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Monoculture

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Definition Edit

A monoculture exists when "a large number of users run the same software, and are vulnerable to the same attacks.[1]

Overview Edit

"The existence of 'monoculture' on the Internet has both advantages and disadvantages. Its primary advantage is that increased standardization of systems generally allows for greater efficiencies (e.g., easier interoperability). On the other hand, monocultural environments are generally more vulnerable] to a single well-designed attack — a fact greatly exacerbated by the extensive interconnections that the Internet provides. * * *

A monoculture is highly vulnerable to attacks because once a successful attack on the underlying system is developed, it can be multiplied at extremely low cost. Thus, for all practical purposes, a successful attack on one system means that all similar (and similarly configured) systems connected to it can be attacked as well.

As a general rule, inhomogeneity of systems would make broad-based attacks more difficult. This should be considered carefully when designing primary or redundant critical network systems."

References Edit

  1. SANS Glossary of Security Terms.

Source Edit

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