Down The Rabbithole Cavalry-esque Discussion

For those of you who don’t already listen to it, the Down The Rabbithole (DtR) podcast is a long-running podcast hosted by Raf Los (aka. Wh1t3 Rabbit) and James Jardine. Over the holiday weekend I was catching up on the podcast and ran across a great Cavalry-esque episode I thought I’d draw your attention to.

On the April 7th Newscast Raf and James discussed the downfall of Windows XP and how this will affect life critical systems. They went beyond the superficial issues and talked about the bad assumptions that have led to decision making failures for several years in the computer technology space. The true costs, they mention, won’t be on the Internet, they’ll come when computer security affects humanity. Our inability to accurately predict the future leads to public safety, human life and trust problems.

They also discuss wholly managed devices, such as the Google Nest thermostat. What are the implications of that management? If an update breaks a device what are the ramifications? They also talked about the fact that the updates themselves can be an attack vector, similar to my comments in the BBC article on ghosts in the Internet of Things.

We’re placing ever more trust in those who are behind our connected systems. We are trusting that they are acting in good faith. And we are trusting that their decision making process is sound. Shouldn’t we KNOW that these decisions are worthy of our trust?

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