[cryptography] The consequences of DigiNotar's failure

M.R. makrober at gmail.com
Sat Sep 17 13:18:11 EDT 2011

On 17/09/11 14:03, Peter Gutmann wrote:
> ... What you're saying is that no-one working in an
> environment where they actually need SSL should trust SSL.

I honestly don't understand why you would say "...where they
actually need SSL...".

Let's first assume we agree on what we mean by various terms here:

That "environment" is one where people who are failed by
their computer communication security system suffer consequences
harsher (much, much harsher!) than a few hundred (or even a few
thousand) dollars of a monetary loss, and where their adversary
is a government unbridled by any need to subject their surveillance
projects to an approval by an independent judiciary.

"SSL" is a system that depends on the security on a large bunch
of "trusted third parties", all of which are selected by various
software vendors and any single one of them can completely subvert
the security of the said communication system.

It is obvious to me then that they ~don't need~ SSL; they should
be instructed to ~avoid~ SSL. Or am I wrong in my understanding
of what SSL is?

Mark R.

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