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Comment: Re:This isnt right (Score 1) 487

by ekhben (#36605890) Attached to: Cancer Cluster Possibly Found Among TSA Workers

I fly into Rome and then do Schengen flights within Europe. Cathay Pacific do flights from HKG to FCO, and while FCO is kind of a pokey little airport, at least they don't have poky security personnel :-)

(Trains out of Rome are a poor option, I've looked into them and it's about a twelve hour journey just to get out of Italy, since the Thalys doesn't run that far south).

Comment: Re:This isnt right (Score 1) 487

by ekhben (#36592042) Attached to: Cancer Cluster Possibly Found Among TSA Workers

History says things generally have to get pretty bad before people will sacrifice several other comforts and securities to regain one.

I'm avoiding the US, Germany and the UK, but I know the time will come in the next two years when I'll have to choose between out of control border security countries and my requirement to travel for work. I'm not sure what I'll do, but I don't know that I'd have the courage to tell my boss I won't fly because I don't want to be physically assaulted at an airport again.

(Yeah, it's happened to me, in Germany, and it is a hell of a lot more unpleasant than you'd think it would be before you've had it done to you; I really didn't think it would be as bad as it was).

Comment: Re:No surprises here (Score 1) 391

by ekhben (#36523782) Attached to: EFF Stops Accepting Bitcoin, Regifts All Donations

Stock is part ownership in a company, and comes with voting rights and dividends. It has intrinsic value. If you stop trading, and merely hold onto your stock, you still retain the voting rights and still receive dividends.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, does have no intrinsic value, and is a fiat currency. Fiat currencies are based only on belief in the system issuing them. Consider the US dollar, and the effect of the economic condition of the US on the perceived value of the dollar; or the Euro and the situation in Greece coupled with the cooling attitude of Germany towards the currency. The Euro could collapse if Germany pulls out and other countries lose faith in it as a viable currency.

Bitcoins are based on faith in the system that operates the bitcoin economy.

The EFF has declared a lack of faith in that system, in particular, that the legal foundation for it has not been tested, and the potential risk of being a test case outweighs any other value bitcoins may have.

Comment: Re:Selfish idea (Score 1) 195

by ekhben (#36459682) Attached to: More Malware-Infected Apps Found In Android Market

It is less vulnerable because Apple does actual reviews. They will not find everything but they will find SOME things.

Yes, true - they'll trivially find blatant stuff, and probably some slightly less blatant stuff, but not stuff that goes to pains to hide from the review process specifically; all of which is more stuff than is caught with no review at all!

Comment: Re:One-time pads (Score 1) 284

by ekhben (#36396046) Attached to: Court Rules Passwords+Secret Questions=Secure eBanking

Perfect is the enemy of the good.

It's not impossible to line up a trojan on a mobile and a desktop, but it's not as trivial as getting a trojan on one device. Attacks have been done successfully by social engineering on the phone company to redirect the service, but as someone else said, if someone really wants your money there's always a lead pipe in an alley.

Should two-factor become widespread, and smartphones become as vulnerable as desktops to trojans (unlikely with both major OS vendors using a managed software repository, making social engineering of users harder), and the problem of coordinating devices be solved, then it will be time to find another security mechanism.

And no doubt, plenty of banks will be reluctant to adopt better security again, giving those of us with security conscious banks another decade or so of protection through presenting a significantly smaller attack surface than most others.

Comment: Re:One-time pads (Score 1) 284

by ekhben (#36383382) Attached to: Court Rules Passwords+Secret Questions=Secure eBanking

Text message challenge, web response.

In order to subvert a transaction, the attacker would need to own both communication channels - my browser displays which transaction I'm approving, the text message displays the same thing. If they don't agree, one or the other has been tampered with.

If they do agree, it's too late for the attacker to alter the transaction, and my response via web can only be blocked, not used for a different transaction.

It's two channel because an attacker needs to subvert both channels to subvert the transaction; only capturing one will cause an easily detectable change.

Comment: Re:One-time pads (Score 5, Insightful) 284

by ekhben (#36382538) Attached to: Court Rules Passwords+Secret Questions=Secure eBanking

I think you have it the wrong way around. It's an exceptionally hard problem to have a highly secured end user network. It's an easy problem to have stronger authentication mechanisms.

One time pads are not new, or difficult. Two-channel authentication is not new, or difficult. These are not particularly expensive solutions to implement, and would cut down on fraud significantly.

So why do the banks resist the idea?

Personally, I use a bank with two-channel auth, and refuse to use electronic banking that relies on anything sent via my browser alone - the browser is insecure software, and can be taken over without the victim being aware of it, even when the victim is following good security practices.

Comment: Re:I'm using it (Score 1) 231

by ekhben (#36234532) Attached to: IPv6 Traffic Volumes Are Low, But Nobody Knows How Low

If your home network has a /64, there are 2^64 possible addresses for a script kiddie to check for a device.

If you use privacy addresses, this means a script kiddie who is able to scan one million hosts per second is going to take around 600,000 years to get through the whole subnet.

If you use link identity addresses, that might reduce to 6,000 years or so.

I run v6 with a trivial firewall: allow established, allow inbound port 22, 80, >= 1024, allow ICMPv6, deny all other packets.

(If you do set up a v6 firewall, make sure you allow ICMPv6; there's no packet fragmentation in v6 so if you discard packet too big messages you'll break your v6 and be part of the 0.01% that gives big vendors like Google the willies about losing).

Comment: Re:Cloud and Google (Score 1) 162

by ekhben (#36172958) Attached to: Swiped Tokens Expose Android Devices To Data Theft

I haven't tried using it in any place noisier than the inside of my car with the windows up and no passengers. It doesn't start interpreting sounds as voice until I explicitly tell it to, so I've not pocket-dialled someone by farting yet.

I expect it would not work particularly well in noisier conditions. If that's the use case you'd have for voice recognition, then the technology probably isn't mature enough for you yet, but for my use case, it's good enough to be using now.

Comment: Re:Cloud and Google (Score 1) 162

by ekhben (#36163022) Attached to: Swiped Tokens Expose Android Devices To Data Theft

Shrug, goodbye karma, but my iPhone's voice recognition does pretty well. Needs you to tell it to listen, repeats what it's going to do before it does it so you can cancel when it does get it wrong.

100% success rate for the number I call most often, probably around three quarters successful for the other numbers I very infrequently call - so maybe it just seems good to me because of the specific circumstances I use it in.

Comment: Re:Fact checking not a requirement for posting? (Score 1) 212

by ekhben (#36031502) Attached to: Apple Releases iOS 4.3.3 To Fix Location Tracking

The HTC Touch Pro 2 uses a Qualcomm CPU with a gpsOne aGPS module. The iPhone 4 uses a Broadcom BCM4750 single-chip aGPS.

The tracking sensitivity on the gpsOne is -160dB, with TTFF of 1s/29s/35s for hot/warm/cold startup. Power consumption data not available; it's always part of the CPU.

The tracking sensitivity on the BCM4750 is -162dB, with TTFF of 0.5s/30s for hot/cold startup. Power consumption is 13mW.

The BCM4750 is a better aGPS chip, but mostly due to its greater sensitivity and independence from CPU choice - there's not a lot of difference in TTFF between the two.

If you get fix times in under 10sec, but over 1sec, the phone is probably providing hints via a cache.

Given I have a 3GS with the much poorer Hammerhead II aGPS chipset, patch 4.3.3 is a pretty big net loss for me; I think I'll just skip it until I'm forced to take this Apple bashwagon generated downgrade as a part of a major release upgrade. :(

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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