10 posts • joined 28 Nov 2012
Some great points and without wishing to argue, let me put your "that'll never happen" comment under scrutiny.
Have you considered your source of IV, MAC protection, block algorithm, memory dump mitigation?
You don't need a piece of malware written specifically to thwart your defences... it's often the seemingly minor things which catch you out.
For example, what happens if your PC crashes while your data is in memory? All those lovely creds along with a detailed trace are almost certainly written to your drive. Now you have to find where they are and safely destroy them. You can't control every aspect of even your own environment... it's one of the reasons "roll your own" attempts fail.
I'm not saying you're wrong, just that it's a bad idea in general. If it works for you and you're mindful if the risks, you're still safer than most.
Security is always excessive until it's not enough. There has never been a valid "that'll never happen" or "chances are zero" argument... and there never will be.
Re: useful alternatives to the usual - gpg4usb or locknote
Sorry DMDeck16, but that's a really bad idea... and probably not for the reasons you'd think.
Your data is most at risk when in plain format... for example, when you need to sign in somewhere. The associated strengths of LockNote/GPG4USB or indeed any app you choose pale into insignificance as soon as you've decrypted your data.
Although all password managers use different storage techniques (passcards, databases, keychains et al), they all share something in common... they store each record separately.
By keeping all records in a single text file, you're encrypting & decrypting masses of data which for 99% of the time, you don't need. For instance, logging in to Facebook via Roboform decrypts only the credentials required for Facebook. Putting the rest of your credentials in memory only increases the risk.
If you go down the route of "store each LockNote/GPG4USB file separately", you're basically creating your own password manager. Trust me, the chances of you doing a better job than (for example) 1Password are slim to nothing. That's not a slight at you personally either... but good password management is about more than applying AES to everything in sight.
Re: I use FTP to store stuff on the Internet
WinRAR encrypt isn't particularly strong, and using FTP regardless of password size is insecure because passwords and data are transmitted insecurely (plain text). Use SFTP instead, if supported.
I use 1Password and at the moment, I wouldn't touch anything else. Dashlane is a close second, but it's not mature or well-rounded enough just yet. LastPass is pretty good too, although their bookmarklets are insecure and I personally don't like auth/decryption being handled in the same location as the data (the portal). There's nothing particularly wrong with that method, I just prefer most of the process being handled offline while still leveraging the benefits of cloud sync.
Re #4 (verifiably secure) - You're never going find anything which is absolutely and conclusively "secure", what matters is security in response to risk. This is where 1Password shines. The design and implementation are measured responses by experts to whom the word "security" means more than wrapping text in AES. There are "risks" with 1Password, I actually demo'd them before I purchased it (see blog under "Forgot your password? You're doing it wrong") but when you quiz AgileBits (makers of 1Password) they respond honestly and transparently. Trust is everything in this industry. Try the 30 day trial, ask AgileBits the same questions I asked of SiberSystems... compare the responses.
Re #5 (Trust) - This is difficult. If you're going to use a PW manager, you have to trust someone. I'm a firm believer in Kerckhoff's principle which (paraphrasing) says a system should remain secure when everything about it is known to everyone, other than the key. If a company will not openly discuss the way they protect your data, walk away. It doesn't necessarily mean it's inherently insecure, but it could be an indication that they haven't quite grasped the concept fully. If you spot something, no matter how trivial... ask questions. If something doesn't make sense (for example when "we never get the key" suddenly becomes "we get the key, but we don't keep it"), seek advice or walk away. Most importantly, look for security reviews... not just reviews. What prompted the early release of this blog was a tweet by TechRepublic (see bottom of article) which said "Roboform is enterprise-worthy". Trouble is, it was a comment by a respected journalist... so convincing users otherwise is difficult.
You're pretty much right. It doesn't so much default to true... it simply checks if the param exists and loads the PIN entry screen. If it doesn't exist, it loads the app as normal.
Harsh but hey, if it makes you feel better.
Re: Missing the point
With respect Richard, I haven't missed the point at all. The ICO don't collect/retain sensitive information by design... a design which can be altered by anyone using XSS.
The point is, the genuine ICO site may have been collecting personal information for the last 5 years... they just wouldn't know about it. In the screenshot above (twitter link), I've replaced the entire page with a fake article, but it could very easily be a malicious form which forwards the data to a remote location. As the data never hits the ICO's server, they'd be none-the-wiser.
Highly unlikely, sure... but possible. This is the lowest of the low hanging fruit and the ICO missed it, several times. The altruistic notion of the ICO "protecting us", from a technology standpoint at least, is laughable. The site had both stored & reflected XSS and an SQLi exploit in the data protection register, ironically... not to mention the SSL failures late last year. It's shambolic to say the least.
Model of best practice? Give me a break.
Funny you should mention that Frankee...
Re: Not quite sure why all the downvotes.
I hope it's not an N66U, or you've jumped out the frying pan, skipped the fire and landed in a volcano.
Quick review of this site for you good folks... with advice on KeePass & IdentitySafe.
Re: False assumptions?
I look forward to the book ;)
It's a good point though; which makes it all-the-more important to ensure that nobody can change details without authorisation.
Thank you John for publishing this story.
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