Lava Lamps and Security

Network and data security is something is emphasized throughout the year in my
Introduction to Networking course. To spark discussion in the class, I often share show short videos about interesting security incidents as well as short videos about implementing security systems. One of the videos that we watched this week was about Cloudflare’s use of lava lamps to generate random numbers for the purpose of encrypting web traffic.
Here’s the video. Full details of the process can be
read here. I particularly enjoyed the explanation of the distinct between true randomness and pseudorandomness. 

I realize that the vast majority of readers of this blog don’t have an obvious use for this video in their classrooms. That said, consider watching it anyway and think about all of the back-end technology that is in place to make it possible for students to safely use web-based tools.

Personal note: When I started this blog 13+ years ago it was to share neat things I was finding and trying in my classroom. Sometimes I just need to go back to those early days.