[cryptography] Client certificate crypto with a twist
jkatz at cs.umd.edu
Wed Oct 10 09:52:35 EDT 2012
On Wed, 10 Oct 2012, Guido Witmond wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I'm proposing to revitalise an old idea. With a twist.
> The TL;DR:
> 1. Ditch password based authentication over the net;
> 2. Use SSL client certificates instead;
> Here comes the twist:
> 3. Don't use the few hundred global certificate authorities to sign
> the client certificates. These CA's require extensive identity
> validations before signing a certificate. These certificates are
> only useful when the real identity is needed.
> Currently, passwords provide better privacy but lousy security;
> 4. Instead: install a CA-signer at every website that signs
> certificates that are only valid for that site. Validation
> requirement before signing: CN must be unique.
Looking at this just from the point of view of client-server
authentication, how is this any better than having the website generate a
cryptographically strong "password" at sign-up time, and then having the
client store it in the password cache of their browser?
Note that both solutions suffer from the same drawback: it becomes more
difficult for a user to log on from different computers.
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