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Professor Richard Ford sums up the escalation of botnet offenses versus defenses this way: “Computer security is a losing battle—by design. There is no long-term win. Even adaptive systems will never truly solve the problem.”

Surprisingly, though, he says that the ongoing proliferation of attack techniques and objectives can actually be helpful. “Biological systems are most diverse, and hence resilient, when they face frequent small perturbations.” The same, he said, applies to cyberspace.

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