Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 11th August 2023

Shamir Secret Sharing (via) Cracking war story from Max Levchin about the early years of PayPal, in which he introduces an implementation of Shamir Secret Sharing to encrypt their master payment credential table... and then finds that the 3-of-8 passwords needed to decrypt it and bring the site back online don’t appear to work.

# 3:48 pm / encryption, ops, paypal

Dependency Management Data (via) This is a really neat CLI tool by Jamie Tanna, built using Go and SQLite but with a feature that embeds a Datasette instance (literally shelling out to start the process running from within the Go application) to provide an interface for browsing the resulting database.

It addresses the challenge of keeping track of the dependencies used across an organization, by gathering them into a SQLite database from a variety of different sources—currently Dependabot, Renovate and some custom AWS tooling.

The “Example” page links to a live Datasette instance and includes video demos of the tool in action.

# 3:54 pm / packaging, sqlite, datasette