There Are Some Downsides When All Data Travels On The Same Network

from the trojans,-virus,-and-crackers-oh-my! dept

While many in the technology world like the idea of all data traveling over a single internet, with applications and “smarts” at the ends of the network, rather than the middle, there are some downsides to that approach. Suddenly those applications are open to other types of problems. Right now, for instance, it’s much more difficult (though, certainly not impossible) to “hack” into the phone network. However, as things move increasingly to voice over IP, you have a situation where a virus can bring down your phone network. At the same time, connections between separate networks and the internet are also increasingly becoming vulnerable to attack – such as a report coming out today that many GPRS mobile phone billing systems have been easily hacked to charge users for services they didn’t request. Again, it’s a situation where someone is using the internet’s openness to figure out a way to exploit a phone-based application. This doesn’t necessarily mean that moving everything to an IP infrastructure is bad – but it does mean there are other issues that need to be considered before running willy-nilly into the arms of good old internet protocol. I’d say that, currently, the problems are not huge – and are mostly being hyped up by companies with security products to sell. However, that doesn’t mean the core issues they bring up aren’t important.

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Comments on “There Are Some Downsides When All Data Travels On The Same Network”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I think you need to qualify this a bit..

When I took biology 101 we preformed a very simple experiment that demonstraited the disadvantages to having a completely homogenious system… Once an exploit/virus/disease(genetic or otherwise) enters the system, the system crashes very quickly. Check out the zombie infection model (link on memepool several weeks back); simple rules + everything behaving the same = quick death.

So, if you’re network is primarily windblows machines and iis/sql server, of course you’re going to have problems; however, if you’ve built your network to be completely invisable to the traffic it carries (a la MPLS/non-directly addressable network equipment), you have very little to worry about.

networks and services that reside on those networks that are completely homogenious deserve to die a darwinisticly painful death. All your money should not go to bill gates for simple security reasons alone.

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