He had "the right stuff".
The approach works by giving all the devices on a network — or "nodes" — the ability to destroy themselves, taking any nearby malevolent device with them. "Bee stingers are a relatively strong defence mechanism for protecting a hive, but whenever the bee stings, it dies," says Tyler Moore, a security engineer at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
Self-sacrifice provides a check against malicious nodes attacking legitimate ones. "Our suicide mechanism is similar in that it enables simple devices to protect a network by removing malicious devices — but at the cost of its own participation," Moore adds.
The technique they have developed, called "suicide revocation," lets a single node decide quickly whether another node's behaviour is malevolent and shut it down. But there's a drastic cost: the single node must deactivate itself too. It simply broadcasts an encrypted message declaring itself and the malevolent node dead.
... "Nodes must remove themselves in addition to cheating ones to make punishment expensive," says Moore. "Otherwise, bad nodes could remove many good nodes by falsely accusing them of misbehaviour."
"Once documents in the lawsuits started to pile up, it was possible to draw hard conclusions based on the evidence presented to the court, rather than public-relations bluster. Which explains why so many analysts were able to tell their clients there wasn't much legal risk to worry about with Linux — and tell them that literally years before the hammer finally fell on the litigation. All thanks to the Groklaw crowd's desire to pile up every suit-related document they could find. Did Groklaw really have an impact on those court cases? Naaah. The impact was on the rest of us. That collection of documents gave SCO's suits a transparency that's impossible to come by with most IT industry litigation.
McBride says SCO is looking at filing an interlocutory appeal, which would deliver an immediate ruling even as the trial proceeds.
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