On Tuesday, Mar 25, 2003, at 13:55 US/Eastern, Ed Gerck wrote:
Jeroen van Gelderen wrote:

Heu? I am talking about HTTPS (1) vs HTTP (2). I don't see how the MSIE
bug has any effect on this.

Maybe we're talking about different MSIE bugs, which is not hard to do ;-)

I am NOT talking about MSIE bugs at all. I didn't mention them and I don't know where you pull the reference from. I am talking about HTTPS traffic (1%) vs. HTTP traffic (99%) on the Internet:

1. Presently 1% of Internet traffic is protected *by SSL* against
   MITM and eavesdropping.

2. 99% of Internet traffic is not protected at all (because it
   travels over plain HTTP).

I was referring to the MSIE bug that affects the SSL handshake in HTTPS,
from the context in discussion. BTW, HTTP has no provision to prevent
MITM in any case -- in fact, establishing a MITM is part of the HTTP
tool box and used in reverse proxies for example.

Well, that is *exactly* the point I made:

3. A significant portion of the 99% could benefit from
   protection against eavesdropping but has no need for
   MITM protection. (This is a priori a truth, or the
   traffic would be secured with SSL today or not exist.)

Hence the a priori truth.

4. The SSL infrastructure (the combination of browsers,
   servers and the protocol) does not allow the use of
   SSL for privacy protection only. AnonDH is not supported
   by browsers and self-signed certificates as a workaround
   don't work well either.

That is, we cannot add just privacy protection to HTTP by enabling SSL. That sucks because HTTP with just privacy protection is preferable over plain HTTP. But the present SSL infrastructure insists that I pay to defend against MITM even if I have no need for that. That is the problem I (and I suspect IanG) is talking about.

5. The reason for (4) is that the MITM attack is overrated.
   People refuse to provide the privacy protection because
   it doesn't protect against MITM. Even though MITM is not
   a realistic attack for (2), (3).

   (That is not to say that (1) can do without MITM
    protection. I suspect that IanG agrees with this
    even though his post seemed to indicate the contrary.)

6. What is needed is a system that allows hassle-free,
   incremental deployment of privacy-protecting crypto
   without people whining about MITM protection.

Now, this is could be achieved by enabling AnonDH in the SSL infrastructure and making sure that the 'lock icon' is *not* displayed when AnonDH is in effect. Also, servers should enable and support AnonDH by default, unless disabled for performance reasons.

Jeroen C. van Gelderen - [EMAIL PROTECTED]

"They accused us of suppressing freedom of expression.
This was a lie and we could not let them publish it."
  -- Nelba Blandon,
     Nicaraguan Interior Ministry Director of Censorship

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