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Less Pessimism, Please

POCV is the Latest Salvo in Improving Timing Analysis Accuracy

by Bryon Moyer

When I was a teen, I remember someone coming to help my Dad plan a big move of some piece of equipment on our orchard. What struck me was how this guy could pre-visualize all the various scenarios and then consider the consequences and, in particular, all the things that could possibly go wrong for the different cases.

I was pretty impressed. It seemed like such thorough analytical capabilities were a skill and a gift. Over time, however, I’ve noticed that such an ability isn’t always appreciated. Because most of the world likes to assume best-case conditions, the “value add” of the more thorough approach is to point out that there are potential negative consequences too. Which makes you Mr. Negative. The pessimist. Always there to dash cold water on a hot idea. Doesn’t matter if you’re right.  Read More


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Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 2:19 PM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
Now if you would like a healthy chill in your spine about client and server side security, consider the following attack that is likely to show up in the wild soon, simply because of how easy/effective it is.

Since IT folks and customers have become VM…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 11:46 AM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
Bruce ... I agree that authentication can be dramatically improved .... however that is less than 1% of the real problem when the base computing platform and environment is not secure.

Securing that is neither easy, or likely, so normal everyday users …

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 11:31 AM by kleinman

kleinman
John--

This has been a good & healthy bit of "argy bargy", thank you!

You've pointed out some good items and raised awareness that users need to take greater responsibility [a] for client-side security and [b] to 'vote' with their business for gre…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 11:09 AM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
The answer to "how would you improve internet security" ... don't use it, or any computer connected to the internet, to process or store data that you can not risk being compromised.

I have held DOD security clearances, and managed secure data centers,…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 10:51 AM by kleinman

kleinman
Kudos (again) for raising good points; I am not sure I understand your line of thought however. Yes, there are always vectors of attack (malware, for example) ... are you suggesting that because there is no such thing as perfect security that we should n…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 10:03 AM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
Mr Kleinman is right that PUF devices at both the client and the server will provide stronger crypto to prove identities of the client and server, using hardware passwords/certificates/challenges. This partially solves the stolen password problem, if only…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 8:48 AM by kleinman

kleinman
Agreed, any sweeping change to internet security will undergo a lengthy transition period. During the transition, though, the 'old' and 'improved' systems can coexist.

Today, for example, many financial institutions provide a physical two-factor authe…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/16/14 at 2:55 AM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
As Mr Kleinman points out, crypto card devices which authenticate both parties, **may** provide a safer solution in a properly engineered security oriented device.

That would however be a PUF device embedded into an exceptionally secure CPU's silicon w…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/15/14 at 4:42 PM by kleinman

kleinman
Your point is good one--and a good reminder--that you cannot have perfect security on the Internet. We can have dramatically BETTER security on the Internet and NOT at the expense of ease-of-use.

Improvement vector #1: use Physically Unclonable Functi…

Heartbleed: Serious Security Vulnerability

Posted on 04/15/14 at 3:35 PM by TotallyLost

TotallyLost
The alarms have been steadily going off for nearly two decades, yet each new breach is accepted as fixed when a patch/upgrade is released for a particular flaw. The design of SSL, and it's widespread dependence, has always bothered me ... I wrote aggressi…

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