The Web is still a DARPA weapon
栏目分类：资料 发布日期：2018-08-01 浏览次数：次
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Everybody knows that the Internet, originally, was a . 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
, who was Deputy Director and Director of DARPA at the time, explained in :
The goal was to exploit new computer technologies to meet the needs of military command and control against nuclear threats , achieve survivable control of US nuclear forces, and improve military tactical and management decision making. www.7zhao.net
If you know the history of that period, with , you know that the Internet has been a great geopolitical success, beyond any hope. 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您The International Network became more than a medium, it is a message in itself, a message of friendship and cultural collaboration
between Nations. copyright www.7zhao.netA message against the that back then was fighting for the “abolition of the state”.
All this might seem weird and even incredible to young programmers born years after , but back then, if you were not from USA or URSS, it was very hard to understand who was your enemy (or your friend).
Europe was vested with a huge and powerful propaganda from both sides. And we are still paying the toll of that cultural war, today.
Anyway, the was so good that it was used to build stacks of higher level protocols: on top of TCP/IP and UPD/IP, we built applicative protocols to fulfit specific needs, such as DNS (a sort of hierarchical phonebook), FTP (efficient file trasfer), SMTP (mail), and so on. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
The Domain Name System
Since are numbers used to “call” computers, we created on each computer and tools to lookup such phonebooks.
It might seem strange to call DNS as a hierarchical phonebook, but it becomes a pretty obvious definition once you realize it was born to help with email addressing and delivery.
However, it became soon clear that manual update of such (completely decentralized ) phonebooks were clumbersome, error prone and inefficient. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
Between and the Internet decided that the Network Information Center (NIC) would have served as the official source of the master hosts file. 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
Such totally centralized system seems strange these days, as we talk about single point of failures and federated protocols but SRI served well the Internet for about a decade. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
Life was easy back then: to send a mail to a user named “giacomo” working at a server named “tesio”, you just had to choose the path from your server, with addresses like
where “aserver!anotherserver!yetanotherserver!tesio” was the ordered sequence of servers to connect to deliver the message.
With the growth of the network, between and 1982, the modern was designed and it was soon deployed world wide. The hostnames we use today for email, web browsing, software updates and many other critical tasks, were born.
Meanwhile, ARPANET was still under US military control .
The DNS root zone
The Wikipedia page on the DNS root zone date back to .
For two years, it had a section titled “ The Politics of the DNS root zone ” that .
It was a very interesting topic, correctly identified by the original page author, but it was still waiting to be written. The matter is actually complex, hard to tackle without resorting to and thus difficult to handle with a . www.7zhao.net
As Wikipedia put it:
The root DNS servers are essential to the function of the Internet […] 内容来自www.7zhao.net
The DNS servers are potential points of failure for the entire Internet. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
For this reason, multiple root servers are distributed worldwide.
The fun fact is that . The root zone itself is distributed by that directly administers and (ironically, as of today, both websites are served over HTTPS with a broken SSL certificate). copyright www.7zhao.net
Obviously, to reduce the risk of , these are not physical servers, but distributed world wide through .
At a glance, we can see that the network should be resilient to attacks. 本文来自去找www.7zhao.net
But if we hack the same page a little to paint a small flag for each server according to the nationality of the organization that administer it, we get a pretty informative projection: 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
Suddenly, the gets a completely different meaning.
810 out of 931 DNS root servers are under US control.
Theoretically, USA could create the cheapest DDoS of history with perfectly plausible deniability : just mimic a successful DDoS attack, shutdown your servers in a region and all other DNS roots will collapse under legit traffic.
Enter the Web.
In March 1989, a young Tim Berners-Lee submitted for an information management system to his boss, Mike Sendall. ‘Vague, but exciting’, were the words that Sendall wrote on the proposal, allowing Berners-Lee to continue. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
Two years later, and were ready. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
URI (Universal Resource Identifier), HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) into that problem space, but somehow they win the race and became widely adopted. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
Despite some technical shortcomings, the protocol and the language was simple and the success was so wide that several browser were developed.
And yet, you are unlikely to know most of them. Why?
The browsers wars
In line with the military origins of the Internet, even the Web begun with its own wars: . It was a set of complex commercial competition that would worth books for itself, with twists, plots, , cleaver hacks and so on…
For our reasoning however, it’s enough to note that in late 2004 one single browser was winning hands down .
It was , serving 92% of the people of the Web. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
I was young back then, and a strong supporter of cool technologies such as XHTML, CSS, XLST, XSD, Atom and RSS that I used daily in my job as a web developer (one would say a full-stack developer, these days). 内容来自www.7zhao.net
The great idea behind XHTML was to make the web contents easy to parse from the machines while keeping them easy to write by humans. www.7zhao.net
With CSS and XLS we were half-way towards a full separation of concerns between presentation and contents. With XLS-FO I was even able to extract contents from well designed web pages and produce nice PDF reports. 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
The stack had its issues, but overall it was a godsend.
Back then, few lines of XSLT were able to extract contents from web pages. copyright www.7zhao.net
Or to remove annoying contents . Such as Ads.
Or when you wanted a faster validation feedback on a form. copyright www.7zhao.net
In this context, IE6 was a pain.
But I couldn’t imagine what was going to come. www.7zhao.net
The starts with a from . copyright www.7zhao.net
It was 1995. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
It served its purpose pretty well for almost 10 years. 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
It was a small little language, a tool to move images on web pages, to do some early form validation, and few other DOM-related little stuffs. 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
After all, there was a huge effort ongoing to make the Web accessible. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
But suddenly, in 2004, Apple, Mozilla and Opera became “increasingly concerned about the W3C’s direction with XHTML, lack of interest in HTML, and apparent disregard for the needs of real-world web developers”.
I was a real-world web developer back then (I still am…) but I couldn’t see the problem. Nevertheless, they created the to fix the issue.
They introduced the concept of , that are always evolving documents, unstable by design, that no one can really implement fully.
Some how, in 2007 they convinced W3C to market the existing version of such unstable drafts as what we now know as HTML5.
Up to HTML4, the web was an . 内容来自www.7zhao.net
Both the protocol and the markup language were very clear about that. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
Its purpose was to serve interconnected texts to the people.
It was like a public library with great cross-references.
With HTML5, the web became a software deploy platform. 本文来自去找www.7zhao.net
The useful changes to the markup language were minimal. The only change worth noticing was the abandon of XHTML.
So, HTML5 was a game changer.
The Web stopped to be an HyperText medium serving people.
It became a marketing platform serving personal data collection .
Suddenly, removing annoying contents became harder.
Suddenly, each click, each scroll down, each zoom on a text or a image became an observable event that can be recorded to profile a user. 本文来自去找www.7zhao.net
In 2007, I was really surprised by the W3C abandon of XHTML.
My boss told me: “You shouldn’t ask why, but who!”. He was right.
With the HTML5 usage, a huge number of security issues became evident. copyright www.7zhao.net
You execute a custom program controlled by someone else.
Someone else that knows you very well. That can read your mails.
That knows what you read. That knows what you look for. copyright www.7zhao.net
That knows where you live. That knows your opinions. 本文来自去找www.7zhao.net
A very precise weapon
But NOTE! Not to every visitor, it would be to easy to catch: it’s just for you, because you are an annoying guy that do not conform with the masses.
The server knows you.Very well. Very very well. ;-)
What can go wrong?
Dumb developers obfuscate it and smart hackers deobfuscate it. 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
Even as a weapon… it’s a pain in the ass!
We really need ! 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
And we really need to !
Houston, we’ve had a problem here...
Not only because it’s a binary blob served by foreign companies but run on your PC, under the law of your country, but because they know you , your relations, your interests, and will “customize” that blob.
Even if implemented perfectly, without a single security issue, it’s a weapon.
And you would be right.
I cannot really understand how European states let this happen. www.7zhao.net
I’d like to think of bribes, but the sad truth is that they do not understand the matter. Not even a little bit. 内容来自www.7zhao.net
But developers do! 去找(www.7zhao.net欢迎您
It’s time for developers to fix this mess.
Let’s start from the client side. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net
Mozilla, I’m looking at you. 欢迎访问www.7zhao.net本文来自去找www.7zhao.net
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