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E-Mail is Bigger Security Risk than Twitter

DevCentral Top5 07/17/2009

Summer vacations, travel and distractingly favorable weather may interrupt the normal work weeks for some, but they can't stop the content. DevCentral has been alive and well through these sunny days thanks to the blogs, docs and media cruising through from various contributors. With many irons in the fire, plans on the drawing board and other assorted clichés at work helping to drive the "Next Big Thing" for the DevCentral team, you can only expect to see things scale upward and onward in terms of content pacing. I'll try to help you keep up. To that end, here's this week's Top5:

Twittergate Reveals E-Mail is Bigger Security Risk than Twitter

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2009/07/16/twittergate-reveals-e-mail-is-bigger-security-risk-than-twitter.aspx

Tantalizing news posts and enticing headlines were hard to avoid this week. Nearly everywhere you went you bumped into a "Twitter was hacked!!!!111zomgbbq!" post along the way. I appreciated Lori's post even more because of the incredible popularity of those topics, regardless of the fact that they were, as it turns out, blatantly wrong. In this post she digs into the "hack" that occurred recently which was originally claimed to be a breach in twitter's security. Despite the cries for improved twitter lockdowns on user accounts it turns out the real culprit wasn't the micro-blogging giant at all. Take a look to read about how email was the issue at hand here, and why you might want to think twice about your security on the web.

Password Tips: An Easy Way to Use Dynamic Passwords for Online Security

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/amurphy/archive/2009/07/16/4287.aspx

In response to the media frenzy surrounding security, password security and general hackery that's been littering our beloved intertubes this week, Alan decided to chime in with his thoughts on secure password selection. In this very interesting post he shares with us the method to his password selection madness. I have to say that I've never thought of organizing my passwords like this. I refuse to be one of those people to repeat the same pass everywhere, and I habitually use high security style passwords, so remembering them all becomes more than a little arduous. I might just take a trick from his playbook and use some variation of this kind of scheme to start keeping these things sorted out in my head with greater ease. Take a look, you might learn something. I did.

pyControl Apps #1 - BIG-IP Routing Table

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=368

In Jason's inaugural "pyControl Apps" offering he guides you through fetching and sorting lists of routes from your BIG-IP via python and iControl. This is a great walk through showing you the different chunks of code, the methods he's using, and explanations of both. Now, he claims this is solid code and that it's tested, but I dunno, it looks like it's missing a whole lot of semi-colons to me. Regardless, this one's worth a look and the series promises to be a great one. Jason's examples are always clear and concise and he's a geek's geek, so stay tuned and be prepared to see some cool stuff.

Advanced Load Balancers for Developers: ADCs - The Code

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dmacvittie/archive/2009/07/17/advanced-load-balancers-for-developers-adcs---the-code.aspx

In a blog post much after my own heart as a network side scripting/dev geek, Don steps deeper into the world of ADCs, de-mystifying more about what they are in terms that Devs can understand and relate to. I admit to this post being a bit of a cliff-hanger for me, since I'm now waiting eagerly for the next installment to finish out the discussion of programmatic interfaces on ADCs, how they can be used to your benefit, what magic can be performed, etc. If you're looking for some more info about what the voodoo that is "ADC" is, this is a good series to follow. Particularly so if you've got a development background and are looking to reconcile the difference of a load balancer (networking box) and an ADC (networking box+coding/app goodness). Don's tone and pacing are good, but be warned, it'll leave you wanting more.

20 Lines or Less #25

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/cwalker/archive/2009/07/15/20-lines-or-less-25.aspx

Rounding out this week's Top 5 things that you simply must see on DevCentral is the newest edition of the 20 Lines or Less. I know this could be called shameless self plugging but I really do think that the 20LoL is an extremely interesting and cool look at what people in the community are doing with iRules in just a few lines of code. Besides, it's not like I'm showing off my code. Giant, monstrous iRules doing amazingly intricate voodoo magic are all well and good. They get me on the edge of my seat and I imagine they get many a beanie twirling. In reality though, it takes a while for anyone to be that kind of an iRules fanboy (I'm a charter member of the club) and the examples in the 20LoL are precisely what the doctor ordered if you're just getting started, thinking about taking the plunge, or even still researching what's possible. Here are three more cool snippets of what can be done with an iRule to solve a real-world problem with a useful solution in just 20 lines of code or less.

Thanks for tuning in to the DevCentral Top5 this week. Next week, 5 more comin' your way.

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More Stories By Colin Walker

Coming from a *Nix Software Engineering background, Colin is no stranger to long hours of coding, testing and deployment. His personal experiences such as on-stage performance and the like have helped to foster the evangelist in him. These days he splits his time between coding, technical writing and evangalism. He can be found on the road to just about anywhere to preach the good word about ADCs, Application Aware networking, Network Side Scripting and geekery in general to anyone that will listen.

Colin currently helps manage and maintain DevCentral (http://devcentral.f5.com). He is also a contributor in many ways, from Articles to Videos to numerous forum posts, to iRules coding and whatever else he can get his hands on that might benefit the community and allow it to continue to grow.