Jason <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> On Wed, 2 Jan 2008, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
>> Cryptography provides authentication and integrity.  It does not
>> provide authorization, nor does it provide protection against bugs.
>> Your suggested approach -- better OS and better crypto -- is exactly
>> what's failed for the last 25 years.
> You're painting with too broad a brush.  Creating artificial life
> failed; security just fails to get adopted.

I think Steve is completely correct in the case of cryptography. We
have a lot of experience of real world security failures these days,
and they're not generally the sort that crypto would fix.

> Authentication is exactly what I need in the case of spam/phishing:

People have said that for quite some time. However, I doubt it would
actually help. In the case of spam, all that would end up happening is
vast amounts of CPU time being spent demonstrating that the made up
addresses on spam were associated with actual RSA keys. (There is no
practical limit to the number of RSA keys that may be generated.)

> did that really come from my bank? 

In the very different case of phishing, I think it would still all
fail. Most people are unable to understand (or outright ignore)
SSL authentication failures to web sites, so I don't see why they
would be disturbed by authentication failures in email from their
bank. We'd also have the problem that lots of email would remain
unauthenticated for years or decades, and that if you got a security
pop-up every time you read such an email, you'd probably learn to
ignore them inside of an hour.

> And you gave examples of OS techniques which mitigate risks in buggy
> apps. Privilege escalation makes bad malware into horrible malware.

I would actually agree that we can implement operating system
strategies that make malware harder to write. I don't know if it is
likely that any current techniques, even including the nearly unheard
of use of formal verification, would actually eliminate malware.

Perry E. Metzger                [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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