Good Analogy for A VPN

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

— Calvin Coolidge

Figure 1: World War 2 Navajo Code Talkers.

Figure 1: World War 2 Navajo Code Talkers (Wikipedia).

My oldest son is an IT engineer and I find his work very interesting. So that we have more things to talk about, I am trying to become more knowledgeable about IT matters. This means I try to read various blogs about IT topics.

Today, I was reading the Kaspersky blog, and they had a great analogy for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). They said that the WW2 use of Navajo code talkers is analogous to a modern VPN.

Just like a modern VPN, the Navajo VPN had:

  • communication that occurred over an open network.
  • had a well-defined protocol.
  • encrypted communication so that only those with the "key" can understand what is being said.

I really like this analogy. While the Navajo code talkers may be the most famous example of using a spoken language as an encoding system, there actually are many other examples.

In the event a non-code talker Navajo was captured by the Japanese and forced to translate the code talker messages, the code talkers added an additional level of encryption to the messages in the form of code words. This practice is known as multiple encryption. For example, a tank would be called a turtle. A non-code talker Navajo actually was captured, and the poor man was tortured further because he could not translate the messages.

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2 Responses to Good Analogy for A VPN

  1. Frank Smith says:

    The above comment is by Calvin Coolidge, not Roosevelt.


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