[cryptography] yet another certificate MITM attack

Jeffrey Walton noloader at gmail.com
Fri Jan 11 10:04:42 EST 2013

On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 7:47 PM, Peter Gutmann
<pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz> wrote:
> Jon Callas <jon at callas.org> writes:
>>Others have said pretty much the same in this thread; this isn't an MITM
>>attack, it's a proxy browsing service.
> Exactly.  Cellular providers have been doing this for ages, it's hardly news.
> (Well, OK, given how surprised people seem to be, perhaps it should be news in
> order to make it more widely known :-).
Its not so much surprise as it is frustration (for me).

My secure coding guides include something similar to:
  * Do not send sensitive information, such as usernames
    and passwords, through query parameters (GET)
  * Use HTTPS, send using POST

How do web applications pin their certificates when the language
(HTML) and the platform (Browser) do not offer the functionality?

How do the proxies determine which HTTPS traffic is benign, "public
information" vs sensitive, "private information"?

How do carriers know when its OK to log benign, "public information"
vs sensitive, "private information"?

How do carriers differentiate the benign, "public information" data
from the sensitive, "private information" before selling it to firms
like GIGYA?

How do we teach developers to differentiate between the good
"men-in-the-middle" vs the bad "man-in-the-middle"?

Until we can clearly answer those questions, I will call a pot and
kettle black. Interception is interception, and its Man-in-the-Middle.

>From my [uneducated] data security point of view, it is best to stop
the practices. HTTPS is the cue to stop the standard operating
procedures on consumer information because the information is (or
could be) sensitive. All I care about is the user and the data (as a
person who endures life after a data breach).


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