[cryptography] phishing/password end-game (Re: Why anon-DH ...)

Warren Kumari warren at kumari.net
Fri Jan 18 12:29:42 EST 2013

On Jan 18, 2013, at 11:14 AM, ianG <iang at iang.org> wrote:

> On 17/01/13 05:21 AM, dan at geer.org wrote:
>>  > To clarify:  I think everyone and everything should be identified by
>>  > their public key,...
>> Would re-analyzing all this in a key-centric model rather than
>> a name-centric model offer any insight?  (key-centric meaning
>> that the key is the identity and "Dan" is an attribute of that
>> key; name-centric meaning that Dan is the identity and the key
>> is an attribute of that name)
> Key-centric works up until a point.  It is certainly more elegant and more secure in technical terms, but some assumptions tend to need to be handwaved away to make it workable.
> Primarily, storing the key and protecting it seems to result in the same old mess -- it has to be stored somewhere safe and kept safe.  

… and available.

When you are at one of the hotel "Print your boarding pass here" things here and suddenly need your United credentials, or are visiting your granny and sudden discover that the great stock tip that your barber gave you last week is not actually so great, and need your E-Trade credentials so you can use her machine to sell, well….

Sure, you can store them all in the "cloud" and protect them with… err… a username and password and then just download the ones you need and import them and… 
Oh, and this needs to be usable by the sort of folk who need help plugging in a USB cable…

> Which tends to imply ... name and password.


> Now, with mobile phones, things have got a lot better in that respect. Cells (as this audience likely calls them) are small, powerful and most importantly with their owners all the time.  They can certainly store keys and keep them safe, in principle.

Yes, but at some stage you are going to have to get them off the phone and into some untrusted kiosk machine (or granny's desktop or…). Sure, I should't be providing credentials to anything like this, but, well, everyone cones, so it needs to be possible…

> But things have also got a lot worse in other respects.  The security model on phones seems to lack, and as attention mounts, we seem not to be seeing that iron-clad expectation that we'd desire.  E.g., rumours of Android hacks.
> Also, the confounded users tend to lose their phones or have them stolen.  And then they demand their 'identities' back, as if nothing has happened.  So the keys need to be agile, in some sense.  Which pushes us away from the phone, to cloud, or a variant, and then we're back to the same old remote password problem.


> iang
>> --dan
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