December 2006 Newsletter
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Intro
 

The Holiday Season is upon us — and we are just three months away from the Coalition Summit for IPv6 and the US IPv6 Summit, to be held March 26-29, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia, near Washington, DC.
This year's event will be groundbreaking, as it is the first time in the history of the IPv6 Summit that attendees of both the Coalition and US Summits will have the chance to meet up together. It will, in all likelihood, be the largest IPv6 event ever held in North America. US Government executives and industry leaders will have the rare opportunity to hear directly from international organizations such as NATO on the latest in technology and usage trends. Likewise, the global IPv6 community will get status updates on US government IPv6 planning, and on many new business opportunities.
A major theme for the US Summit is the actual transition of government organizations to IPv6. Not just thinking about it, or planning for it, but the mechanics of actually making it happen — how to procure equipment and services, how to implement network functionality, and how to test and validate system features and plan for service support.
The US government-mandated transition date of 2008 is approaching rapidly — the question is, how well are other key components necessary for fully IPv6-capable networks keeping in step? Will needed security applications, hardware systems, training and support be available when needed? The Summit will form a synthesis of demand and supply: key government and military leaders will spell out what near-term and far-term requirements they are budgeting for, and industry leaders will elucidate when and how capabilities are coming on line, ranging from IPv6-enabled operating systems such as Vista to IPv6 services from major telecom operators.
Presentations will not be limited to government, military and research communities. We will also have discussions of IPv6 in consumer electronics, Internet television, e-Learning, m-Commerce and a host of consumer, educational and business applications. Several of these will be live demonstrations ported in from the IPv6 City of the Future Project, which will illustrate hot IPv6 applications (some of which may form the basis of near-future IPOs and startup companies).
Please mark the date on your calendars: March 26-29, 2007. We look forward to seeing you in Reston.
In this month's issue of 6Sense, we have an article by Dan Mender, Director of Business Development for Green Hills Software, on high-reliability security for the devices being supported by a network. Terry Walsh, an executive business consultant, writes on how IPv6-based addresses may become a part of our future whenever we buy a house or get important documents authenticated, using "e-Notary" digital systems. Luigi Peluso, Managing Director of Industrial-Revolutions, writes on the need for the military and intelligence communities to conduct more IPv6 pilot projects and demonstrations, both for operational insights and for design feedback for industry. Scott Beall, Systems Analyst of coalitionsummit.com, Inc., analyzes the much-vaunted security arguments for NATs, and concludes they may be on the level of urban myths. We hope you enjoy this issue, and, again, invite you and your colleagues to submit your own articles about IPv6 technology, business cases, or applications.
All of us here at 6Sense join together in wishing you, our readers and extended IPv6 family, a very happy, healthy, safe and blessed Holiday Season!

Accelerating Electronic Business Processes Using "e-Notary"
 

In today's business environment, firms are conducting commerce at the speed of light — well, the world is moving business documents at the speed of light, but (as many of us have experienced) it often slows to the speed of the notary stamp and the frantic search for that notary late on a Friday night. In response, a whole industry is forming around the issues of managing, authenticating, and creating non-repudiation through electronic notarization (or e-Notary, for short).
e-Notary is on the horizon, but with it comes good news and bad. First the good news: e-Notary is coming on strong. Several states are working with the National Notary Association, and have started the "e-Notary" process. e-Notary is taking the initial forms of an innovative electronic software journal, a witnessed e-signature, and (recently) a beta test of a paperless real estate transaction.
Now the bad news: we are still a few years away from a fully electronic notary process and the homogenization of e-Notary law across the country. After observing the emergence of e-Notary over the past decade, I can't help but believe there is a merger coming at some point between e-Notary and major technological innovations, such as those offered by IPv6 addressing.

Securing the Networked Device
 

In the near future, most devices you touch will be networked together in some fashion. With the advent and worldwide proliferation of IPv6 and the availability of 340 undecillion IPv6 addresses, even our automobiles will be talking with each other in the near future. IPv6 is the catalyst for successful delivery of next generation networking services like IPTV and VoIP to the home, office, and future portable media devices, opening important revenue streams to the telcos and cable companies. The IPTV market alone is estimated to reach US $30B by 2010.
Becoming a "Connected World" sounds great, but there is a glaring problem. As many more devices get connected, such devices (and hence more and more of the world's critical information and assets) are susceptible to being hacked.
For the growing number of hackers worldwide, it's all fun and games until the victim starts losing money. Let's take, for example, a recent VoIP service compromise that saw 10,000,000 lost VoIP minutes and seven-figure lost revenues. The recent story by Bogdan Materna, "VoIP Security Hack Highlights Need for Proactive Solutions", brought to light how a hired hacker and an "entrepreneur" defrauded 15 VoIP service providers out of the aforementioned revenue.

Product Development and Planning for "Unblinking Eye" Networks
 

Technology companies developing next generation surveillance hardware and systems are at a decision-making crossroads: they must correctly guess in what direction IPv6 networking is evolving for their products, or risk producing incomplete or sub-optimized hardware. Such companies (ours included) face a complex product development world as IP addressing standards continue to change. We are confronted with a daunting IPv6 transition paradigm: building to a largely undefined and un-deployed future standard. Over the past several years, as our range of standalone video and audio sensors were in field trials with various entities within local, state, and federal government, we have had to "guess" how to design to future IPv6 network meshing upgrades.
Product development during a time of standards change is not a new phenomenon — electronics companies face this all the time. However, with the loose ends of present-day IPv6 standards, and an incomplete US Government IPv6 transition plan, we have a major concern for future product adaptability. So where does a company such as ours see itself in three to five years, in recognition of the fact that our government customers will be implementing the Next Generation Internet? Careful analysis makes one thing clear: if the National Intelligence and Department of Defense vision of a truly global "unblinking eye" of surveillance is ever to be achieved, it can only be through a massive integration of sensor networks, including a panoply of sensors ranging from commercial cell phone cameras to MILSPEC allied surveillance equipment. So —in what technical direction are our company's sensors going? Will they support IPv6 and peering? The simple answer is "Yes!" – while the complex execution plan is still TBD.

NAT: A False Sense of Security
 

An Argument Against NAT's “Security through Obscurity”
One of the main arguments against the deployment of IPv6 is that we would lose the “security though obscurity” that Network Address Translation (NAT) claims to provide. These opponents claim that NAT provides security through the use of private addressing behind NAT devices. But I disagree — I believe that NAT, in itself, has no security, it restricts and limits the usability of the devices behind it, and it gives a false sense of protection. The NAT that I will be discussing is Static NAT with overloading, as used in commonly found home networking NAT routers — it is also known as Network Address Port Translation (NAPT).
In the first five years of public access to the Internet (1992 to 1996), most users and applications did not need to provide for inbound connections. Internet providers even frowned upon this type of access. If you did need these services, you would usually purchase space on a dedicated server that had a static Internet address. Many people only had one shared computer at home, and few other devices needed to access the Internet. In the next five years (1997 to 2001), a revolution occurred — widespread use of the Internet by all industrialized nations, telecommuting, and distributed file sharing emerged, along with the affordability of personal computers and networking devices. This led to a computing boom, where many houses now have more than one computer connected to the Internet. Address allocation became more restrictive, and the movement to conserve Internet addresses occurred. Now we are nearing the 15th year of public Internet use, and the advances in distributed computing, mobile technology, and computer use in common household items have exponentially increased the demand for inbound Internet connectivity. IPv6 provides the inbound connectivity, the ability to authenticate and identify friends and foes, and will allow ubiquitous computing.
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