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Comment Re:What should happen and what will happen (Score 1) 98

The problem with that is on the other practical end: if you massively increase the resources needed will also increase the server side resources; it won't be as bad as it will be on the cracking end, but server resources are expensive.

It won't be as bad as on the cracking end, that's the whole point. The reason for doing password hashing is to exploit the asymmetric level of effort between hashing and brute force search. To make that work, though, you do need to invest as much as you can afford in the server, to move the bar for the attacker as high as possible -- hopefully out of reach of all but the most serious. If you can't afford very much, fine, but realize that you're also not setting the bar very high.

But this is exactly why good password hashing algorithms are moving to RAM consumption as the primary barrier. It's pretty trivial for a server with many GiB of RAM to allocate 256 MiB to hashing a password, for a few milliseconds, but it gets very costly, very fast, for the attacker. And if you can't afford 256 MiB, how about 64?

What you definitely do not want is a solution that takes microseconds and uses a few dozen bytes. That creates a trivial situation for the attacker given modern hardware, and your server absolutely can afford more than that.

This is similar to why we don't use much longer keys for public key encryption and use really large primes for DH key exchange.

Nope. The leverage factor in the password hashing case is linear, since the entropy of passwords is constant (on average). The leverage factor for cryptographic keys is exponential. The reason we don't use much longer keys for public key encryption, etc., is because there's no point in doing so, not because we can't afford it. The key sizes we use are already invulnerable to any practical attack in the near future. For data that must be secret for a long time, we do use larger key sizes, as a hedge against the unknown.

Comment Re:Are two hashes better than one? (Score 1) 98

... however it's worth noting that there are currently no ways of finding a collision for both MD5 and SHA-1 hashes simultaneously

Any crypto geeks want to weigh in on the truth of this statement? I've often wondered about this. Wouldn't using two hash algorithms be easier and more effective over the long term than getting the whole world to upgrade to the Latest And Greatest Hash every ~10 years?

MD5 + SHA1 is a "new hash algorithm". Think about what you have to do to shift to a new algorithm... all of the message formats that have to be updated, all of the stored values that have to be recomputed, all of the cross-system compatibility dances you have to do to ensure that you can upgrade both sides (or all sides; there are often more than two) in order to update without having to make some error-prone attempt to cut over simultaneously.

The challenge of changing hash algorithms has nothing to do with getting correctly-implemented source code for a new algorithm. That's super easy. The challenges are all about how to handle the changeover, which is exactly the same whether you're switching to an actual new algorithm that incorporates the latest ideas and is (currently) completely invulnerable to all known attacks, or to a combination of old, broken algorithms that may or may not be better than either one alone.

The right solution is to build systems with algorithm agility and algorithm negotiation, then to add new algorithms as soon as they're standardized and remove algorithms completely once all parties have updated.

Comment Re:For variable values of "practical" and "relevan (Score 1) 98

Not a lot you can do?

Anything that requires signatures is vulnerable to forgery if the signer's certificate specifies SHA1.

An attacker could forge:

1. Software signatures - to slip malware into a software vendor's distribution channels.

That requires a second pre-image attack, not just a collision attack. (What gweihir called "two-sided" rather than "one-sided"... though that is not standard terminology).

2. SSL certificates - to MITM web connections to phish, steal data, or distribute malware.

Also requires a second pre-image attack.

3. Personal digital signatures - to fabricate documents, including emails, transaction, orders, etc that are normally trusted implicitly due to the signature

This one can be done with a collision attack. You generate two different documents which hash to the same value, but have different contents. The PDF format, unfortunately, make it pretty easy to generate documents which look sensible and have this property. It's not possible with more transparent formats (not without a second pre-image attack).

4. Subordinate CA certificates - to create trusted certificates which permit all of the above

The problem lies with #4.

This can only be done with a collision attack if the CA is really, really stupid. Proper CAs should include chain-length restrictions in their certificates. That way even if you can create two certificates which hash to the same value, one of which has the keyCertSign bit set to true (which the CA would refuse to sign) and one of which does not (which presumably you can get the CA to sign), it wouldn't matter because if you used the former to generate other certs, no one would accept them due to the fact that your chain is too long.

The only solution is to discontinue the use of SHA1 internally and to revoke trust for all CAs that still use SHA1.

I certainly agree that any CA still issuing certificates with SHA1 should not be trusted. Any existing certs based on SHA1 should be scrutinized, but most of them are still secure.

Better crypto has existed for a long time---the standard for SHA2 was finalized in 2001, well over a decade ago.

Absolutely. Of course, I say that as the maintainer (ish) of an open source crypto library that still uses SHA1. In systems that weren't originally designed for digest agility, it's often hard to retrofit. Today's news is a nice kick in the pants, though.

Comment Re: What should happen and what will happen (Score 1) 98

There's a straightforward reason why lots of web apps continued to use MD5 *long* after it was deprecated: MySQL had a function for md5() almost from the start, but didn't have an inline function for SHA() until 4.0.2... and 4.x didn't become the default version in long-term stable server-oriented distros until 2006 or later. Getting a new release to run on YOUR development computer? Easy. Convincing an enterprise sysadmin to let you have it on a production server before it has become the 'stable' default *and* the servers have been upgraded to the new distro release? Good luck. Most developers don't have the social capital & stamina to campaign for newer versions from stubborn admins, and will just say 'fuck it' and use MD5 if their boss isn't ready to fight that battle for them.

Comment Re:What should happen and what will happen (Score 1) 98

The second to last Yahoo security breach was so bad in part because the passwords were hashed with a completely unsalted MD5 https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2016/12/15/yahoo-breach-ive-closed-my-account-because-it-uses-md5-to-hash-my-password/. The lack of salting would have been by itself a problem even when MD5 was still considered secure.

Actually, even with salting, no standard cryptographic hash function is appropriate for password databases. You can squeak by if you iterate the hash function enough times, but even that is pretty weak, since it means that an attacker with lots of GPUs -- or, even worse, special-purpose hardware -- can perform hashes so much faster than you can that the key stretching you obtain is minimal.

The state of the art in password hashing is algorithms like Argon2, with parameters that are tuned to require significant amounts of not just CPU time, but RAM and threads. Argon2, tuned to require, say, 10ms of time on four cores and 256 MiB of RAM, is going to significantly strengthen passwords. The RAM requirement means a GPU with 4 GiB of RAM can only test 16 passwords in parallel, making GPU-based cracking essentially useless, since what GPUs provide is huge parallelism. Custom ASICs would do better, but would still run into bottlenecks on the speed of the RAM. Making really fast cracking hardware would require either huge amounts of RAM, or large amounts of extremely fast RAM. Either way, big $$$.

Even better, if at all possible you should use a hash that is keyed as well as salted. Doing that requires having some place to store the key that won't be compromised by the same sorts of attacks that compromise your password database. In most cases that's hard to do. Argon2 will accept a key so you can get both sorts of protection, though if you can be really, really certain that no attacker can ever get the key, then you can use a standard cryptographic hash function in a keyed mode, e.g. HMAC-SHA256, though I'd still recommend using a purpose-designed password hash (e.g. Argon2) in case your key is compromised.

Comment Re:Paper tax return (Score 1) 76

So you make it harder for yourself

It's not really harder to fill out the forms by hand. And its an issue of the vulnerability of electronic filing that I am concerned with. Somebody has to key in the figures, so it might as well be done by the IRS rather than me. What makes life easier for them also makes it easier for the scammers.

We have to stop thinking of ourselves as being subservient to our bureaucratic overlords.

Comment Re:R&D (Score 1) 100

Apple spends serious coin on Research and Development; far more than their competition.

This is almost true, though the vast majority of Apple's R&D funding is firmly at the D end of the spectrum. IBM used to spend a lot more than Apple on research, though they've cut down a lot. Microsoft still does (around $5bn/year on MSR). These companies and Google (and Oracle, and so on) all throw grants at universities for research, which Apple doesn't. It wasn't until last the last few months that Apple even published any of their research.

Comment Re:AI Snippets... (Score 1) 298

In this respect, it's not really any different from stuff genetic algorithms have been doing for decades. If you have a set of executable tests that can tell if the algorithm is working correctly, then you can evolve something that will pass the tests. Of course, you have absolutely no idea how it will behave on inputs not covered by your tests.

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