Call me militaristic, but I love the History Channel series Dogfights. I hope the Air Force Academy builds an entire class around the series.
I just finished watching an episode titled "Gun Kills of Vietnam." The show featured two main engagements. Both demonstrated a concept I described in Fight to Your Strengths. In the first battle two A-1H Skyraiders (prop planes) shot down a MiG-17 (a jet) using their cannons. The Skyraiders survived their initial encounter with the MiG by out-turning it at low speeds. They made the MiG fight their fight, and the MiG lost.
In the second battle, an F-4 flown by pilot by Darrell "Dee" Simmonds and backseater George McKinney Jr. downed another MiG-17 using their gun. In that fight, the slower but more maneuverable MiG-17 was out-turning the F-4. In the show McKinney said a less experienced pilot would have fought the MiG's fight by trying to turn with the MiG, probably giving the MiG an opportunity to down the F-4 when the F-4 overshot the MiG. Instead, a highly skilled pilot would act differently. In Simmonds' words:
You can not turn with him... you have to get into another plane.
The "plane" in this case is geographic, not the actual fighter plane. The F-4 leaves the X-Y plane and enters Z, the vertical plane. Simmonds put the F-4 into a "high yo-yo." The image above shows the technique, which can also be seen at the Dogfights clips page. Coming out of the yo-yo put the F-4 right behind the MiG, allowing Simmonds to shoot it down.
Of course this made me think about digital security. We are constantly trying to fight the black hat's fight. We should instead "change the plane." What does this mean in actionable terms? I'm not sure yet. Obviously in air combat it's not about surviving the enemy onslaught and never shooting back. Maybe it's time security researchers concentrate on vulnerabilities in the tools used by intruders, like what the Shmoo Group presented at Def Con 13, e.g., multihtml exploit vulnerability advisory? Ideally law enforcement would be striking back for us, but we're still in Wild West mode until LEAs catch up. What do you think -- how could you change the plane?