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Vint Cerf on Net Security, Hacking, and Acting

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the internet-hams dept.

Google 45

ancientribe writes "Father of the Internet Vint Cerf talks candidly in an article on Dark Reading about his being a Googler, and the biggest problems with Internet security and what he sees as the most promising solutions. He says that he's only done a little casual hacking, and that the term 'hacker' no longer comes with the honor it once did. Cerf also reveals in this personal look at the Internet icon that his real dream was to be an actor."

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45 comments

first (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240458)

first?!

With the right definition... (1, Interesting)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240472)

I'd say he's been a fairly significant actor on the international stage.

Now he's just strutting and fretting his last few minutes on it though.

Music (4, Interesting)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240516)

From TFA:

"I used to play the cello -- and regret that I gave it up so entirely in pursuit of science and math"
I would say this is good advice for others doing intense study in science and math: don't give up everything else that you love or you will regret it for the rest of your life, even if you do become famous in your field.

Re:Music (5, Insightful)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240858)

That is good advice [miqel.com] indeed.

Re:Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18245044)

Yeah, because Einstein ended up a balanced and happy man...

Re:Music (1)

SnippyHolloW (1072124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242596)

Often hard when you have to focus both on your studies and passions (guitar, sports) ...

Re:Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18244232)

Whats the difference between a chello player and a large pizza?

A large pizza can feed a family of 4.

Re:Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18246882)

chello player[sic]
You failed it.

hackers given a bad name? (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240538)

NO WAI! I needed the inventor of the intertubes to tell me that...

No offense, and I'm glad he has his opinions and all, but who gives a shit? Really? I mean 2600 [and the like] have been touting the virtures of the hacker culture for over 20 years now (before there was an internet in public usage really).

Oh I get it, famous dude + say something obvious == news.

Is Anna still dead?

Re:hackers given a bad name? (1)

e-scetic (1003976) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240692)

By the same token, who gives a shit what YOU think, and why are you whining and wasting my bandwidth?

I happen to like and admire Cerf and enjoyed the minor update. I appreciate the poster having posted it and think it qualifies as "geek" news.

Re:hackers given a bad name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18244962)

Ah just shut up Tom, stop subjecting us to your whiny babble yet again. Don't you have anything better to do with your time?

The Architect (1)

MythMoth (73648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240564)

I like his comment about The Architect from The Matrix Reloaded as a candidate for playing him in a movie. The analogy is neat and there really is a more than passing resemblance!

Vint [wikimedia.org]

It's nice to see an eminent man with a proper sense of humour.

Re:The Architect (2, Informative)

MythMoth (73648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240602)

And here's someone's blog entry [k2.com] making the point better than I did.

Re:The Architect (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241924)

He does look like the Architect with the glasses on, but I thought he was referring to 'acting' as 'hacking'. I remember hearing that the most high-profile hacks were socially-engineered, thus allowing someone to gain access to unsecured, or lesser secured, computers within a company, rather than using a computer to hack inside.

DARPA Trilogy? (3, Funny)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240600)

Actor who would play Cerf in a movie: "Well, how about that guy in 'Matrix' who played 'the Architect?'"

DARPA Revolutions

The Architect - Hello, Al.
Al - Who are you?
Architect - I created the Internet.
Al - Bullshit.
The Architect - Humph. Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.
Al - If I were you, I would hope that we don't meet again.
The Architect - We won't.

Re:DARPA Trilogy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18240844)

Re:DARPA Trilogy? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240998)

How about Courtney Love to play Esther Dyson?

You can call me A.I. (1)

sbowles (602816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241230)

Did you mean A.I. or Al (as in Al Gore)?

Re:You can call me A.I. (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241350)

Al, as in Gore. But either A.I. or Al works though. What does A in A.I. stand for again? I keed! I keed! Uh oh. I sense a disturbance in the karma force.

Re:You can call me A.I. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241614)

What does A in A.I. stand for again?

Allen [nba.com]

Re:DARPA Trilogy? (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242740)

They're hardly rivals.

http://www.politechbot.com/p-01394.html [politechbot.com]

"By Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf
Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development."

He did do a brief acting stint (4, Informative)

koreth (409849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240696)

I remember seeing him in a bit part on "Earth: Final Conflict" as a presidential science advisor or somesuch.

Ah, yes, he has an IMDB page [imdb.com] detailing his appearances. So it looks like he got to live at least a tiny bit of that particular dream. Good for him!

Re:He did do a brief acting stint (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242002)

Maybe something was left out of that entry. To me, it reads like a production adviser, not an on-screen role.

Father of the internet (0, Flamebait)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18240706)

Father of the Internet Vint Cerf WHAT not Al Gore!?

Re:Father of the internet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241218)

Father of the Internet Vint Cerf WHAT not Al Gore!?
No... they're both the father of the internet, they just can't get legally married yet.

Re:Father of the internet (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241548)

Father of the Internet Vint Cerf WHAT not Al Gore!?

      I demand DNS testing!!!

Does not mention M$ by name, what a let down. (4, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241148)

The security quote:

Cerf says the biggest threats are the proliferation of spam, botnets, malware, and denial-of-service attacks. "Much work is needed to increase the security of the Internet and its connected computers," he says, "and to make the environment more reliable for everyone."

"And use of IPSec would foil some higher-level protocol attacks, and digital signing of IP address assignment records could reduce some routing/spoofing risks," he says. OSes need to be more airtight, too, and two-factor authentication should be more the norm than plain old passwords, he says.

But Cerf knows securing his baby won't be easy. "Security is a mesh of actions and features and mechanisms," he says. "No one thing makes you secure."

It's too bad the reporter injected so much of their own opinion into the article. I'd much rather have heard Cert's own words than interpretations. The result is that it looks like the reporter did not ask the right questions at the time to get clear answers.

Reading and rereading the above, it looks like he's thinking of ways to make the network work without having to trust the clients attached. That would be a neat trick.

educate yourself (1, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241818)

I'm sure it's a huge disappointment to you that "M$" was not mentioned by name - that's probably because Cerf knows the problem can hardly be blamed on Microsoft, and there are a lot of *nix boxes out there that are also part of "big iron" botnets. You might want to look through this [nanog.org] . Or Google a bit, if you're interested. You'll find lots of studies by people generally smarter than yourself that do not exonerate "M$" but don't stick them exclusively with the blame either, because it would be disingenuous to do so. I find that even people on Slashdot [slashdot.org] tend to be a bit more intelligent than to just blame everything on "M$" and be on their merry way.

People like yourself that live in Linux la-la land where everything is Microsoft's fault are going to be the most problematic when/if desktop Linux actually gains any traction among home users. The same group of people who can't be bothered to buy a $25 NAT router and keep their machines patched. What, do you figure botnets just take machines over by osmosis?

Of course it would be ridiculous to claim that Windows is not part of the problem here, but the problem is not as simplistic as you like to portray it.

Speak for yourself, troll. (0, Flamebait)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243056)

"M$" was not mentioned by name - that's probably because Cerf knows the problem can hardly be blamed on Microsoft

I'll let Cerf tell me that, not some troll like you [slashdot.org] . The little slide show you pointed to mentioned XP but no other OS. What exactly were you trying to tell me? Have you found a successful gnu/linux hosted botnet outside of a lab? Take your chicken little nonsense back to Redmond and help those idiots hold up the sky, because it has fallen on them.

Yoda sez: Anger leads to bullshit (0, Flamebait)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243684)

Don't get your panties in a bunch. Why do you act like every single response to your posts is a personal insult? What, you think these 10,000 [netcraft.com] boxes were running "Windoze"? That's kind of a catch 22 for people like you, isn't it? The best IRC software runs on BSD and Linux, or at least I've never seen an IRC server that works well on Windows. Ergo, what were those machines running? BeOS? AmigaOS? Heh.

Don't let your insane hatred of Microsoft blind you to reality. Botnets are not an OS problem, they're a process, people and security problem. You can't change that (or anything else) by claiming everything you think is wrong is Microsoft's fault, or whining that anyone who points out otherwise is employed by them. Your little "if you don't hate everything I do and think the same way I do then you must work for M$" mantra gets more annoying every day.

Re:Speak for yourself, troll. (0, Troll)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18247072)

Have you found a successful gnu/linux hosted botnet outside of a lab? Take your chicken little nonsense back to Redmond

Oh flocktard-in-chief, I'm eagerly awaiting your response to dedazo. I mean, it does not get any better than your prick arrogant "well show me" and then BOOM BABY!! Go on, I'm looking forward to it, as always.

What, nothing? (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18282914)

So twit, are you going to honor me with your incisive rebuttal? I found your supposedly non-existent "gnu/linux" botnet well enough - how about some actual discussion instead of your infantile "oh you must work for M$ and I hate you" bullshit?

Re:Does not mention M$ by name, what a let down. (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242550)

it looks like he's thinking of ways to make the network work without having to trust the clients attached. That would be a neat trick.

We could call it an internet.

Those were the days... (3, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241554)

He's probably one of the only people at Google who can remember the Arpanet or what the Internet was like before the Web.

Hell, *I* remember ARPAnet and the Internet before the Web! BSD 4.2/3 on a VAX 785, Sun 3 and diskless clients, routing email using "host!host!user", ASCII terminals, Xerox LISP workstations and the days before EMACS... [ That last one can be used as either the beginning or end of a camp-fire horror story :-) ]

I'm getting old.

Re:Those were the days... (1)

leshert (40509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18242094)

I was about to post the same thing. Hell, I'm almost exactly half his age, and I remember that. Either the author is too young or too careless to have a clue when these things happened, or else he thinks Google is populated mostly by 20-somethings with only an occasional Elder Statesman like Mr. Cerf (hint: it's not).

Seeing such an obvious error in the first sentence rather soured me on the whole article.

It soured me too (2, Informative)

Wee (17189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18244194)

I was soured on the rest of it as well, so much so that I wrote them an email.

The author was (I think) trying to set up Google as young company, with Vint as a senior benefactor, juxtaposing his age with the myth of everyone here being 24 years old. Or something. But I can name 5 people here off the top of my head (myself included) whose experience predates the web, or who worked with/on/over ARPAnet in some way. If I stand up and look around, I'll spot no less than 8 people with grey hair. Not everyone is fresh out of college.

I was just very puzzled as to why they chose that sentence to start off the article. But the rest of the piece turned out to be mostly fluff, so I saw it for what it was in the end.

-B

Re:Those were the days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18242184)

I know enough to correct you - it's 4.2/3 BSD - and I'm familiar with all of what you mention...but my reaction is that I wish I had been born 10-20 years earlier, or been a bit more privileged as a kid...sadly, I had to get my start in the stupid microcomputer world of the 80s, and wasn't introduced to the much older (but in many ways much more intelligent) things until the early 90s.

From what I understand, the pre-Web internet existed for quite some time after the original ARPAnet...when I got internet access, the web was a new (and fairly unimportant) development; I wanted the internet for e-mail, Usenet and FTP, and I got it via a Unix shell account (as in, dial up via modem to get a Unix login: prompt).

Is it just me or (1)

Malakusen (961638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241766)

Does hacking have less of the mystique it used to? I remember back in the 90s, when everybody was still pretty much new to the whole computers and internet thing, society as a whole was just waking up to what could be done on the internet and how much of it. Seems like there's too many people on the internet now, it's gotten common and ordinary. Every jackass has a Myspace page these days, whereas back in the 90s people who could use the internet were smart enough not to put info about their personal life up there.

And yes, I realize that true old school is using an Atari or a Commodore to connect to a BBS with a 14.4 dialup like I've got in the back room, but the 90s were when the internet was accessible for anybody interested, and yet still uncommon enough that everybody and his brother weren't online.

Re:Is it just me or (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18241892)

I think it also has to do with the inevitable negative connotations of the term "hacking" that the mainstream media has perpetuated. "Hacker" has become a synonim for "criminal", unfortunately.

Re:Is it just me or (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18243240)

14.4?!? I wish! I was happy with 1200 on my Commodore and I didn't get up to 9600 until I bought my 386.

Re:Is it just me or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18254298)

1200!?! my first modem was 300 baud on my commodore 64! I'm only 29 years old! (I was a broke kid).

Re:Is it just me or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18249978)

It's l33t hax0r [youtube.com] , home skillet! I prefer cracker because media won't be so eager to use it as it carries a racist connotation--big no-no in the madia world; also redefining a term into what it's being redefined as is definitely hacker material.

Re:Is it just me or (1)

chris.evans (969548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18258388)

True old school is a Commodore vic-20 with a 1200bps modem :)

Vint Cerf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18241828)

Vint Cerf might be the father of the Internet...

..but we're the mothers that have to make it work!

Maybe if he could have done both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18248328)

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