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Social Loginwall Failure

It is not uncommon today to click an interesting link you see on Facebook only to be confronted by a "social loginwall"

It is not uncommon today to click an interesting link you see on Facebook only to be confronted by a "social loginwall". If you aren't familiar with that term it's probably because I just made it up to describe the use of CSS overlays to "hide" the content you want with a second overlay, usually containing a plaintive "login or register to see this content" dialog.

It's annoying, particularly if it's a random site you're not sure you want to visit again and aren't comfortable openly sharing the gory details of your Facebook life with some third-party site.

So what do you do? Close the tab? Swear? Sigh and move on?

Not me because, well, I can read a DOM and I'm a developer by trade and Chrome has generously made sure I have access to a debugger that can modify in real-time just about any piece of a page.

That "delete node" option neatly eliminates the "social loginwall" with only minimal irritation on my part. Couple clicks and voila! I'm reading what you thought you were gating.

The lesson here is if your business model (and logic) require that a visitor be logged in to see certain content, you'd better make sure that it's enforced somewhere other than on the client.

C'mon. I've got marketing in my title for crying out loud. If I can circumvent your attempts to enforce application logic flows then, well, lots of other people can and honestly, there's probably a plug-in that will do it automatically for folks who aren't trained as developers.

DOMAIN (APPLICATION) LOGIC
It seems increasingly there's a disconnect as application architecture transitions from its traditional client-server model to a modern, API-based model. That disconnect is caused by the reality that the API is focused on data and business logic - not domain (or what we might call application logic). So that logic that controls state, that controls access to data, ends up where it doesn't belong: on the client, in the presentation layer.

And because the technologies used on the client, in the presentation layer, are almost exclusively* markup language that must be parsed and rendered, well... it's fairly easy to circumvent client-side application logic as well as the oft-times rudimentary security mechanisms. Evidence of that is seen in the OWASP Top Ten, where XSS and CSRF remain two of the top vulnerabilities developers (and devops) should be addressing.

And yet the exigencies of the mobile explosion complexify (yes, I made that one up, too) addressing such issues. On the one hand, we could go back to a more traditional three-tier architecture, but that reduces the benefits of the emerging, API-centric model in which the server-side components are focused on data, while the client worries about presentation (GUI). On the other hand is a new, emerging model that more concretely implements the application best-practices model.

There's That Strategic Point of Control Again
That's the CLIENT INTEREMDIARY SERVER pattern, and it's important; it provides a light-weight, intermediate tier on which to provide security and application (domain) logic enforcement without disrupting the basic model. The proxy, like the application delivery controller model, provides a strategic point of control at which a variety of client and server-side operational risks can be addressed. This point of control is also the appropriate place to provide metering governance. The technical point of metering is, after all, to reduce the load on services to ensure availability. If the service has to make the determination whether a request puts a user/application/partner over quota, it defeats the purpose because the resources are being consumed anyway.

Metering through an intermediary, however, insulates the service and provides a better assurance of availability. It also enables a programmatic point in the data path** where new authentication and authorization can be provided, without modifying the service itself. Most important, however, is the elimination of as much application (domain) logic from the client as possible to avoid the consequences of exploitation of both application and security-related logic.

*Plug-ins, while theoretically safer, are not without their own risks. See "Adobe Sandbox: When the Broker is Broken"  for a good example of this.

**Starting to sound like Application Layer SDN? It should...

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
“The Internet of Things is a wave that has arrived and it’s growing really fast. The concern at Aria Systems is making sure that people understand the ramifications of their attempts to monetize whatever it is they build on the Internet of Things," explained C Brendan O’Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect at Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
“About two years ago Brother launched a new group called Brother Online. We thought it was a good idea for a hardware company to get into the cloud services market and our first step into that market was web conferencing,” explained Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
"So many teams have been stuck in their own practices for the last ten years and it's really hard to sell all the latest and greatest tools, but the reality is all the tools around operations have evolved so much you are starting to see a big shift toward upgrading that tool set, focusing more on automation, more on cloud," explained Dustin Whittle, Developer Evangelist at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the DevOps Summit, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City.
“We provide disaster recovery services as well as solutions. We also provide back-up solutions that work across your internal on-premise assets as well as in the public and private cloud," stated Joel Ferman, Vice President of Marketing at InMage Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo® (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com/), held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US and large in-house IT organizations.
“Distrix fits into the overall cloud and IoT model around software-defined networking. There’s a broad category around software-defined networking that’s focused on data center, and we focus on the WAN,” explained Jay Friedman, President of Distrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
“Dell Cloud Manager is a cloud management environment for the consumption of cloud resources and we provide a consistent interface, both in terms of API and in terms of user interface for doing a wide variety of activities core to deploying and operating software in cloud," explained James Urquhart, Technologist & Director of Cloud Management Solutions at Dell, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC ) has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Cloud Standards Customer Council is an end user advocacy group dedicated to accelerating cloud's successful adoption, and drilling down into the standards, security and interoperability issues surrounding the transition to the cloud. The Council will provide cloud users with the opportunity to drive client requirements into standards development organizations and deliver materials such as best practices and use cases to assist other enterprises.
“Ambernet Technologies is an innovative software company and we’ve been very focused on building enterprise grade cloud management and cloud brokerage software," explained Troy Halford, CSO of Ambernet Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“We introduced our product called AgilData. It’s basically the first Agile view, a streaming view of looking at a database and data as a streaming real-time dynamic capability," explained Cory Isaacson, CEO/CTO of CodeFutures Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“As the move to the cloud started, we stayed ahead of that by providing security solutions to our enterprise customers, financial customers, and now a whole new range of customers, which are application developers," explained John Gunn, VP of Corporate Communications for VASCO Data Security, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
The industry is heated with debates on whether adopting private or public cloud is the smartest, best, cheapest, you name it choice. But this debate is missing the mark. Businesses shouldn’t be discussing public vs. private, but rather how can they make the two work together to their greatest advantage. The ideal is to merge on-premise and off-premise into a seamless environment that can be managed as a single entity – a forward-looking stance that will eventually see major adoption. But as of late 2013, hybrid cloud was still “rare,” noted Gartner analyst Tom Bittman. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, will discuss how public clouds need on-premise satellites to win and, conversely, how on-premise environments cannot be really powerful unless they are connected to the public cloud. It’s not two competing worlds; it’s two dimensions of the same world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Wall Street Technology Association (WSTA) has been named "Association Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Wall Street Technology Association (WSTA®) provides financial industry technology professionals, vendors, service providers, and consultants with forums to learn from and connect with each other. The WSTA facilitates seminars and networking events where members meet and exchange ideas and best practices that assist them in effectively capitalizing on technology advances and dealing with financial industry business challenges. Founded in 1967, the WSTA is a not-for-profit association with a long history of evolving to meet the needs of its members.
“We just completed the roll out of our first public and private cloud offerings, which are a combination of public, hybrid, and private cloud,” stated Erik Levitt, CEO of Open Data Centers, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.
“Veeam Cloud Connect is about being able to connect service providers with Veeam end users and Veeam customers and giving Veeam customers a quick, easy and secure way to get their backup files up to the cloud,” explained Doug Hazelman, VP, Product Strategy, and Chief Evangelist at Veeam, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.