RSA Conference, arguably the world’s largest gathering of computer security experts, surprised everyone Saturday night when it suggested replacing the entire internet with — a blockchain.
“The Internet has a serious fundamental flaw: the transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) — the primary engine underpinning the Internet — is less secure. Is #blockchain the solution we need to eliminate this flaw?” RSA Conference tweeted at 8 p.m. EST.
RSA holds an annual conference in San Francisco in late spring. This year’s May event was virtual, but the year prior saw more than 42,000 attendees.
TCP/IP, or transmission control protocol and internet protocol, forms the backbone of the entire internet. The notion of replacing it with a decentralized database is like a bad joke to those in the security world.
The organization deleted the embarrassing tweet minutes later after the entire information security and computer science Twitter dunked on them — but not before the tweet was archived.
“[D]id you know?? a property of content on a blockchain is immutability, so you can’t go and delete prior embarrassing content,” Canadian software engineer Nathan Taylor said on Twitter.
Speaking of immutable — a Google cache of the article also remains.
“RSA Conference, how could you let this moronic tweet get through? Is this year’s Conference Chair a Tarot specialist? Do you also have a session on ‘Network Connectvity on a Flat Earth?’ Jorge Stolfi, a computer scientist in Brazil, tweeted.
“There’s no question that Blockchain is the answer to TCP/IP security: by making TCP unusable, nobody will be able to exploit it!” tweeted cybersecurity researcher Jake Williams, president of Rendition Infosec.
“The stupidity, it burns. I challenge anybody anywhere to find a more epically vacuous take than this,” said Tim Bray, former vice president of Amazon Web Services and one of the co-authors of the original XML specification.
The vacuous tweet was accompanied by an even more vacuous blog post titled “Understanding Blockchain Security” posted on July 1 by Rohan Hall, the CTO of RocketFuel, a blockchain-based payments firm.
Hall is a “30-year veteran in the blockchain and DeFi space who has built and implemented technology solutions for multiple Fortune 500 companies,” according to his bio.
The claim raised more than a few eyebrows given blockchain has only been around for 12 years — and decentralized finance, about five years. In fact, Hall’s LinkedIn profile reflects less than three years of blockchain experience.
Hall’s blog post is chock full of the usual blockchain nonsense and never even attempts to make a case for how blockchain is even relevant to TCP/IP.
After deleting the tweet and blog post, RSA Conference tried to recover from the faux pas with the following:
“Earlier today we shared a recently published RSAC blog to our social channels that caused warranted concern. The content of the blog, and thus the subsequent promotion on our channels did not meet our editorial standards for neutrality. We have removed the blog, and as there is no content to support the social post, we have removed that, too. We will do better. We are not blaming an intern.”
The bit about the intern is funny, but seriously, RSA Conference, what were you even thinking? Never mind your editorial standards for neutrality, what about your editorial standards for connecting to reality?
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