Re: [Fwd: Re: Now for something just a little different.]

From: Robert Rapplean <robert_at_rapplean_dot_net>
Date: Wed Dec 01 2004 - 01:00:50 CST

Fred McLain wrote:

>On Tue, 2004-11-30 at 12:04 -0700, Robert Rapplean wrote:
>>That's pretty cool. I was on a team that was doing that for AAA's
>>regional offices. Fewer offices, but the databases were huge and quite
>>diverse in content. I actually wound up writing the tool that
>>translated the databases, and then did a bit of programming with the
>>tool to make the translations. You'd be surprised at how big a task
>>that is.
>And how much easier does it make for one programmer to effect the
>registration roles? We your work open source?
My work is yet still the proprietary property of Experian. Not that I
couldn't reproduce it off the top of my head, but I don't have access to
the original code base. For a one-time transference, I'd probably
actually just do it via PERL. Slower to execute, but when you only have
to do it once that doesn't matter so much.

Its effect on security can't really be stated in advance. On one hand,
having to research multiple computer systems in order to crack them is a
bit of a time burden. On the other hand, these kinds of agencies have
notoriously poor security habits. A single point may be easier to crack
because you only have to crack it in one place, but I can guarantee that
several of the existing databases would be an absolute cake walk for any
even vaguely competent cracker. How many do you have to crack to make
an adequate shift, and how likely are they to notice it? These
questions and more I would have to know the answers to in order to
answer your question.

Also, just because there's a centralized repository doesn't mean that
the counties won't maintain local backups of their particular data set.
If I were designing this, I'd pretty much insist on it just to decrease
the costs of connectivity between the county offices and the state
offices, and to decrease the query load on the central database system.

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:01 2004

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