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How to Deal with the Potential Breakdown of Computer Networks. Invited Presentation ED-MEDIA 2005 Montreal, July 2, 2005. Hermann Maurer Graz University of Technology and JOANNEUM RESEARCH Graz/ Austria. We live in an age of extensive division of labor and globalization.

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how to deal with the potential breakdown of computer networks
How to Deal with the Potential Breakdown of Computer Networks

Invited Presentation

ED-MEDIA 2005

Montreal, July 2, 2005

Hermann Maurer

Graz University of Technology

and JOANNEUM RESEARCH

Graz/ Austria

© H. Maurer

slide2

We live in an age of extensive division of labor

and globalization.

Computerization is enabling and speeding up this process and introduces a new phenomenon: Division of labor and globalization extend more and more also to non- material products (information, software, publishing, knowledge,…)

Good example: WWW (Wikipedia!) and digital libraries.

© H. Maurer

advantages of globalization
Advantages of Globalization

Access to many things that otherwise we would not have

More efficient production (climate, raw-material,…),

Certain efforts are only possible through massivecollaboration:

The ‚animal‘ humankind is able to do things small groups of individuals could not do

© H. Maurer

disadvantages of globalization
Disadvantages of Globalization

Potential exploitation (without consideration for people and environment,…)

Arbitrary shift of production facilities

(unemployment, waste,…)

Increases transport (i.e. dependency on oil which is a danger for peace and environment!)

Globalization creates dangerous dependencies

© H. Maurer

slide6
Could it really happen that computers and computer networks fail in large regions for prolonged periods?

Yes. The danger is particularly high due to a

targeted attack. It is a miracle that no serious case of cyber-attack has occurred yet!

Note interconnection between power grid and

computers / computer networks ! Power grid

e.g. out for 6 weeks in Auckland in 2002!

© H. Maurer

slide7

The latest book inmy “Xperts-Series”

describes exactly

such a scenario.

www.iicm.edu/Xperts

© H. Maurer

slide8

The XPERTS- Saga

The Telekinetic

(Maurer)

The Paracommunicator (Lennon)

The Paradoppelganger(Maurer)

The Parashield(Osborne)

eSmog!

(Backhaus)

Mindwave

(Shearer)

The Parawarriors(Maurer)

The Paranet

(Maurer)

Fighting big Brother

(Maurer)

© H. Maurer

some figures
Some figures

Incidents 2003: 137.729

http://www.cert.org/stats/

© H. Maurer

further figures
Further figures

© H. Maurer

who believes in a dramatic collapse within the next ten years
Who believes in a dramatic collapse within the next ten years?

“Some 66% agreed with the following prediction: At least one devastating attack will occur in the next 10 years on the networked infrastructure or the nationwide power grid” (PEW Report on “The Future of the Internet”, January 9, 2005)

Persons interviewed included e.g. Vincet Cerf, Esther Dyson, Bob Metcalfe, Dan Gillmore, Simon Garfinkel, Howard Rheingold, David Weinberger, usw.

© H. Maurer

slide12

Report for the President

February 2005

© H. Maurer

consequences of complete breakdown are catastrophic clear
Consequences of complete breakdown are catastrophic: clear

How can we avoid them?

  • (1) Increase stability of computers and networks!
  • Globalization where necessary, but regionalization wherever reasonable
  • Reduce terrorism. One aspect is to reduce injustice in world as one of the reasons for terrorism. Help third world with IT

© H. Maurer

slide15

Reduce injustice in the world

“Balance or Destruction”

F.J. Radermacher

Basic idea: future increase in productionis possible without further damaging the environment. This growth has to be distributed unevenly.

“Global Marshall Plan”

© H. Maurer

help in the third world using it
Help in the third world using IT

Spread new local knowledge world wide

Example: How to boil water with limited fuel

© H. Maurer

slide17
Boiling water

© H. Maurer

help in the third world with it
Help in the third world with IT

Spread new local knowledge world –wide

Other examples are e.g.

can-houses, sandbags, chistosoma,…

© H. Maurer

globalization where necessary regionalization where reasonable
Globalization where necessary, regionalization where reasonable

e.g.:

“Asymmetric distance tax” based on GNP:--- increases stability through self sufficiency

--- supports new distribution of wealth

--- supports regionalization and natural life

--- also holds for non-material aspects

© H. Maurer

computers und networks must become more secure stable
Computers und networks must become more secure (stable)!

e.g. radical approach:

Give up John von Neumann computer concept

Operating systems and basic software on chips

Write-once storage (may be with mechanical override)

Use network only when needed

© H. Maurer

other approaches
Other approaches

Thin clients in networks where much is done in

servers

Redundant networks and addressing schemes

Variety of operating systems/ configurable OS

Croquet project: www.opencroquet.org

© H. Maurer

other approaches1
Other approaches

Use of crytopgraphic co-processors

Like in:www.trustedcomputinggroup.org

Can possibly lead to unwanted control

www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html

www.iicm.edu/Xperts

© H. Maurer

f j radermacher in balance or destruction talks about the balance between countries
F.J. Radermacher in “Balance or Destruction” talks about the balance between countries.

We need this, but we also need a healthy balance between globalization and regionalization, and a clean solution for secure computing without the dangers inherent in “Trusted Computing”.

© H. Maurer

slide24

What will YOU do after this talk to help improve

the stability of our systems?

At least--- tell everyone:

In a very globalized networked society we are more vulnerable than is good for us, unless we start to increase the safety of our systems right now!

© H. Maurer

slide25
Just think: what would happen if electricity fails for 6 weeks in the central USA and a 1400 miles radius around it in, say, January 2007?

© H. Maurer

slide26

Thanks for your attention!H.Maurer

URLs:

www.know-center.at www.hyperwave.comwww.iicm.edu/maurer

email: hmaurer@iicm.edu

More on related stuff: www.iicm.edu/Xperts

© H. Maurer