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Comment: Re:Time for 2FA for the local router? (Score 1) 103

by mlts (#49777657) Attached to: Linux/Moose Worm Targets Routers, Modems, and Embedded Systems

The blessed fob idea could be used for a lot more than that, assuming BT or NFC connections (for short range items.) Not just for the network connections, but for things like recovering a lost password on a machine.

As you said, the concept of a physical key is a lot more common, and intuitive to a lot of people, so that might be a way of doing security on a home user basis.

No, this isn't perfect... but it would help immensely with security and close a lot of remote attack holes.

Excellent idea.

Comment: Time for 2FA for the local router? (Score 2) 103

by mlts (#49777029) Attached to: Linux/Moose Worm Targets Routers, Modems, and Embedded Systems

I wish more routers came either with a local method of configuration (an onboard touchscreen display like a lot of LTE Wi-Fi routers, USBSerial, or perhaps just a good old fashioned serial port, with a USB dongle and cable.) From there, one could configure some form of 2FA, which does mitigate the aspect of a compromised PC or network.

Comment: Re:E-mail client? (Score 1) 81

by mlts (#49775839) Attached to: Attackers Use Email Spam To Infect Point-of-Sale Terminals

What needs to be implemented on a POS terminal, if it has to run Windows, is AppLocker and other policy restrictions. I'd say even add DeepFreeze, so that if the terminal gets in some screwy state, a power cycle gets it back to normal. Updates can be handled by various mechanisms, be it a WSUS server if there are a lot of terminals, a USB flash drive with an installer on it, to get a machine to a known good patch level, or even a fresh image of the OS that gets copied over, which reads the terminals config files stashed on a separate volume.

AppLocker or something that blocks executables would have stopped this attack cold.

Comment: Re:Windows XP, not Linux (Score 1) 81

by mlts (#49775739) Attached to: Attackers Use Email Spam To Infect Point-of-Sale Terminals

I do see a lot of XPe (XP Embedded) point of sale installations around my neck of the woods.

Cash registers have two odd quantities. On one hand, they need good security. On the other hand, they may need to keep up with the latest things. At the minimum, EMV credit cards, but things like various payment items from a cellphone are can be needed as well.

Maybe POS machines should be split up into two VMs:

One part does the item totaling, inventory, calculations, purchase/returns, and other parts which stay pretty much static. Even EMV credit card processing can be added here.

The second VM would be just for handling the latest and greatest e-pay stuff, be it ISIS, SoftCard, PayPal, Google Wallet, Apple Wallet, CurrenC, Bitcoin, AltCoin, Namecoin, DogeCoin, pyreals, gil, ounces of precious metals, platinum pieces, and so on. This VM pretty much gets the total transaction amount from the other VM, and does a purchase, audit, or return.

Add a decent hypervisor coupled with a decent snapshot/backup mechanism, and this would provide adequate security and separation of functions.

Done right, it can be done relatively seamlessly, and would limit what happens if one side gets compromised.

Comment: Re:Easily defeated.... (Score 1) 529

by mlts (#49751787) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Or use a VM with snapshots or change logs, and when done, roll back all changes, so no matter how much the browser tries to stash, all gets eradicated.

It also works well to deal with compromised browsers, especially if the VM is run in its own NAT segment, so the compromised instance can't gain knowledge of network topology.

Comment: Re:Firefox becomes Netscape (Score 1) 529

by mlts (#49751709) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

I actually paid for Netscape because it was a good browser at the time.

If the Mozilla Foundation needs cash, maybe a commercial browser may not be a bad idea, especially if it had enterprise level items like being able to be shipped as a .MSI, updated from an internal server like WSUS (not all internal machines have access to the Net in a lot of companies), offered GPO-like functionality to allow for insertion of internal keys, allowed for a recovery mechanism to the security key store, and so on.

This may not mean much to the average consumer, but a supported browser version that can be managed by IT quite well might be a good revenue source, especially with it being platform independent.

Similar with Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. Other than Outlook and, there are not many good MUAs out there these days. Eudora is dead, and the Bat and Lotus Notes are niche products. Having an alternative to Outlook might be a good thing for businesses, especially if enterprise level management/update functionality could be added in.

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 529

by mlts (#49751537) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

If it is sitting empty on Windows 8.1, it is being used for read/write cache by the OS. Same with Linux.

With RAM as relatively inexpensive as it is today, one shouldn't have less than 16-32 GB of RAM on a desktop, especially if one is using virtualization, sandboxing, or other type of container usage to keep their Web browser separate from their sensitive stuff [1].

[1]: In fact, it doesn't hurt to keep different things in separate VMs, and with SSD and a decent amount of RAM, the performance loss is negligable, while one gains a lot in security. Plus, it is easy to move to new hardware... just copy the VM's images to the new machine.

Comment: Re:Android. The "PC" of mobile devices (Score 1) 92

by mlts (#49751209) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

I like Android's customizability and the ability to replace things. For example, I toss the launcher and go with Nova's. The keyboard app gets replaced, and I use a custom texting app that supports encryption.

Plus, I have more privacy on Android with XPrivacy. For example, a lot of apps pull your ad info, IMEI, hardware serial number, and anything they can find for behavioral tracking. With XPrivacy, the app will happily get a number... but it will be a random one. I can also ad block on the IP level.

Comment: Re:All using ancient devices (Score 1) 92

by mlts (#49751147) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

Newer phones respond to fstrim/blkdiscard, so one can use those tools to fire off TRIM commands, zeroing all data. For example, if one wants to ensure /data isn't available, one could do a blkdiscard of /data's device, or run fstrim on the mounted /data partition to have the SSD zero out all free pages. Similar with /system. Delete all extraneous data, mount it read-write, fstrim it.

Comment: Re:All using ancient devices (Score 1) 92

by mlts (#49751111) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

The good news is that there are apps (which require root) which will modify SELinux so that the SD card is usable. Since most SD cards are using FAT32, there isn't any real way to enforce permissions, so for security reasons, the card wound up being locked from most apps completely.

Of course, it would be nice if the SD card could be formatted with ext4, so permissions could be enforced.

Another option, which was part of Linux, but pulled out a long time ago, was the UMSDOS filesystem. What this did was put Linux permissions and ACLs atop of FAT/FAT32. Yes, this was a kludge... but it worked without having any changes to the filesystem (other than the marker files) in place. This might be a way to go, since it would allow the phone to enforce app permissions on a filesystem that normally doesn't support it.

Comment: Re:If that's possible, then it isn't encryption. (Score 4, Interesting) 92

by mlts (#49751049) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

The Windows format command does this. If one uses it on a BitLocker encrypted volume, it will go and zero the parts on the volume that hold the BitLocker master key, so even if someone later has a recovery password, the data is still completely gone. Same with secure erase on a number of SSDs.

Since Android is sitting on a SSD, it might be wise to move to a smarter wiping system. One that would wipe the dm-crypt data, core places of the filesystem, and after that, TRIM the entire data partition before formatting and rebuilding it. The TRIM command helps ensure that the data present isn't recoverable at the drive level, and likely will get utterly destroyed when the drive erases the TRIMmed pages.

I read about some newer phones using a chip to store the encryption key for /data, similar to how iOS does it, but when hardware starts getting involved, it becomes harder to deal with a potential backdoor.

Maybe the ideal is a small bit of storage that is used, and if it is erased, the erasure is guarenteed (where there is no way to recover previously stored data.) Then, the master key is stored there. On initial bootup, the phone prompts the user for the PIN, decrypts the key stored on that small bit of storage for the master key to /data, and proceeds from there. On an erase, /data gets force unmounted, the small storage is erased, and a blkdiscard is issued for the /data's device. Not 100%, but it will pretty much ensure anything stashed in /data is gone.

Then there is the external SD card. Unlike /data, there isn't a real standard to encrypt that storage partition. Usually it winds up being encrypted on a file by file basis with some EncFS offshot. The key for this is stored in /data, so if the phone is wiped, there isn't any way to retrieve the SD card's data. What might be an idea would be to offer the file based mechanism, but also offer the ability to format the SD card and encrypt the entire card on a device level, not just on a file by file basis.

Of course, something like phonebookfs could be used so that someone looking at the encrypted file stash on the SD card can't tell between real data and randomly generated chaff, but that may not be something for mainstream phones.

Comment: Re:Durability concerns valid, but... Tampering? (Score 1) 88

by mlts (#49728433) Attached to: Yubikey Neo Teardown and Durability Review

I use a Yubikey Neo mainly for 2FA with Google's services. The main security boost from it for me is that it is a physical object, and the main avenue of attack for my stuff is via remote. Same reason I use Google's Authenticator app as backup on my smartphone.

Since my Yubikey devices tend to be sessile resiliency isn't that important... but I am definitely not impressed with the durability. My eTokens [1] from SafeNet are far more durable, tamper resistant (once they started one piece epoxy manufacture), and can handle far more insertion cycles than the YubiKey can.

I wish Yubico could charge more, and put some money into a stronger USB keyfob. For me, the delicate construction is OK (because I use multiple keys that stay with my devices)... but for people like the parent who actually tote it around, the construction is pretty much unacceptable.

As for a key format for security, I wish the industry would have a special slot for that, as in some cases, NFC isn't acceptable. The best I've seen was the old Dallas Semiconductor "one wire" reader which worked even with high traffic. Since that is long gone, perhaps it is time to have something, even if it is just two small, durable conductive contacts on the side of a device for using a key, or using it for a key interchange.

[1]: I have multiple for PGP, and use the keys as ADKs (which were generated on the device and never leave.) Other than finding drivers for them, they have served me well. Plus, if one uses PGP Desktop (er, now SED), one can use the eTokens as keys, so an attacker would have to have the token, and the PIN (which can be set to lock for good after a certain amount of guesses) in order to boot the machine.

Comment: Re:The reason you don't buy into Bitcoin (Score 1) 61

by mlts (#49719193) Attached to: Decoding the Enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto

I've mentioned this before... but times have changed. For better or for worse, BitCoin is the currency that people have latched onto, similar to how Facebook is the social network of choice these days.

Even though there are details that the currency is fraught with, it is becoming stable and accepted by the mainstream, where it is becoming trusted enough for people to actually not just use it for a means of exchange (quickly changing from their preferred unit of stored value to BTC, then the seller quickly changing from BTC to their favorite unit), but as a means of holding wealth, since it is a deflationary currency.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz