New Research Suggests That Governments May Fake SSL Certificates

2010-03-25 Thread Dave Kleiman

March 24th, 2010 New Research Suggests That Governments May Fake SSL 
Technical Analysis by Seth Schoen

Today two computer security researchers, Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm, 
released a draft of a forthcoming research paper in which theypresent evidence 
that certificate authorities (CAs) may be cooperating with government agencies 
to help them spy undetected on secure encrypted communications. (EFF 
sometimes advises Soghoian on responsible disclosure issues, including for this 
paper.) More details and reporting are available at Wired today. The draft 
paper includes marketing materials from Packet Forensics, an Arizona company, 
which suggests that government users have the ability to import a copy of any 
legitimate keys they obtain (potentially by court order) into Packet Forensics 
products in order to impersonate sites and trick users into a false sense of 
security afforded by web, e-mail, or VoIP encryption. This would allow those 
governments to routinely bypass encryption without breaking it..

Soghoian and Stamm also observe that browsers trust huge numbers of CAs — and 
all of those organizations are trusted completely, so that the validity of any 
entity they approve is accepted without question.  Every organization on a 
browser's trusted list has the power to certify sites all around the world. 
Existing browsers do not consider whether a certificate was signed by a 
different CA than before; a laptop that has seen Gmail's site certified by a 
subsidiary of U.S.-based VeriSign thousands of times would raise no alarm if 
Gmail suddenly appeared to present a different key apparently certified by an 
authority in Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, or Brazil. Yet such a 
change would be an indication that the user's encrypted HTTP traffic was being 



Dave Kleiman - - 

4371 Northlake Blvd #314
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

RE: Solving password problems one at a time, Re: The password-reset paradox

2009-02-23 Thread Dave Kleiman

 On February 21, 2009 14:34, Ed Gerck wrote:
 In a business, one must write down the passwords and one must have a 
 duplicate copy of it, with further backup, where management can access 
 it. This is SOP.

 This is done not just in case the proverbial truck hits the employee, or 
 fire strikes the building, or for the disgruntled cases, but because 
 people do forget and a company cannot be at the same time responsible to 
 the shareholders for its daily operations and not be responsible for the 
 passwords that pretty much define how those daily operations are run.

The idea that people should not write their passwords is thus silly from 
the security viewpoint of assuring availability and also for another 
reason. Users cannot be trusted to follow instructions. So, if one's 
security depends on their users following instructions, then something 
is wrong from the start.

Most organizations I interact with have an SOP that nobody should ever know 
another's password. The only passwords that are safe stored are those for 
encryption or the top level admin. You take on a degree of legal responsibility 
if you have the ability to logon as another user. Since the admin can easily 
change a user's password, what would be the necessity for this risk? All 
password changes should be audited.


Dave Kleiman - 
4371 Northlake Blvd #314
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

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RE: [heise online UK] Secure deletion: a single overwrite will do it

2009-01-21 Thread Dave Kleiman

On Mon, 19 Jan 2009, Stefan Kelm wrote: has to be overwritten completely, sector
 by sector. Although this takes time, it costs nothing: the dd command in
 any Linux distribution will do the job perfectly.

Note quite perfectly, and not nearly as fast as the built-in option (see below).

On Mon, 20 Jan 2009, Jason wrote:
I agree in general, although you still have to watch out for reserve tracks 
(search on this page).All hard disks have reserved sectors, which are 
used automatically by the 
drive logic if there is a defect in the media.:

Yes the main areas you are referring to are known as the P-List (Primary 
Defects List – manufacture defect info that does not change) G-List (Grown 
Defects Lists – sector relocation table). You can only access the P-List with 
special commands and tools. 

However, you can wipe the G-List are if you do it outside of an OS (or a tool 
that can access the system area), since the OS knows nothing of these sectors. 
The easiest (possible the best because of speed) way to accomplish this in 
modern ATA hard drives (2001 forward) is with the built-in Secure Erase 
program. Conveniently placed there for us by Recording Research (CMRR) headed 
by Gordon Hughes, Associate Director of CMRR, USSD on the Secure Erase 

At the ANSI T-13 Committee meeting in 2004, Gordon described the differences 
between block erase as described in government document DoD2550 and Secure 
Erase. Unlike block level erase Secure Erase also overwrites reassigned blocks 
and can be up to eight times faster (per CMRR tests).
In addition the enhanced SE command qualifies for Federal Government secret 
data classification erasure. 

You can download a DOS-based utility HDDerase that securely erases all data on 
ATA hard disk drives via the internal secure erase command.

And yes, I am the same Dave Kleiman from the paper.

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RE: Can you keep a secret? This encrypted drive can...

2006-11-07 Thread dave kleiman
  -Original Message-
 From: Saqib Ali [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
 Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 08:16
 Hello Alexander,
  My guess is that slow compilation is a result of access time
  misconfiguration: if a filesystem has access time 
 enabled, then each 
  time a file is read, the file system updates access time 
 on disk. A 
  solution is to set noatime option on the filesystem used for 
 This is a good info. Do you how this can be done on windows?
It is on page 43 and 44 of a class I did at the last CyberCrime Summit:
Additionally, I talk about using Log Parser to retrieve information from the
filesystem and log files without causing access updates

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RE: Are laptop search seizures increasing use of disk crypto?

2006-10-26 Thread dave kleiman
-Original Message-
From: Udhay Shankar N 
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 01:00
Like the subject says - I'm curious whether the current 
regime of inspection and forensic analysis of laptops, 
primarily in the US, has affected corporate policies 
regarding disk crypto.

Is there anybody studying this? Any resources available online?

Funny you should mention that, just saw this today:
At U.S. Borders, Laptops Have No Right to Privacy

We have be spending an increasing amount of time working with vendors of
both forensic tools and disc encryption technology, trying to find tips,
tricks, and techniques that can be used when warranted.


Dave Kleiman - 

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RE: Verisign CRL single point of failure

2004-03-31 Thread dave kleiman

I don't think you understood my question.  Why is 
getting overloaded *now.*  What does the expiration of one of their CA 
certificates have to do with it?  Once you see that a cert has expired, 
there's no need whatsoever to go look at the CRL.  The point of a CRL is 
to revoke certificates prior to their expiration.

You are correct I did miss your point in haste. 
I cannot answer that, but I can tell you that disabling the function or
uninstalling NAV that has CRL function, fixes the problem immediately.
And if you watch your firewall as the clients open a file that requests a
virus scan they all try to hit This has been happening
since the 7th when that cert expired.

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