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Re: [HV-PAPER] Anti-Phishing Tips You ShouldNotFollow
From: "Mike Nice" <niceman () att net>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 01:22:54 -0500

Tip #4 works precisely because it defeats pharming, MITM and type-alike. The Cert box is nearly impossible to spoof because you would have to spoof
the actual bank's certificate.  Any error and your browser will pop up a
warning dialog that the host name on the SSL cert doesn't match the name of
the host.    That's only assuming that some corrupt CA hasn't issued a
second SSL cert for the real bank host name.


You must not have visited Codefish.  The spoof wrote a https:  web
address in the address bar, and wrote the bottom of the browser to
look just like an SSL connection, complete with a lock. When the lock
was clicked, it popped up something that looked just like the cert
box.  Very well done indeed.

I have not seen Codefish, but Tip #4 does not rely at all on the user's visual acuity except during the initial bookmarking. It is possible that the Codefish technique could work if the Pharming was active during the bookmarking when checking the certificate credentials. This is possible but unlikely.

But later, when the bookmark points to the bank's SSL page, the browser would still pop up an error that the certificate name does not match during the SSL negotiation phase. All the user has to know is 'pick the bank page from favorites, then don't accept any popup warnings'.

I'm continually amazed by the belief that the cert box is sacrosanct.
If the underlying box is compromised, all bets are off.

This is a good point - I wouldn't place any trust in your average E-commerce site. Hopefully a bank would pay more attention to security. The thinking is that if you as a user have secured everything at the client end, there is less risk of a drained account. Presumably in the US, the bank assets are insured by the government if the bank's system is compromised.




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