Computer Security

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Re: Computer Security

Postby Captain Seafort » Mon May 30, 2011 5:00 pm

McAvoy wrote:Then again modern sci fi shows like Stargate has similar issues. Earth, Wraith, Ancient Asurans, Goa'uld technology has similar issues with computers.


Not to mention BSG which, while it acknowledges that cyber warfare is a threat, has a truly retarded solution to it. Simply airgapping the main network from the comm system should have been sufficient.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby alexmann » Mon May 30, 2011 5:05 pm

I agree. Back then the computers were huge things run off tapes. Nowadays my phone will do pretty much anything those would do and more.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby McAvoy » Mon May 30, 2011 5:45 pm

Back then? The only thing I can think off that ran off tapes is maybe the floppy drives. It's the late 1980's, early 1990's it's more or less what we got now just far, far, far, far, less refined.

The average computer today is roughly 10,000 times more powerful than the latest super computer twenty years ago if not more.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby alexmann » Mon May 30, 2011 5:54 pm

That is bad. Imagine trying to 3d render something on one of their average computers!
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Re: Computer Security

Postby McAvoy » Mon May 30, 2011 7:24 pm

Impossible. Computers back then were rated in kilos, not giga or tera.

In fact CGI was still in it's infancy.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby alexmann » Mon May 30, 2011 7:48 pm

I know that but just think of how long it would take!
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Re: Computer Security

Postby Captain Seafort » Mon May 30, 2011 7:51 pm

alexmann wrote:I know that but just think of how long it would take!


Did you not read his post? The technology required for CGI did not exist.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby alexmann » Mon May 30, 2011 8:07 pm

What I was trying to say was If you took one of those computers and put modern software on it and then tried to render something It would either burn up (on reentry), crash not be completed by the time relativaty is/was/is going to be commisioned.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby Captain Seafort » Mon May 30, 2011 8:11 pm

alexmann wrote:What I was trying to say was If you took one of those computers and put modern software on it and then tried to render something It would either burn up (on reentry), crash not be completed by the time relativaty is/was/is going to be commisioned.


If you tried to put modern software on a computer a couple of decades old nothing would happen. Don't forget that individual programmes (such as word programming software) needed to be loaded onto a computer using 5 1/4 inch floppies every time you wanted to run it.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby McAvoy » Mon May 30, 2011 8:20 pm

That and modern software even Microsoft Word would be way too demanding or impossible to run on a computer. The way computers have progressed over the past twenty years has no comparison.

Nothing in this world has leaped so far in such a short amount of time.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby alexmann » Mon May 30, 2011 8:27 pm

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Re: Computer Security

Postby stitch626 » Mon May 30, 2011 8:55 pm

Ok, they aren't hating or attacking you. They are responding with valid points in a very calm, peaceful, diplomatic fashion (even Seafort considering how he can get :P ).
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Re: Computer Security

Postby alexmann » Mon May 30, 2011 9:02 pm

Tell you what, Ill PM you the deatail tom. Im going now.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby stitch626 » Mon May 30, 2011 9:06 pm

alexmann wrote:Tell you what, Ill PM you the deatail tom. Im going now.

No problem kid (in reference to post count, not actual age). PMs are always welcome in my box.
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Re: Computer Security

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon May 30, 2011 11:30 pm

alexmann wrote:If and When a ship gets taken over surely the computer should be programmed to lock itself and all primary systems from used by unauthorised personel and possibly even disable environmental control to kill all invaders rather than simply cooperating?

Well, here's how I see this. A hard drive works by spinning a disc, and moving a sensor across it to scan magnetized areas in order to read information. Given the technology we've seen in Trek, it's not at all inconceivable that something like a tricorder could scan the surface of a computer's hard drive directly with its own sensors, rather than accessing it via the computer hardware. It's also not inconceivable that the tricorder could analyze that information and create a picture of what the software and data it finds is, and how it works.

It's also not inconceivable that it could rewrite the magnetized areas using its own systems. After all, they clearly have the ability to modify things at a distance - a transporter has systems which can reach across 40,000 km and pull individual atoms apart. Compared to that, magnetizing bits of a computer drive is pretty simple.

With a method like this could totally bypass most anything we think of as computer security. Virus checkers, firewalls and such wouldn't know anything was happening. No doubt there are things you could defend against it - check the program you're about to run against a backup copy, for example. But then, how do you know the backup copy wasn't also altered?

And there's nothing to say this stuff couldn't also scan and change the contents of the RAM or even ROM and change those, too - literally rewrite the software as it is running.

The limiting factor to that would be how well can your tricorder (or whatever) analyze what it is scanning, and how clever is it in coming up with modifications that will work? Where I see that going is that there would be a sort of competing arms race... people devising software that is difficult to analyze and difficult to modify, other people devising systems that are better at beating those defences. You might also have sensor scramblers and such in operation around the computer cores, assuming that it didn't affect the core itself.

And if I remember right there's even support for this approach. When Paris was in Rain Robinson's lab in Future's End, he was able to scan her computer with his tricorder and then trash her data without ever touching the computer.
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