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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love IPv6

You make my heart go Ping

Seven Steps to Software Security

What are you injecting into me?

Stress brings out my unoriginal streak. I said: 'Where am I?'

'You are at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.'

'What?'

'Your new IP address at 2001:db8::ff00:42:8329.' He had the rare gift of speaking hex and punctuation. 'You wanted a new static IP address. Your government has arranged that you should get one.'

'That... That's not an IP address. That's a malformed MAC address with extra rivets. You can't... Ow! Stop! What are you injecting into me?'

'Don't worry about that Ms Stob. It's a little something the Chinese have come up with. It suppresses the body's natural resistance to incompletely established international standards. It's quite safe - approved by NICE for treatment of both acute and chronic Luddism. But once more enough of the chitchat. We have some reeducation to do. Oddjob: the Powerpoint, please. Now. The 128 bits of the IP address are divided into a subnet prefix and a unique device ID...'

*  *  *

It was three weeks later. The Chestnut Tree Internet Cafe was nearly empty. I sat in my usual corner, sucking neat Victory Gin up a straw and watching the would-be JK Rowlings update their Facebook statuses with tired links to tawdry lolcats.

Somebody sidled up to my table. It was the shabby little Mockney who had been selling £1000 IPv4 addresses.

'Wotcher, darlin', glad to see ya. Did ya ever get that  Eye Pee you was after? Cos, seeing as it's you, I could do you a special, narmean?'

I said, 'The IPv6 standard allows for the creation of 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses. Now not only can every baked bean tin have its own address, every little baked bean may have a website too, and every blob of tomato sauce. Thanks to the removal of NAT, your loving government will be able to track all your online activity easily and cheaply. IPv6 actually improves the security of the internet, because every device will have to be protected by a carefully configured stateful firewall. Contented IPv6 users throw off the tyranny of DHCP and bask in the glory of SLAAC and non-fragmented packets. IPv6 offers many more opportunities for HexSpeak...'

The café door banged behind the departing figure. I smiled a gin-soaked smile to myself. I didn't care.

I finally loved IPv6. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

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