Re: [Full-disclosure] Re: choice-point screw-up and secure hashes
Date: 03/20/05

  • Next message: Feher Tamas: "[Full-disclosure] Re: Attack & Defence Against Visual CAPTCHA"
    To: Atom Smasher <>
    Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 19:05:51 -0500

    On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 18:18:46 EST, Atom Smasher said:

    > some companies have a legitimate need to ask that question. they should be
    > subject to more stringent checks than our recent bad guys. FTMP, however,
    > that question is of very little use... if you want to know the SSN of
    > "john smith", born 1976-07-04 you're likely to come up with several
    > matches.

    Exactly. That's why the SSN ends up being the key for the database rather
    than name/DOB.

    > the solution i've described is not meant to protect servers. it's meant to
    > protect data that people subscribe to. the fact that people subscribed to
    > the data indicates that the servers are well protected, or at least a
    > harder target than opening an account.

    Note that in general, the people who are subscribed to the data are not the
    people who's data is being subscribed to. It's *my* data on store at <insert
    data warehouse>, but it's the bank or utility or car dealership that's paying
    for access to the data, and it's yet some *other* place that was the *source*
    of the data.

    > the real issue, again, is that we are talking about a SYSTEM. each
    > component of that system has different threat models and needs to be
    > protected in different ways. what protects the data may not help the
    > servers... that protects the servers might not protect dead hard drives...
    > what protects dead hard drives might not protect the network... for a
    > group of security professionals i'm disappointed that so many people are
    > looking for a single "magic bullet" that will just "secure" every part of
    > a complicated system. it doesn't work like that in the real world.

    Notice that your "hash the SSN" defense would have done exactly *ZIP*
    to defend against the ChoicePoint debacle that started this thread, and
    doesn't really provide very heavy protection against a compromise of the
    database itself. We're not looking for a magic bullet that would secure
    it all - but it would be nice if proposals to secure a part of it did in
    fact add significant security to that part....



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  • Next message: Feher Tamas: "[Full-disclosure] Re: Attack & Defence Against Visual CAPTCHA"

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