IBM using Napoleon Dynamite quote to encrypt data ∞
"Knock it off, Napoleon! Just make yourself a dang quesa-dilluh!".
This phrase, from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, is the cipher key IBM are using to publish encrypted XML at this year's Wimbledon grand slam. But is this a rather glaring lapse in security, or simply an anticipatory nod to curious hackers, many of whom surely rank amongst the fans of this quriky 2004 movie?
For the last year or so, I've been creating a scoreboard widget for Mac OS X each time one of the four grand slam tournaments (Australian, French, & US Opens and Wimbledon) roll around. The widget, built on AJAX, would connect to the official tournament web server and pull down a bunch of publically accesable XML files containing next day's schedule of play and results for all completed games. While this XML data isn't advertised by IBM, it's easily discoverable and as each user of the widget would download the data I didn't feel I was overstepping any legal boundaries by republishing this information. The task was made a lot simpler by the fact IBM are the single technology partner for all the four tennis majors, so each site has an identical back-end.
As I was in the process of putting together a widget for this year's Wimbledon tounament, I was dismayed to find IBM had revised their back-end and as a result the XML files I had been using for the past 12 months were no longer available. Close to giving the lucrative field of free widget development away, I decided to take one last look a IBM's new Flash-based results viewer to see if these files had simply been relocated to another directory.
What I found instead was reference to a single XML file, the contents of which looked like this: