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Randomness and Security - Jim Huggins
September 30th, 2007
06:03 pm
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Randomness and Security
A Random Weapon in the War on Terror (MSNBC, via Slashdot)

This is a wonderful idea.  It combines two CS-related ideas in a wonderful way:
  • People can't do randomness well at all; people confuse "random" and "arbitrary" all the time.  If you really want to randomize security patrols, you need to separate the human element from randomness.
  • Security is about predictability.  If you establish a predictable pattern, an adversary can learn from that pattern and devise countermeasures.  On the other hand, an adversary can't compete against a truly random opponent.

Current Mood: contemplativeprofessorial

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 30th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)

U Boats

(Link)
In WW II one of the great breakthroughs in anti-submarine warfare was the development of the "best" depth charge and hedgehog firing pattern using statistics and probability. While the direction of the U Boat was random (as was its depth -- a problem solved by the "hedgehog"), its top speed wasn't. If the U boat stayed still, the sonar of that day could easily find it.
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