think it is wide open to exploitation
>> (including abuse by insiders).
> Well, it's hard to stop abuse by insiders.

Um.  It turns out that it is hard to sell
insiders on stopping abuse by insiders, so
we don't often bother.  If you sit down and
design a system that stops or limits abuse
by insiders, it is radically surprising
how far you can get.  But it is radically
annoying how hard it is to get it deployed.

> I think
> the same security applies to banks.  I guess banks
> are exploited all the time? 

Yes.  Massively.  I'm currently aware of two
new frauds that scarf up massive amounts by
insider fraud.  One is the Refco thing, which
is about 10-20 times bigger than the press
claim, and another is not revealed in the
press (and I don't know how big it is).  I
wrote up the Mutual Funds scandal which is
essentially an insider abuse of something
like order of 10+bn annually (see my
iang.org/papers page).  Curiously, even
after Senate hearings and what-have-you,
the anecdotal evidence does not suggest that
the scam has decreased overly ...

So, on the whole, I'd suggest that if you
are designing something to be protected
against insiders, you may find yourself
up against some people who won't like it -
the insiders.  And they can be tougher
than any outside hacker.


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