[cryptography] SSL is not "broken by design"

M.R. makrober at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 02:34:49 EDT 2011

On 17/09/11 17:56, lodewijk andré de la porte wrote:
 > ...therefore assumes others assume SSL to be broken by design...

SSL is not "broken by design"!

SSL was designed to protect relatively low-value retail commerce,
and it still does that job reasonably well.

What failed were our mechanisms to ensure that system usage regime does
not exceed it's design parameters. If I can be flippant, SSL was a
pedestrian bridge which ended up used to drive 18-wheelers across it.

What failed was the total absence of an equivalent of a notice in
big red letters somewhere on the access ramp: "this structure is not
capable of carrying heavy vehicles. If you use it to do so, it will
collapse and you will get hurt or killed".

There once was a rich, well organized industry fighting such move,
(think CA's :), but we finally got those "Smoking Kills" notices on
cigarette boxes. And the reasons we are not, at least as a stop-gap
measure, putting up such notices on browsers (i.e., the package)
right now (as the evidence of the danger of the product misuse is
emerging not only among the experts but among the general public
as well) is twofold: the industry lobby, helped immensely by that
most misguided computer security doctrine: "the user is an uneducated
moron and must be treated accordingly".

Mark R.

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