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Re: Security Paleontology - The Jurassic Park rule
From: "Rafal ( Wh1t3Rabbit) Los" <Rafal () IsHackingYou com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:46:42 +0000

Wolfgang - this is both great and scary at the same time. People are historically horrible at managing passwords... so 
now we're going to a system where payment is determined by something we're bad at keeping secret? In theory this is a 
good idea, except for the password part. If they can figure out a way to make the *authentication* more 'secure' then I 
think it's a leap forward.

Thinking about it more, am I wrong thinking this is a shift in possible liability from the merchant (who had no hope of 
doing security right) to the end-user? With the token being useless (and the data now holding very little value) 
outside that merchant, doesn't the focus for attackers now shift to the user and their login name and password pair?

Just thinking out loud here.


-----Original Message-----
From: dailydave-bounces () lists immunityinc com [mailto:dailydave-bounces () lists immunityinc com] On Behalf Of 
Wolfgang Kandek
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:40 AM
To: Dave Aitel
Cc: dailydave () lists immunityinc com
Subject: Re: [Dailydave] Security Paleontology - The Jurassic Park rule

Interesting thought. I listened to the following report on Visa' new Checkout system on my home from work yesterday and 
it seems in line with your suggestion. Online retailers get a one-time token for each transaction from Visa's system 
which makes storage of card data unnecessary at the retailer. I think that is comparable to how a Paypal transaction 
would look like, but I  am not sure how the same level of comfort (1-click buy) that we have today with credit card 
storage can be reached with this type of system.



On Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 6:51 AM, Dave Aitel <dave () immunityinc com> wrote:
I got a bunch of replies that said this:
Dave, enjoyed reading your rant, but I don't understand your punchline 
on securing data --"but in fact, just to make it less valuable" - how 
do you do make data less valuable?

So to bring us back to how you do this, let 's take a quick look at 
credit cards and Target, which are the best example of an "If you 
collect it, hackers will come" information security strategy. What 
Target really wants is not Chip and Pin (or worse, Chip and Sign), but 
a transactional system that is only good ONE TIME and to ONE PERSON. 
What they want is something where I say "On this day please pay Target 
11.50 USD" and then cryptographically sign it. This is actually not 
that hard to do in the age of smart phones and Google wallet.

If you steal a bunch of those signed blobs, NOBODY CARES. They are 
useful only to Target and only for that one day. I guess you could 
datamine them and find out I bought a toothbrush that rotates because 
I'm a sucker for such things, but that's it.  We don't as a society 
have to fund a giant team of FBI and SS agents to hunt down teenagers 
in Eastern Europe (those headlines where we crow about arresting some 
teenager are embarrassing to everyone involved).

In RSA's case you have to wonder why they have the key material for 
their SecureID tokens in a DB of any kind at all? Just delete that 
stuff as you create it. Instead of collecting data, how about NOT collecting data?
Wysopal likes to go on about "security technical debt", which is 
essentially when you are building a system and you don't consider 
security and later you have assess, retrofit, or junk the entire 
system (this is the credit card system from A to Z in a nutshell). 
Honestly, this is something M&A people really should take into 
consideration a lot earlier in their valuation process.

But there is also a technical debt associated with collecting any kind 
of large database of information. This is counter-intuitive because 
having lots of information is a very valuable thing for a corporation 
or Government agency! But it is also a huge liability, and so building 
these databases should be undertaken with caution. If you haven't 
asked "How can I make this database valueless to anyone but me?" then 
you have already failed at information security and you are left to worry about IT security instead.


On 7/16/2014 4:29 PM, Dave Aitel wrote:

Like many of you, I went to the theater with a child much too young 
and re-watched new and more awesome 3D-Jurrassic Park until they cried 
loudly enough to annoy the other theater-goers and wanted to leave. 
Because in 3D, those big dinosaur things are scary. And also that dude 
gets eaten while on the toilet.

And, honestly, looking at a lot of the security problems my friends 
are dealing with  on the defensive side makes me re-iterate that I'd 
rather be eaten, while on the toilet if necessary, by a large reptile 
than ever try to convince someone that "cloud security" was possible. 
How are you going to do anything securely in the cloud, when the core 
problem of performance isolation is basically just a lot of hands 
waving over a lot of CPU's in the basic architecture of perfidy that 
Seymore Cray would have cried to have even dreamed about.

I know you all feel the same way about sitting through any 
presentations on Internet Scale Performance - except all your IO is 
going over a cleartext leased line through both China and Russia 
before coming back to you, on machines whose hypervisors are all 
corrupted by malware that "can't possibly exist".

And, of course, what my friends often want to know about is "the root 
cause".  You can probably see the 
that make up a lot of Al Quada's command structure thinking the same thing.
"Maybe if we just stop using cell phones so much we'll stop getting 
eating by the giant beasts that are hunting us?" And you can see 
Target's new team using that same tone of voice except in a much nicer 
cave somewhere in suburbia. "Hey, if we switch to whitelisting our 
point of sales systems, will that prevent hackers from stealing all 
the credit cards that people still use to buy their kids giant book bags that can double as Go Karts?"

And the answer, is of course, that if you put lots of sugar in a bowl, 
flies will find a way to eat it.  Life will find a way! It's the 
Jurassic Park rule, and it applies equally to credit card numbers,  
RSA token key information and State Department cables. The way to 
secure your data is not to add layers of encryption and whitelisting, 
but in fact, just to make it less valuable. You can see Archer saying 
"This is why we get Ants" right here, and it's not a coincidence that INNUENDO's logo is a big ant head.


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