HTTP vs HTTPS: Latency Comparison

1 mainI recently came across the issue of latency differences between HTTP and HTTPS. It got me curious and I started looking into it. To give a quick introduction to those who are new to this, HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and it’s a protocol for communication over the internet. Whenever somebody types something into the address bar on their browser, the browser understands the address and displays the appropriate thing. When you look at the address bar, you usually won’t see the address beginning with “http” because modern web browsers hide it. If you copy that address and paste it into a text file, you will see the full address starting with “http”. The problem with HTTP is that it is susceptible to wiretapping and other kinds of attacks. So people came with a solution and introduced HTTPS. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. As the name suggests, it is secure! It’s the same HTTP protocol layered with a security protocol. Now that brings us to the main question. Will this affect the internet speed in any way? Will this be an issue when we are dealing with large amounts of traffic on the internet?   Continue reading

Why Would We Ever Use Blind Search?

mainOver the last few decades, we have seen a lot of technologies come by and make a significant impact. Most of these technologies, if you have noticed, revolve around intelligent actions. Let’s say you are in the middle of a street and you want a cab. We can solve this problem in a couple of different ways depending on the level of intelligence we put into our solution. How can we design something that can make use of all the data and provide the best possible solution to the person in the middle of the street? We can say that intelligent action involves search in some way. Searching is needed in a variety of situations, so developing mathematically and computationally strong algorithms is an absolute must. In most of the real life situations, we don’t really know where to look or how a particular search is going to pan out. How do we formulate this?   Continue reading

DNS Cache Poisoning

1Internet entities are regularly affected by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) of various scales. This is basically a way to hack into an entity and stop it from working. Hackers use it all the time to bring down famous sites. They tend to attack the domain name system (DNS), since it allows to infiltrate heavily. Now what is a domain name system? Well, a domain name system server basically translates a human readable domain name (such as mysite.com) into a numerical IP address. This numerical IP address is is used to route communications between nodes on the network. For people who didn’t already know, this is how the internet works! Coming back to the hacking part, the attackers like to attack their victims by poisoning the DNS. Wait a minute, how do you “poison” a system? How do they actually attack the users?   Continue reading

Content Delivery Network – Part 2/2

mainIn the previous post, we discussed about content delivery network (CDN) and why we need it. This post is a continuation of that topic. Here, we will discuss about the pros and cons of using CDN. CDN obviously helps the sites that experience heavy traffic. Most of the times, you will think that just using a CDN will deliver a better performance, but this is not always the case. If you don’t choose your provider carefully, your site will end up suffering. Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using CDN.   Continue reading

Content Delivery Network – Part 1/2

mainInternet users today are demanding faster and higher-quality services from their media hosting companies. Being an internet user yourself, you should know that we place a high demand on these services. This is the reason quick access and delivery of rich-media like music, photos, videos etc has become a top priority. Wait a minute, why we need to care about all that? Doesn’t that just happen somewhere on the server? Well, who do you think makes that happen? It’s the people who manage the website. The beautiful site that loads all the high-resolution images for you doesn’t just work magically by itself. It needs to be optimized in a zillion ways for you to not feel the pain. All of your pages, including your photos and videos, will load quickly and instantly if the website owners use the right Content Delivery Network (CDN). Let’s see what this whole thing is about, shall we?   Continue reading

Onion Routing

I was recently reading some literature about data encryption and I stumbled across an interesting concept. The classic secure communication model is the one where the sender encrypts the message and sends it across the network, which is then decrypted at the receiver’s end. In real life, this is done over several networks and several routers. This method works well because we assume that the routers are completely secure and they do exactly what they are told. Now what if a router is compromised on the path? An attacker will be able to monitor all the traffic that goes through it. Once the attacker gains control of the router, many bad things can happen like decryption of secure messages, false communication, leakage of sensitive details etc. How do we prevent it?   Continue reading