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RE: New Attack on Secure Browsing (fwd)
From: "Brad Griffin" <b.griffin () cqu edu au>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 10:39:11 +1000

 Please forgive me for my tone, but this is just plain puerile, ridiculous and profoundly FUD mongering! It's a favicon 
for the gods sakes! 

Granted there will be a minority of people who may be misled by a fake padlock in some convoluted phishing scam. 
However, can someone explain exactly what needs to be fully disclosed about this non-issue please?

Oh, how about using an favicon of a Police cap. That'll really fukkem! 

-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com [mailto:full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com] On Behalf Of J.A. 
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2004 8:22 AM
To: full-disclosure () lists netsys com
Subject: [Full-disclosure] New Attack on Secure Browsing (fwd)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 17:12:30 +0100
From: Ian Grigg <iang () systemics com>
To: Metzdowd Crypto <cryptography () metzdowd com>
Subject: New Attack on Secure Browsing

(((( Financial Cryptography Update: New Attack on Secure Browsing )))))

                              July 15, 2004




Congratulations go to PGP Inc - who was it, guys, don't be shy this time? - for discovering a new way to futz with 
secure browsing.

Click on http://www.pgp.com/ and you will see an SSL-protected page with that cute little padlock next to domain name.  
And they managed that over HTTP, as well!  (This may not be seen in IE version 5 which doesn't load the padlock unless 
you add it to favourites, or some

Whoops!  That padlock is in the wrong place, but who's going to notice?
  It looks pretty bona fide to me, and you know, for half the browsers I
use, I often can't find the darn thing anyway.  This is so good, I just
had to add one to my SSL page (http://iang.org/ssl/ ).  I feel so much
safer now, and it's cheaper than the ones that those snake oil vendors sell :-)

What does this mean?  It's a bit of a laugh, is all, maybe.  But it could fool some users, and as Mozilla Foundation 
recently stated, the goal is to protect those that don't know how to protect themselves.  Us techies may laugh, but 
we'll be laughing on the other side when some phisher tricks users with the little favicon.

It all puts more pressure on the oh-so-long overdue project to bring the "secure" back into "secure browsing."  
Microsoft have befuddled the already next-to-invisible security model even further with their favicon invention, and 
getting it back under control should really be a priority.

Putting the CA logo on the chrome now seems inspired - clearly the padlock is useless.  See countless rants [1] listing 
the 4 steps needed and also a new draft paper from Amir Herzberg and Ahmad Gbara [2] exploring the use of logos on the 

[1] SSL considered harmful

[2]  Protecting (even) Naïve Web Users,
or: Preventing Spoofing and Establishing Credentials of Web Sites 

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