- China is now the largest oil importer in the world, having surpassed the US.
- If I was a South Korean, I'd be feeling this way too. When your neighbor is openly talking about incinerating your cities with nuclear weapons, and they have nuclear weapons, it's pretty hard to sit there and not respond. In general, North Korea seems pretty worrying at the moment.
- That said, the commander of PACOM, Admiral Locklear, who is in charge of worrying about North Korea and China both, says he's most worried about climate change.
- On the third hand, the Director of National Intelligence has now elevated cyberattacks to the number one threat to the US.
- Krugman (relevant to yesterday's GDP graph): "Mario Draghi’s actions, by stabilizing markets and bringing down spreads, bought Europe quite a lot of time; Europe is determined to waste all of it."
- Somebody reminded me yesterday of this paper I did with some collaborators back in 2004, causing me to reread it again. It concerns how fast a computer worm could infect a large population of vulnerable computers spread all over the Internet - the answer turns out to be well under one second. I think it's my favorite of my published papers (both because I love thinking about really big bad stuff that could happen, and because the actual analysis was a lot of fun). Abstract:
Flash worms follow a precomputed spread tree using prior knowledge of all systems vulnerable to the worm’s exploit. In previous work we suggested that a ﬂash worm could saturate one million vulnerable hosts on the Internet in under 30 seconds. We grossly over-estimated.This has still never been done in the wild, but I bet that, at some point in coming decades, someone will do this somewhere.
In this paper, we revisit the problem in the context of single packet UDP worms (inspired by Slammer and Witty). Simulating a ﬂash version of Slammer, calibrated by current Internet latency measurements and observed worm packet delivery rates, we show that a worm could saturate 95% of one million vulnerable hosts on the Internet in 510 milliseconds. A similar worm using a TCP based service could 95% saturate in 1.3 seconds.
The speeds above are achieved with ﬂat infection trees and packets sent at line rates. Such worms are vulnerable to recently proposed worm containment techniques. To avoid this, ﬂash worms should slow down and use deeper, narrower trees. We explore the resilience of such spread trees when the list of vulnerable addresses is inaccurate. Finally, we explore the implications of ﬂash worms for containment defenses: such defenses must correlate information from multiple sites in order to detect the worm, but the speed of the worm will defeat this correlation unless a certain fraction of trafﬁc is artiﬁcially delayed in case it later proves to be a worm.
Update (1pm eastern): A Japanese research drilling vessel has apparently successfully tapped undersea methane hydrates for the first time.