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30 October 2008

No More Blog Rushing

As you may have noticed, I've just removed the BlogRush widget few days ago. In fact I was not satisfied with the quality ... ehm ... the quantity of traffic it brings to my blog. And now, it cam to my knowledge that BlogRush team have decided to shut their service down. It seems that they were listening to me :)
"After careful consideration, we have decided to shutdown the BlogRush service. If you have the widget code on your blog you will need to remove it", BlogRush.

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28 October 2008

FPS - Facebook Prevention System

I received a message in my Facebook account today from one of my contacts, with a malicious URL in it. The messages title is, "Youu're the wwhole shhow! i'm admirred wiith you" by the way. So take care.

I am not pretty sure how those Facebook worms normally work. One possible scenario is that there are some bots which try to guess people's Facebook passwords, and then start hacking into their accounts and send malicious messages on behalf of them. One other scenario is that attackers were able to guess the Facebook's users temporary Session Keys, and make use of the Facebook platform and API's to send malicious messages on behalf of the users. In fact, the second scenario is really scary, as users cannot protect themselves by choosing stronger passwords, or making sure they have no malicious applications installed on their PC's that can steal their passwords. But the good news here, is that facebook didn't announce any vulnerabilities in their system yet, so most probably it's the first scenario rather than the second one.

Anyway, I am writing this article to tell you, since Facebook has gained such huge momentum and almost everyone is using it. Why don't security companies start inventing new security applications on top of it.

We've got AntiSpam and Mail Gateway Security Solution for Email. So, may be some day we may see Facebook Applications that are able to check the content of your Inbox and decide whether the messages you receive are Spam, or not. We may see applications monitoring your Status Updates, sent Messages, and Friends Requests, and inform you when it notices any anomalies in such activities and warn you or even stop those anomalies.

But the point is, emails now are essential to business, so the business model for building security applications for emails is justified. But when it comes to Facebook, it's just users like you and me, who refuses to pay money for their desktop antiviruses, and either get cracked versions of them, or wait for their companies to purchase one and deploy it on their company-owned laptops. Also securing Facebook accounts is mainly the responsibility of Facebook Inc, and those guy are forced to protect people's accounts, or else people will find an alternative social network application and start using it instead.

Anyway, all those dreams and business model theories depends on the following:
How essential is Facebook in people's daily life, and may be to business as well (some may claim that they use it for networking and maintaining relations with their customers and business partners)? Are people really willing to pay money in order to protect their accounts? Will Facebook team deploy some extra security measures and charge people for those solutions (Security as a Service)? Will they just deploy those methods for free in order to make sure they do not loose customers? Is there someone really is willing to build such FPS - or let's better call it Facebook Intrusion Prevention System (FIPS) - and sell it to people?

But finally, away from all that crap I've just written above, please, please, please, I do not want to see more torturing and annoying CAPTCHA's, as some people believe they are the only way to fight spam and bots. While for me CAPTCHA's are an AntiUser solution more than an AntiSpam one.

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25 October 2008

Arista Networks

Every now and then, some companies grab bloggers attentions. Sometimes it is because they are offering new technologies or setting new standards, but some other times it's because people behind them are buzz-magnets.

A former head of Cisco's switch business, and Sun co-founder, started a new switching startup called Arista Networks. Their motto is "Extensible Operation System for Cloud Networking".

As you can see, "Sun", "Cisco", and "Cloud Networking", are all enough buzz words to grap people's attention, and start writing about the new company.

So, I decided to pay their site a visit in order to see what new technology are these guys offering to the market.

First of all, they have a very limited portfolio, 24 and 48 edge-switches with 10 GbE interfaces. They do not have any modulat chassis-based switches yet, but may be this is because they are just starting up.

They are focusing on their modular OS, but once again Juniper's JunOS for example is modular too, so what is really new in Arista's switches compared to Juniper's EX-Series?!

ISSU (In-service-software-upgrades), which is new for an edge-switch. Many modular switches with redundant Management Modules (Foundry Switches for example), can be upgraded without interruption. I also don't think this is the killing feature people are really looking for in an edge switch.

To tell you the truth, I think the main competitive value for Arista Networks, is their prices. I do not know their actual pricing, but it's said that their prices are much lower than the equivalent switches for Cisco for example. But what about HP ProCurve for example, are they cheaper too?

Anyway, it's still good to have more competing companies in the switches market which is dominated by one vendor so far. And analysts usually like to call it, "Cisco and the Seven Dwarfs" market.

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