Weekly Roundup 10/01/18

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Last week, Cloudflare announced it would support Google’s Roughtime, a protocol that (roughly) keeps the internet’s clocks in synch. Accurate time is critical for cybersecurity, particularly for verifying encryption (SSL) certificates. (You might see these as the “Secure” or “Not Secure” lock icons in your address bar.)

Network Time Protocol (NTP) usually governs clock synchronization, but it lacks strong security protections. That’s where Google’s Roughtime protocol comes in:— it helps synchronize clocks to authenticated servers. Although it isn’t as precise as NTP, Roughtime protects against its vulnerabilities. It creates a public, verifiable chain (a clockchain!) of roughly synchronized servers based on a series of timestamps to show that servers are acting as they should. There are only a few Roughtime servers at the moment, but Cloudflare hopes to increase adoption.

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