Wednesday Jun 18, 2014

Standards Corner: IETF Revisits HTTP/1.1

HTTP has been one of the most successful IETF specifications aside from the Internet itself. When it was created in 1999, the authors of HTTP had no idea how big and how widely used it would be.  For many years the focus was on the evolving world-wide-web and HTML. The web itself went through many transformations with the introduction of Ajax and then HTML5 by the W3C.  Meanwhile, non-browser use of HTTP has been steadily growing especially with the exploding popularity of smart devices, the Internet of Things, and in particular RESTful APIs.

Last week, the IETF officially did away with RFC2616, the main specification document that defined HTTP/1.1. RFC2616 has been broken up into 6 specifications, RFC7230 through 7235.


[Read More]

Friday May 30, 2014

Standards Corner: Preventing Pervasive Monitoring

On Wednesday night, I watched NBC’s interview of Edward Snowden. The past year has been tumultuous one in the IT security industry. There has been some amazing revelations about the activities of governments around the world; and, we have had several instances of major security bugs in key security libraries: Apple's ‘gotofail’ bug  the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug, not to mention Java’s zero day bug, and others. Snowden’s information showed the IT industry has been underestimating the need for security, and highlighted a general trend of lax use of TLS and poorly implemented security on the Internet. This did not go unnoticed in the standards community and in particular the IETF.[Read More]

Wednesday Apr 09, 2014

Standards Corner: Basic Auth MUST Die!

Basic Authentication (part of RFC2617) was developed along with HTTP1.1 (RFC2616) when the web was relatively new. This specification envisioned that user-agents (browsers) would ask users for their user-id and password and then pass the encoded information to the web server via the HTTP Authorization header. This form of authentication is still being requested today. Why?[Read More]

Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Standards Corner: Maturing REST Specifications and the Internet of Things

Last week was the IETF's 89th meeting in London. Phil Hunt summarizes news relating to RESTful services (OAuth, JOSE, JSON, SCIM) and new work beginning at the IETF on an authorization standard for the Internet of Things.[Read More]
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