Okay, there is a lot going in the next week, with the RSA conference, Valentine’s Day and the release of Firewall, the movie. I couldn’t resist the temptation to draw your attention to the confluence of these events. I was pretty excited back when Beauty and the Geek hit the airwaves, but that’s nothing compared to having Harrison Ford playing a computer security expert. This movie has got to be the hottest thing to happen to computer security since Robert Morris unleashed his worm back in 1988, and he certainly wasn’t as cute as Ford.
I haven’t yet seen the movie, but I can just imagine Ford battling the bad guys by bashing them over the head with a Sniffer or some big Catalyst switch, or better yet, something involving a wiring closet filled with snakes and a long whip to taunt the villains. Wait a minute, wrong movie franchise. Still, I can see the excitement building in the scene where he gains root access to his Linux server, and John Williams score swelling as the hacker is doing a SQL injection to obtain his bank’s customer records. And of course, we all can’t wait for Firewall 2.0, where Ford is fighting zero-day exploits on peer-to-peer viruses created by a bunch of Estonian high school kids during their lunch break. Really, the opportunities are so endless, it makes me want to start writing that script now.
Alright, you hopefully can tell that I am kidding. And that is the problem with computer security experts in a nutshell — how does it translate to something that a movie star can grasp and portray that has some physical manifestation? It doesn’t, really.
The problem with a lot of computer security is whom do you trust, and how do you establish a trusted relationship? I will have more to say about this in my dispatch next week, when I take my eyes off Indy and give you a look at a nifty new VPN product. But while you are waiting for that, you might remember that next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, and that brings me to how we tie this all together.
Apropos of V-Day, there were a couple of stories in today’s LA Times about online dating, including an examination of when you are in a relationship and at what point you delete your Jdate account. Or at least no longer check to see who has replied to your posts, indicating that I guess you are no longer in the market. Talk about trust. Thankfully, I have a wonderful wife and I hope I never have to face the whole online (or even offline) dating scene again: I wasn’t a great dater in my 20s, and in my (mumble) later years most recently I wasn’t much of a dater either. But this isn’t about me.
What caught my eye this week was a site called TrueDater.com. This is a site where you can post information about various people on other online services, including the major ones such as Match.com, eharmony, Yahoo Personals and MySpace. The idea is to combine the Netflix ratings system for videos with the online dating world. If someone represents themselves as a tall thin Caucasian and when you meet f2f you see that he is a short, balding black dude, you can quickly exit stage left and rush to your nearest Starbucks and post the truth about this person’s credentials.
I haven’t tried the site, but the theory sounds terrific. Daters can send emails to each other and communicate their findings. And one of the things that you should know is the majority of people on their site are female (not that I am going to act on this information!). You can also post positive reviews in addition to the negative ones.
Finally, a mechanism for trusted dating. It is so clever, it should be a Microsoft API. Or maybe the concept for the next Harrison Ford movie.