[cryptography] Client TLS Certificates - why not?

Jeffrey Walton noloader at gmail.com
Wed Mar 6 10:40:59 EST 2013


On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 6:33 AM, StealthMonger
<StealthMonger at nym.mixmin.net> wrote:
> ...
>
>> The key, and the hash of the key, is a long string of random
>> gibberish.  It should not be visible to end users.  Experience
>> demonstrates that showing it repels 99% of end users.
>
> Merchant includes its telephone number in every advertisement and
> repeatedly admonishes prospects to call.
>
> The telephone number may be a long string of random digits.  Yet end
> users understand that they have to use it if they want to follow up.
You've moved the problem around again :)

I have thought about a pre-recorded telephone messages to provide
authenticity assurances. What do we do when the telecoms are in bed
with the government? Its happened in real life: the US Congress passed
a law that it [unauthorized wiretapping and domestic spying] was OK
after the fact, even though it was illegal before the incident
(https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying). Is there any difference between
spying and tampering?

In the end, I think telephone based assurances are an untrusted
channel. The risk may be acceptable to you based on your data
sensitivity. I choose not to trust them (it's part of my
'infrastruture is insecure' mantra).

Jeff



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