Richard Bejtlich, commenting on a Marcus Ranum article, said:
“Continuing to function” is an interesting concept. The reason the “Internet” hasn’t been destroyed by terrorists, organized crime, or others is that doing so would cut off a major communication and funding resource. Criminals and other adversaries have a distinct interest in keeping computing infrastructure working just well enough to exploit it.
I have to disagree here. While there are a lot of smart bad guys just out for a little profit, there are plenty of malicious psychos looking to cause damage. When I did physical security and worked as a paramedic there was a distinct difference between profit-driven crime and ego-driven crime, even in the same criminal act. Ego crimes, ranging from vandalism to spousal abuse, originate in flaws of character where logic and self-preservation don’t necessarily play a role. Or sometimes they’re just fueled by testostahol, the powerful substance created when alcohol and testosterone mix in a juvenile male’s bloodstream.
There are plenty of people who would bring the Internet down either to show they could, or to damage society out of some twisted internal motivation. The root DNS servers are constantly under attack, and not just because someone thinks they can make a buck doing it.
Will the future be more secure? It’ll be just as insecure as it possibly can, while still continuing to function. Just like it is today.
Not because the bad guys want it that way, but because once crime crosses the threshold where society can’t function at some arbitrary level of efficiency or safety, the populace and governments wake up and take action to preserve our quality of life.
There really isn’t much motivation to invest in security that’s more than “good enough” to keep things running. We all have acceptable losses and only act when those are exceeded.