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[Cryptography] People should turn on PFS in TLS (was Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption)

----- Forwarded message from Anne & Lynn Wheeler <[email protected]> -----

Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2013 16:48:01 -0400
From: Anne & Lynn Wheeler <[email protected]>
To: ianG <[email protected]>, [email protected]
Subject: Re: [Cryptography] People should turn on PFS in TLS (was Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption)
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:26.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/26.0a1

we were brought in as consultants to a small client/server startup that wanted to do payment transactions on their server, they had this technology they called "SSL" they wanted to use, the result is now frequently called "electronic commerce". The two people at the startup responsible for the "commerce server" we had worked with in prior life on parallel Oracle cluster scaleup.

As part of mapping "SSL" technology to payment transactions we had to audit operations selling "SSL" digital certificates and also came up with recommendations on how browsers and servers would deploy and use the technology. Almost immediately several of the recommendations were violated, resulting in some number of the exploits that continue to this day.

We were then tangentially involved in the Cal. data breach notification legislation, having been brought in to help wordsmith the Cal. electronic signature legislation. Many of the parties were heavily involved in privacy issues and had done numerous, indepth, public surveys. The number one issue was "identity theft" of the form involving fraudulent financial transactions ... frequently as result of data breach. The issue was nothing was being done about the problems and so it was hoped that the publicity from the notifications might motivate corrective action. Part of the issue is normally institutions take security measures in self-interests ... however, the institutions having breaches weren't at risk, it was the account holders.

PCI DSS shows up some time after Cal. data breach notification and frequently the joke is that if you have a breach ... you loose your PCI DSS certification. It turns out that there was a number of Federal "data breach notification" bills introduced, preempting state legislation and effectively eliminating notification requirements ... citing PCI DSS industry effort as justification for no longer needing notification.

Another problem we've frequently pointed out is current paradigm with "dual use" paradigm and even if the planet was covered in miles of information hiding encryption, it wouldn't stop data leakage. Account information is used for authenticating new transactions and so has a requirement that it be kept totally confidential and never divulged to anybody ... but at the same time, account information is needed in dozens of business processes at millions of locations around the planet.

disclaimer: we were co-authors of the x9.59 financial transaction standard that slightly tweaked the current payment paradigm and eliminated the dual-use characteristic .... which then also eliminated the need to hide account information and as a result it also eliminated the need for SSL to hide account information in electronic commerce transactions .... eliminating the major requirement for SSL in the world today.

virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
The cryptography mailing list
[email protected]

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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org";>leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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