A while back we recorded some of the Burton Group analysts and consultants talking about a wide variety of topics. I thought I’d share them with you. So in lush mono and 2D, here’s me talking about:
I’ve been a bit quiet on Tuesdaynight lately… sorry – it has been a bit crazy around here lately.
At any rate, we are 7 days away from Burton Group Catalyst EU! In the 7+ years that I’ve been involved in one way shape or form with Burton Group, I’ve never been to a Catalyst EU – so I am very excited. For those of you joining us, you are in for a treat – John Seely Brown will delivering the keynote for us. Besides Mr. Brown, the IdPS team has got some great content waiting for you:
Fun for the whole family…
For those of you not heading to Prague, follow the conversation on Twitter. We’ll be using the #cat10 for the conference and the identity conversation will be on #idps.
See you there either in person or virtually…
This does bring the number of analyst firms focused on identity, privacy, and relationships down to a very small number. It will be interesting to watch how the market responds.
What is with Tuesdays in my life? 9/11 – a Tuesday. IBM buys Access360 on a Tuesday. Gartner buys Burton Group on a Tuesday. In keeping with this odd streak of Tuesdays, I think I’ll be at Toledo Lounge tonight – see you there?
A friend in the industry recently asked me for my thoughts on OpenID, InfoCards, and the US federal government’s work to consume non-government issued credentials. Letting the question rattle around in my head for a while, here’s what I’ve got so far.
My hope is that the overall ICAM initiative is successful—not because I have been eagerly waiting to interact with the federal government using some form of authenticated credential—but because we (citizens, enterprises and government) are at a pivotal moment in the history of the web. With the US government working with both the OpenID and InfoCard Foundations, there exists an opportunity to change how individuals interact with large organizations, both public and private. For the first time, individuals would be able to (even encouraged to) interact with a large organization (such as the US federal government) using an identity asserted, not by the large organization, but by the individual. In this case, the State is no longer the sole provider of identity. This breaks the monopoly that the State has had on credentials and is indicative of the future to come.
But there is a long road to walk before getting there. There are numerous concerns with these plans. Among these are notable security concerns, especially with OpenID, that the identity community is not blind to. These are not my primary concerns.
A few Facebook hacks came across my desk this week. The first set are so called “rogue” applications which do the tediously predictable grab of user information followed by the equally tediously predictable spam-a-palooza. Calling such applications “rogue” is misleading. These didn’t start out okay and turn evil somewhere along the way. These apps were built to cause trouble – they are malware. Facebook has a healthy set of malware apps and the number is growing every day. You can easily spot effected Facebook users by their status messages – “Sorry for the email – my Facebook got a virus.”
The second hack is of a far more interesting class. Ronen Zilberman, a security researcher, harnessed features of the Facebook platform to unwittingly perform a man-in-the-middle attack on itself. Zilberman documents how the attack works in very clear language. You can even see a video of the attack in action. Why is this a more interesting class of attack on Facebook? First, it doesn’t require an application to be added to the victim’s Facebook profile. Second and more importantly, this attack fundamentally turns Facebook’s goals against itself.
Facebook’s mission is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Its business is to accomplish this mission before someone else does. This requires that Facebook provide a means to connect as many people, websites and services as possible and as fast as possible. And in the course of this social networking land-grab, it is not surprising that we have seen both Facebook malware and the Facebook’s platform being used to support anti-social behavior. The Facebook platform is optimized to provide frictionless connections and sharing of information. But as exploits for ill-purposes increase, Facebook has to act and act in a manner counter to their mission.
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