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Vint Cerf on Net Security, Hacking, and Acting 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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Vint Cerf on Net Security, Hacking, and Acting

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  • 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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Metasquares ( 555685 ) <> on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:55PM (#18240516) Homepage
    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.
  • 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 []

    It's nice to see an eminent man with a proper sense of humour.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MythMoth ( 73648 )
      And here's someone's blog entry [] making the point better than I did.
    • 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.

  • by skoaldipper ( 752281 ) on Monday March 05, 2007 @03:02PM (#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.
  • by koreth ( 409849 ) on Monday March 05, 2007 @03:10PM (#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 [] detailing his appearances. So it looks like he got to live at least a tiny bit of that particular dream. Good for him!

    • Maybe something was left out of that entry. To me, it reads like a production adviser, not an on-screen role.
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday March 05, 2007 @03:43PM (#18241148) Homepage Journal

    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 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dedazo ( 737510 )
      I'm sure it's a huge disappointment to you that "M$" was not mentioned by name - that's probably because Cerf knows the problem can hardly be blamed on Microsoft, and there are a lot of *nix boxes out there that are also part of "big iron" botnets. You might want to look through this []. Or Google a bit, if you're interested. You'll find lots of studies by people generally smarter than yourself that do not exonerate "M$" but don't stick them exclusively with the blame either, because it would be disingenuous t
      • "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 []. 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.

        • 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 [] 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 pr

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by The Bungi ( 221687 )
          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.

        • 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?
    • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday March 05, 2007 @05:30PM (#18242550) Homepage
      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.
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday March 05, 2007 @04:19PM (#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.

    • by leshert ( 40509 )
      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 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Wee ( 17189 )
        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 every

  • 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 u
    • by dedazo ( 737510 )
      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.
    • 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.

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

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