March 20, 2012

More context on why context undermines threat modelling...

Lynn was there at the beginning of SSL, and sees where I'm going with this. He writes in Comments:

> I have a similar jaundiced view of a lot of the threat model stuff in the mid-late 90s ... Lots of parties had the solution (PKI) and they were using the facade of threat models to narrowly focus in portion of problem needing PKI as solution (they had the answer, now they needed to find the question). The industry was floating business plans on wall street $20B/annum for annual $100 digital certificates for individuals. We had been called in to help wordsmith the cal. state electronic signature legislation ... and the industry was heavily lobbying that the legislation mandate (annual, individual) digital certificates.

Etc, etc. Yes. this is the thing that offends - there is a flaw in pure threat modelling, and that flaw was enough to drive an industry through. We're still paying the dead-weight costs, and will be for some time.

The question is whether the flaw in threat modelling can be repaired by patches like "oh, you should consider the business" or whether we need to recognise that nobody ever does. Or can. Or gets paid to.

In which case we need a change in metaphor. A new paradigm, as they say in the industry.

I'm thinking the latter. Hence, Risk Analysis.

Posted by iang at March 20, 2012 10:41 AM | TrackBack
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