Everything you know about desktop security is wrong, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Virtual Machine presented at AUScert 2007

by Ivan Krstic,

Summary : Hundreds of new security vulnerabilities are discovered every month. IDC estimates that more than 75% of all corporate machines are infected with spyware and malware. The count of known viruses surpassed a hundred thousand in late 2004 and keeps growing. The present security situation is dangerously chaotic, and to make things more interesting, a project called One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is hard at work creating one of the largest new monocultures in the history of computing.
How does one secure a hundred million identical machines? Is OLPC a sign of impending doom for any hopes of secure computing? This talk traces many of the security industry's woes back to two engineers in 1971 and then provides a whirlwind tour of what they did wrong, why it matters, and the ideas that hold promise of a more secure tomorrow.