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Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 81 81

Sometimes you don't have a choice in an interoperable piece of software. In an aggresive world that tosses away backwards compat in the name of security, you'd either have to toss out a bunch of perfectly ok equipment because you *can't* talk to it anymore, or stick to outdated software to protect the investment, which may have unfixed vulnerabilities because the versions that fix things also dropped support for your needs.

Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 81 81

All the known broken facets of MD5 have zero applicability to HMAC usage scenario. The only part of it that weakens HMAC is that SHA256/SHA512 are more computationally expensive.

If someone knows a weakness in HMAC-MD5, it's hard to imagine it would be related to any of the known broken parts of MD5, and thus HMAC-MD5's chances of being broken might not be so different than any other HMAC use of a hash.

Yes HMAC-SHA2 is the best choice now. Now it's not a good reason to go nuts over things that use HMAC-MD5 today.

Comment: Re:Products not organizations (Score 1) 23 23

This organization would just be responsible for verifying that software is secure

That was my assumption going in. I'm saying that 'verifying that software is secure' is a complex beast that I don't think is such a trivial undertaking. I was thinking of a company that has a 'development' team and a 'security' team, which I have experience in. The security team generally devolves into effectively black box testing of a system without understanding the real purpose and potentially fishy stuff going on internally that will pave the way to future vulnerabilites. CyberUL would be in those shoes, doing largely black box testing because there is no way they could do full code audits. Sure they can probe it or demand source code to do some analysis tools on it, but the most notorious security problems have mostly been around new discoveries about widely deployed technology that had previously *eluded* such analysis that is already prevalent in the industry.

It may be good to have a CyberUL to formalize already known best practices, but I don't think it's going to get what people want out of it.

Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 81 81

Support for limited subset of encryption protocols is also a benefit of its own. E.g. OpenSSL still supports MD5

Which is quite important, since there are a *lot* of scenarios that still use MD5 (and HMAC-MD5 isn't even broken). So for things that need MD5 hashes even if it's not secure, you can still function, and for things that still use HMAC-MD5, you can still talk *securely*.

Comment: Difficulties... (Score 1) 23 23

Well one, it's bad enough for a single company to have their 'security' teams meaningfully assess the security beyond the obvious. Good security really has to be ingrained throughout the process.

The obvious security issues that something like a 'CyberUL' would catch are generally not the issues. The problem is that once a new issue is discovered, the existing install base is not be updated. Either because updates are available but IT teams are slack, or because everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of using preloaded stuff baked into products that get subsequently abandoned by their vendor or the vendor just goes defunct.

For another, any US endorsed entity calling the shots for security faces a bad credibility problem. NIST is pretty well distrusted globally now, I don't know what would happen with this initiative.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 4, Insightful) 714 714

The same could be said of pretty much every advancement. Guys with clubs are cowards because the barehanded guys don't have a chance. Guys with swords are cowards because the guys with clubs don't stand a chance. Guys with arrows are cowards because the guys with swords across the field don't stand a chance. So on and so forth.

Of the factors driving reluctance to engage in harming other people, I don't think giving the other guy a sporting chance to kill you is a good factor. As others have pointed out, without your own life on the line you may have the opportunity to be more careful about how you proceed. If you are in imminent danger of getting killed, you may be more likely to make hasty judgment calls, collateral civilian damage be damned.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 3, Insightful) 714 714

That may be a valid concern, however that's orthogonal to the point about whether a pilot needs to be inside a craft or not.

Points can be made about how susceptible it would be to jamming attacks and such. However as it stands the statement that drones have no conscience is about as useful as saying a bullet has no conscience.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 714 714

make it able to make dogfight decisions by itself.

I would say no to the actually firing bit. Sure have it be able to evade and retreat or adjust flight to try to get around jamming, but there's a dangerous step to let the AI take hold of the trigger.

I know the same can be said of humans, but at least we know how to contend with that reality.

Comment: Re:Agreed, but at least one point is alarmist... (Score 1) 53 53

HMAC is not just used in SSL. It's a commonly employed in a lot of protocols. It's an additional level of complexity beyond a 'broken' hash to compromise HMAC.

A hash is compromised if you can find a collision faster than brute force. Even if you have no control over the data it is broken.

It is more dangerously/practically broken if you can control generating two sets of data that hash to the same value. This is where MD5 is IIRC

It is even more critically broken if, given an image that you do not control, you can generate your own data to hash to the same value.

HMAC requires that the data combined in a useful way with some shared secret hashes to the given value. An attacker is missing part of the image that would require to be attacked, and that missing part is applied to the image in a way that makes it resilient to prefix and append attacks. SHA-1 and MD5 are weaker by virtue of brute force being easier in an HMAC context, but I don't think I've heard either of them as being 'broken' in context of HMAC. An example would be if someone figured out how to change arbitrary middle part of an image and have the hash work out correctly regardless of the secret data (if it collides, that might not be the desired effect, it would have to match what the image would have after being combined with the unknown key)

Comment: Re: Wow gorgeous (Score 1) 287 287

Nearly all the goofiness around the desktop experience in Linux is around the graphics stack. This is of course critical for desktops, but I had mentioned it above.

I go with Linux because I just don't like the Windows UI choice. I use Windows on my gaming system, but my Intel graphics laptop I just do linux. The graphics are adequate and my ability to actually debug weird stuff is better (my Windows system started hanging on attempts to shutdown, restart, or suspend and there's no peep of a clue as to what it's trying to do when it hangs).

Comment: Agreed, but at least one point is alarmist... (Score 1) 53 53

Saying HMAC with SHA1 is 'weak' is a bit too worrisome. Even with MD5 broken, none of the breakage applies to use in HMAC as far as I know.

So yes, if you are using a new implementation, go with the best hash. No reason to chose MD5/SHA1 in a new design. However if you are currently reliant upon some use of HMAC that happens to use SHA1 or even MD5, no need to exactly panic and break things to get away from that in an urgent way.

Comment: Re: You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 1) 358 358

Though you still have the issue of the fluctuation due to whimsical behavior of the populace.

Basically you have one of two issues:
-A system where a designated few are given power to manipulate the whole currency, complete with how bad that can go when such power is wielded in a corrupt or incompetent way. On the upside, they can apply some manipulation to mask a transient issue that can and has sent economies spiraling into collapse if it manifested in the value of the currency directly.
-A system where the currency is more fixed, 'value' subject to the whims of the general participants in the economy. Note that those whims can be and have been quite successfully manipulated by sufficiently confident/charasmatic folks (e.g. relatively few very vocal folks largely drove Gold value up not so long ago), so the potential for manipulation by a few is still very real, even if not institutionalized.

It seems in practice the latter is more destructive, though the former *feels* more wrong. There are of course spectacular examples of the first going wrong, but most of those systems are working. There aren't really any at scale examples of the latter going right in this day and age.

A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein

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