On Feb 14, 2009, at 12:54 PM, David Molnar wrote:

Ben Laurie wrote:

[snip discussion of bad crypto implementation practices]
Because he is steeped in the craft
knowledge around crypto. But most developers aren't. Most developers
don't even have the right mindset for secure coding, let alone correct cryptographic coding. So, why on Earth do we expect them to follow our
unwritten rules, many of which are far from obvious even if you
understand the crypto?

Yes, there's a need for a "crypto practices FAQ" to which one can refer.
In addition to individual education, it'd be helpful to have something
when pointing out common mistakes.
[snip specific discussion]

I find this conversation off the point. Consider other trades like woodworking. There is no FAQ that can be created that would be applicable to building a picture frame, dining room table or a covered bridge. A FAQ for creating a picture frame would be possible, but this is not the FAQ that is being discussed.

Crypto protocol failures are not trivial. The recent CBC attack on SSH shows that this is the case.
What FAQ would prescribe how not to make this mistake?

There are PhD programs related to this subject. I would argue (and actually dovetailing with another thread) that, if one creates a FAQ, that it point to well vetted implementations of information delivery protocols like SSL and SSH, and that any FAQ regarding the use of crypto libraries be that this is dangerous and should only be attempted with proper oversight and/or training.

Crypto protocols are not trivial, and suggesting a FAQ would be able to take the uninitiated to secure coding is more dangerous than good.

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