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Security, Moore's Law, and the Anomaly of Cheap Complexity (Talk, CyCon 2018)


English language

Published by CyCon 2018.

5 stars (1 review)

The anomaly of cheap complexity. For most of human history, a more complex device was more expensive to build than a simpler device. This is not the case in modern computing. It is often more cost-effective to take a very complicated device, and make it simulate simplicity, than to make a simpler device. This is because of economies of scale: complex general-purpose CPUs are cheap. On the other hand, custom-designed, simpler, application-specific devices, which could in principle be much more secure, are very expensive.

1 edition

One of my favorites

5 stars

This talk covers such an important concept of market forces and complexity and the resulting security externalities. It does so in a clean manner that can be widely understood. It reminds me of a [paraphrased] quote of Mike Walker, "that software tells the CPU what it cannot do".

It is both an explanation for the current state of affairs, and a call to arms to improve and look for simplicity and concise definitions of the needed functionality. As a proponent of LangSec, I heartily agree!