University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Security Seminar >  Becoming paranoid or, How I learned to start worrying and fear the Internet

Becoming paranoid or, How I learned to start worrying and fear the Internet

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While traditional research and development in security continues to focus on algorithms and protocols for securing data privacy during storage and transmission, another battle is being waged that is far more broad. Many of the problems in building secure systems come not from designing cryptographic systems, but in building whole systems so that they avoid common errors. Input validation, protocol design, and good clean code are far and away the more important issues to the majority of people building systems today. It is not the brilliant basement hacker who finds most of the holes, but the casual script kiddie and others with far less specialized skills.

This presentation will give an overview of the security landscape as it appears from inside a large Internet company along with many specific cases of the kinds of security issues that are found on a day to day basis. The goal is to make people truly paranoid.


George Neville-Neil is a member of the application security team of a large Internet company with responsbilities that include system review, security tool authoring, and teaching about secure and fail safe programming. He has taught at development centers in Silicon Valley, Asia and Europe and routinely makes tours of international development centers to teach and address security concerns. He is the co-author of The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System as well as a columnist for ACM Queue Magazine, where he writes under the name Kode Vicious. Mr. Neville-Neil’s research interests include Networking, Operating Systems and Security. He currently makes his home in Tokyo Japan.


This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Security Seminar series.

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