[conspire] About conditioned helplessness
rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Sep 1 00:53:28 PDT 2011
Quoting Edward Cherlin (echerlin at gmail.com):
> Fortunately, there is a cure, and people once cured apparently cannot
> be infected with the disease again, according to Seligman's research.
> Unfortunately, the cure is difficult. You have to push people to help
> themselves over and over again until the light comes on.
To clarify, I was not speaking _generally_ of condtioned helplessness,
but rather specifically of conditioned helplessness about computer
security against outside attack.
> It is almost impossible to protect a system from authorized users.
A point, but that's a different discussion, really. If I'd been
talking about protecting the system against _inside_ threats, I'd have
suggested a locked-down appliance. That's not the problem space I was
discussing with my friend.
> It is known that trying to determine whether a program contains
> malware by inspecting it is an inherently undecidable problem.
Yes, quite. This is what Marcus Ranum called 'enumerating badness' in
his article about the six worst ideas in computer security.
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