Authentication Services


Authentication Services is a way to help stem theft of website intellectual property. Should someone ever hack into the servers and steal any website content or the GCS Framework to use parts of it on a different domain name, the Authentication Services works to thwart the thief's efforts, and alert authorities.

The process is a feature of the GCS Framework. Any time the GCS Framework is used, it must be used on a server that has a valid authenticated IP address. Therefore, attempting to execute the GCS Framework on a different IP address will cause the system to not work.* Even if the IP address is valid, the system needs to check to see if the GCS Framework back-end services are active. Therefore, at periodic times, the framework checks with an authenticating service to ensure that it can communicate with it to report any failures.

Several factors come into play as to when and if this happens. The communications between the website and the GCS Framework back-end services happens at an un-predictable time, based on several factors, including a random number. If recent updates to a website has been performed since the last time authentication has occurred, the time until a check is made is extended by the appropriate amount of time since that last update. Other websites can provide authenticating services. These authenticating websites are typically ones owned by GCS. Each non-owned GCS website checks with one of the GCS owned websites. These in turn funnel down to check with another GCS owned website, until the sole managing GCS owned website is accessed. That GCS owned website makes the authenticating service request to homebase back-end equipment.

If the communications attempt fails, it could mean theft of the GCS Framework back-end equipment, or that the equipment is off-line. When the equipment is taken offline for maintenance, first the back-end service will be switched to another GCS owned website that will act as the back-end service temporarily.

The GCS Framework back-end in its normal operation is run on a computer that uses un-interruptible power supplies, and the connecting equipment (modems and switches/routers) are also on un-interruptible power supplies to insure 100% availability. This equipment is housed in a facility where it is monitored constantly. Therefore, if a maintenance of back-end equipment has not been scheduled, and the communications fails, it is an indication that the back-end equipment has been tampered with, which would be the result of theft. In this case, when Internet Service is available again to GCS, the service will be switched to a different GCS owned website (same as a maintenance schedule). Using another website to act as the back-end is not the same as checking to see that the back-end equipment can communicate with the websites. Therefore, there is a maximum amount of time that can be used for Maintenance scheduled work. If longer than that minimal time is needed before the back-end equipment is back online, a 3rd-Party service provided would be used to provide the same service. Using 3rd-Party service provider is the most expensive part of this service, and why the service is normally provided in-house by GCS.

Also Read

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