Security

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 IPv6 represents new territory for most Internet stakeholders, and its rollout will introduce some unique security challenges.

Security / Recently Commented

Writing the Next Chapter for the Historic One-Time Pad

The OTP, or One-Time Pad, also known as the Vernam cipher, is, according to the NSA, "perhaps one of the most important in the history of cryptography." If executed correctly, it provides uncrackable encryption. It has an interesting and storied history, dating back to the 1880s, when Frank Miller, a Yale graduate, invented the idea of the OTP. Communication was expensive and difficult in the age of telegrams, and few messages were easily encrypted. more»

NTP is Still a Security Risk

The Network Time Protocol (NTP) has been in the news a number of times over the past couple of years because of attacks on the protocol, vulnerabilities in the daemon, and the use of NTP in DDoS attacks. In each case, the developers of NTP have responded quickly with fixes or recommendations for remediating these attacks. Additionally, the development team has continued to look ahead and has worked to enhance the security of NTP. Unfortunately, that has not translated to an improved security picture for NTP. more»

Who Is Responsible for Your Application's Security?

The dividing line between developers and IT operations used to be distinct. Developers were responsible for adding new features securely, but it was IT operations who had responsibility for infrastructure and network security. For the most part, developers didn't have to think too much about the wider security context. With the advent of the cloud, and of devops, things changed radically. more»

We Need You: Industry Collaboration to Improve Registration Data Services

For more than 30 years, the industry has used a service and protocol named WHOIS to access the data associated with domain name and internet address registration activities... The challenge with WHOIS is that it was designed for use at a time when the community of users and service operators was much smaller and there were fewer concerns about data privacy. more»

Internet Governance in Transition: The ITU as a Battleground for Rival Visions

During the past few years, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been a battleground where governments promote rival visions of how the Internet should be governed. Although there has been a recent cease-fire as Internet governance debates have focused more on the role of ICANN, those skirmishes may soon restart at the ITU... Co-authored by Ambassador Gross (chair of Wiley Rein's International & Internet Practice), Carl R. Frank, Umair Javed, and Sara M. Baxenberg (members of Wiley Rein's Telecom, Media & Technology Practice). more»

DNS and Stolen Credit Card Numbers

FireEye announced a new piece of malware yesterday named MULTIGRAIN. This nasty piece of code steals data from Point of Sale (PoS) and transmits the stolen credit card numbers by embedding them into recursive DNS queries. While this was definitely a great catch by the FireEye team, the thing that bothers me here is how DNS is being used in these supposedly restrictive environments. more»

Problems With the Burr-Feinstein Bill

What appears to be a leaked copy of the Burr-Feinstein on encryption back doors. Crypto issues aside -- I and my co-authors have written on those before -- this bill has many other disturbing features. (Note: I've heard a rumor that this is an old version. If so, I'll update this post as necessary when something is actually introduced.) One of the more amazing oddities is that the bill's definition of "communications" (page 6, line 10) includes "oral communication", as defined in 18 USC 2510. more»

The Second Machine Age Calls for Vision and Leadership

This post I've been pondering on for a long time, but never found the right angle and perhaps I still haven't. Basically I have these observations, thoughts, ideas and a truckload of questions. Where to start? With the future prospects of us all. Thomas Picketty showed us the rise of inequality. He was recently joined by Robert J. Gordon who not only joins Picketty, but adds that we live in a period of stagnation, for decades already. "All great inventions lie over 40 years and more behind us", he points out. more»

Head of UK Intelligence Agency Says Tech Companies Should Provide a Way Around Encryption

In a speech at the Internet Policy Research Initiative at MIT, British intelligence agency GCHQ director Robert Hannigan said Monday that law enforcement and intelligence officials want only targeted ways to stop what he called "abuse of encryption" by ISIS and other terrorists and criminals. more»

DNSSEC Workshop Streaming Live from ICANN 55 in Marrakech on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What is the current state of DNSSEC deployment around the world and also in Africa? How can you deploy DNSSEC at a massive scale? What is the state of using elliptic curve crypto algorithms in DNSSEC? What more can be done to accelerate DNSSEC deployment? Discussion of all those questions and much more can be found in the DNSSEC Workshop streaming live out of the ICANN 55 meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, on Wednesday, March 9, from 9:00 to 15:15 WET. more»

FBI vs Apple: A Bit Of Light Reading

Encryption is key to commerce online. Anything that weakens it is a threat to the digital economy, so the FBI vs Apple case is something that a lot of people are watching very closely... The most recent development is that Apple has filed "Motion to Vacate the Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search, and Opposition to the Government's Motion to Compel Assistance." Legal filings aren't light bedtime reading, but this one explores the legal issues as well as the privacy and security implications from multiple angles and underlines why this case is so important. more»

Security, Backdoors and Control

Encryption is a way to keep private information private in the digital world. But there are government actors, particularly here in the US, that want access to our private data. The NSA has been snooping our data for years. Backdoors have been snuck into router encryption code to make it easier to break. Today at M3AAWG we had a keynote from Kim Zetter, talking about Stuxnet and how it spread well outside the control of the people who created it. more»

Why More Effort Won't Solve the Exceptional Access Problem

In the debate over government "exceptional access" to encrypted communications, opponents with a technical bent (and that includes me) have said that it won't work: that such a scheme would inevitably lead to security problems. The response -- from the policy side, not from technical folk - has been to assert that perhaps more effort would suffice. FBI Director James Comey has said, "But my reaction to that is: I'm not sure they've really tried." Hillary Clinton wants a "Manhattan-like project, something that would bring the government and the tech communities together". More effort won't solve the problem - but the misunderstanding lies at the heart of why exceptional access is so hard. more»

Thoughts on the Open Internet - Part 1: What Is "Open Internet"

I'm sure we've all heard about "the Open Internet." The expression builds upon a rich pedigree of term "open" in various contexts. For example, "open government" is the governing doctrine which holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight, a concept that appears to be able to trace its antecedents back to the age of enlightenment in 17th century Europe. more»

Verisign's Perspective on Recent Root Server Attacks

On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2015, some of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) root name servers received large amounts of anomalous traffic. Last week the root server operators published a report on the incident. In the interest of further transparency, I'd like to take this opportunity to share Verisign's perspective, including how we identify, handle and react, as necessary, to events such as this. more»