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The Broken Paths of the Internet

It seems like that in this day and age, the internet is actually holding all the aspects of our life together. We all constantly and consistently use and rely on the internet for its services and knowledge. With this explosion of ease to be able to surf the web and find just about anything you could ever want comes the price of those who want to exploit our dependence on the internet by using viruses and deceptive programs. The internet is used in ways today that were never envisioned by its creators mainly in the realm of privacy and secrecy that many current users now require. So many viruses, like the Heartbleed bug, are being engineered to infiltrate, but a new one called the Bash bug can actually infiltrate any building by tapping into any appliance, lightbulb, or camera for example that communicates using the internet.

It is clear to see that the internet is similar to a gigantic network made up of an uncountable number of pathways and edges between the nodes of the internet. But this trend of producing virus after virus to attack really highlights how the internet is quite broken and how fragile the network is. This Bash bug is attacking weak ties between nodes that have faulty code, and once that node has been taken over, the possibilities of spreading are endless. This is interesting because in class we were always trying to get from point A to point B in the quickest manner possible, but this is exactly the problem. It seems like that programmers are sacrificing safety for speed, so a more complex network made up of strong ties might be more favorable even if it is slower which is a concept we aren’t used to thinking about. In terms of modeling network traffic, there is a clear trade off in payoffs that is the debate between increasing speed for a decrease in safety. Another possibility that might be a solution is to try and improve direct paths that go just from the original point to the destination with no nodes in between to make it into more of a type of private pathway.



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September 2014