You Must Control Net Connections
Absence of information is hard to prove unless you have complete control.When CNN Headline News reporters asked me for comments on the Ptech incident, Ill bet they were anticipating a reassuring reality check. Id guess, based on the way they framed the questions, that they thought I would say the notion of software back doors being built in by devious developers was an exaggerated risk. If so, they may have been surprised to hear me tell their Friday night audience on Dec. 6Pearl Harbor eve, an ironic coincidencethat accidental data leakage is commonplace. It doesnt take a big imagination, I added, to foresee dire consequences from mixing Internet connections with a small amount of malice and a moderate amount of technical skill.
In yet another coincidence, that conversation took place the day after I finally got a DSL connection in my office near LAX, so the subject of vulnerable always-on connections was already on my mind when the Ptech story brokeand I wasnt enjoying my thoughts. According to the Norton Internet Security scanner on my office laptop system, there are roughly 80 applications on that machine that are potentially Internet-active. Thats many more than I have any desire to allow at-will Internet access.