Re: Perversion attacks

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 28 Oct 1996 16:50:10 +0100 (MET)

On Sat, 26 Oct 1996, Dan Clemmensen wrote:

> Interesting. Both Lyle and Anders have objected to my scenario of
> the "transcendence" of an SI by takeover of the internet by a program
> that uses the computing resources to augmemt its own intelligence.

Was that what you meant? I had the impression you was talking about the
Vinge use of the term (roughly "Sneaky take-over of vital systems, and
then using them against somebody").

> This scenario occurs in Vinge's "True Names" as the result of a defense
> against a perversion attack. One of my underlying assumptions is that
> the internet is vulnerable to such an attack, and that the first atacker
> will win. It isn't really a war at all. Further, the result may not be
> negative.

Well, that depends on the possibility to self-augment using computing
resources. While computer security is full of holes everywhere, it isn't
that bad - cracking into computers to get more computing power is
non-trivial and takes time, even for an SI. The idea that a sufficiently
smart being could crack everything is a myth.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y