Wednesday, February 16, 2005

RSA Security Conference

Went to the RSA security conference yesterday, which was pretty interesting. Lots of vendors selling basic stuff, like stand-alone firewall boxes and whatnot, and management software to tie security devices together. Big trends for this conference were two-factor authentication (some sort of keychain-like physical token, combined with either a biometric -- fingerprint -- or password), VPN over SSL for more firewall-friendly VPN, and intrusion prevention systems (blocking virus-like behavior instead of scanning for specific viruses).

From a consumer product standpoint, the hot giveaway this year was an iPod -- every third booth had some sort of free drawing for an iPod or an iPod mini. Coolest giveaway I saw was a chance to win a ride in a MiG fighter.

The NSA also had a booth there, presumably for recruiting. They had one of the enigma machines recovered in WWII on display on loan from the museum of cryptography (another booth also had an enigma out in front of it, so I'm guessing that the machines aren't terribly rare).

Most annoying part about the conference is that there was no free wireless available -- apparently the Moscone center charges an arm and a leg for internet access over their gold-plated wires. Ironic when you consider that San Francisco is planning on putting in free wireless over the whole city... Are these two run by the same government?

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