Silent Circle is a pretty interesting sounding app:
It’s a model for the nested cryptography of Silent Circle. The “safe room” is the iPhone processor, where all the encryption happens. By the time your text leaves the phone, it’s been completely encrypted, unrecoverable without the key. To keep the key safe, Silent Circle uses the ZRTP protocol, a dance of data drops and verifications that’s every bit as intricate as the Southern Command’s network of swipes and codes. At the end of each call, the keys are erased, so nothing can be decrypted after the fact.
This sounds like security done right. Why this is newsworthy in 2012 is what saddens me. This should be the standard, not the exception. Regardless, kudos to these folks for shedding light on what so many others are doing wrong.
I’ve got a few Facebook Applications I’ve played around with developing that are not actually for use (read: they do nothing). I’ve noticed over the past few days their canvas URL’s are seeing traffic in the form of 1 hit approximately every 24 hours. Previously they saw no traffic at all. At first I thought this was just Facebook with some new process to check for malicious apps, which sounds like a good idea. Then I did some digging and found something surprising:
The first thing I found was the hostname where the request originated was
out-sw251.tfbnw.net which is obviously owned by Facebook. That’s not terribly interesting and supports my theory up above.
Then I found these two curious bits in the request:
USER-AGENT: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
That IP address is
crawl-66-249-67-211.googlebot.com. That UserAgent is very telling and needs no introduction.
The request is otherwise pretty unremarkable other than no query string which a normal person would generate when hitting that canvas URL. However
fb_sig_request_method is set to
GET which suggests to me it’s actually using
POST despite that what it claims. There’s no
fb_sig_user or anything else that would suggest an actual user, which makes sense because
fb_sig_logged_out_facebook is set to
It appears as of March 20, 2011 Google has started crawling Facebook Apps. I’ve got no idea what it’s intent, abilities or relationship is. I can tell you that I’ve monitored since at least April 2010 and this only started a few days ago.