A description of a state of benevolence that exists between two or more parties. A measurement of the confidence in a benign outcome of a transaction involving two or more parties.

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107
votes
14answers
30k views

Is there any technical security reason not to buy the cheapest SSL certificate you can find?

While shopping for a basic SSL cert for my blog, I found that many of the more well-known Certificate Authorities have an entry-level certificate (with less stringent validation of the purchaser's ...
96
votes
8answers
27k views

Why would someone trust DuckDuckGo or other providers with a similar privacy policy?

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that claims it will not share your results with others. Many of my skeptical coworkers think it may be a scam. Is there any proof that any web search engine will ...
93
votes
6answers
17k views

How much can I trust Tor?

How much can I depend on Tor for anonymity? Is it completely secure? My usage is limited to accessing Twitter and Wordpress. I am a political activist from India and I do not enjoy the freedom of ...
68
votes
12answers
9k views

How feasible is it for a CA to be hacked? Which default trusted root certificates should I remove?

This question has been revised & clarified significantly since the original version. If we look at each trusted certificate in my Trusted Root store, how much should I trust them? What factors ...
35
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it safe to trust a Docker container?

When it comes to Docker, it is very convenient to use a third party container that already exist to do what we want. The problem is that those containers can be very complicated and have a large ...
32
votes
11answers
4k views

Is it safe to use a weak password as long as I have two-factor authentication?

I'm careful to use strong passwords (according to How Big is Your Haystack, my passwords would take a massive cracking array 1.5 million centuries to crack), I don't reuse passwords across sites, and ...
26
votes
2answers
7k views

Is there a standard for printing a public key as a barcode?

Is there a standard for storing a public key printed on paper? Say, I want to hand out business cards with my public key pre-printed on them at a key signing party to help build the web of trust. My ...
23
votes
4answers
880 views

Security seals and the “perception of safety”?

I clearly understand that the security seals (verisign or norton secure etc.) shown on banking and other websites are generated using a script and available only after an ssl certificate is purchased ...
22
votes
7answers
7k views

What are some good website security scanning solutions?

What are some good web-based website security scanning solutions? I'm not too concerned if they are web-based solutions, or software that can be run locally. Generally, I'm looking for something we ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the risks of a Certificate Authority hack for 'the average user'?

Recently the DigiNotar CA was hacked, and rogue certificates were issued. Since they also issue certificates on behalf of the Dutch government, the government made a statement about it as well, ...
15
votes
12answers
1k views

Is this much distrust really necessary?

In IT Security and computer power users there seems to be an excessive amount of distrust. They don't do anything or use anything because of this distrust, or use what seems like an excessive amount ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do browsers warn about mixed content for images?

I'm dealing with a phpBB forum user who wants to set up SSL on their entire site to secure user credentials and "private" parts of the website. However, they want to preserve the traditional forum ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How do certificate issuers become trusted?

From what I understand, the certificate scheme that TLS/SSL relies on works because your computer has trust for major CA issuers built into it. That is, your OS is installed with certificates for ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it safe to generate passwords online?

I usually generate strong passwords using various online tools. Some time ago I mentioned it to a friend of mine and he was shocked that I do such dangerous thing. Is it really so unsafe to generate ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the exact meaning of this gpg output regarding trust?

When I import signatures or receive a key with gpg, it outputs some cryptic lines like: gpg: 3 marginal(s) needed, 1 complete(s) needed, PGP trust model gpg: depth: 0 valid: 1 signed: 16 trust: ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

Apparently PayPal-affiliated site with very suspect security

History I got an email this afternoon to my gmail from "paypal@e.paypal.com" with mailed-by: na.e.paypal.com and signed-by: e.paypal.com. Gmail did not report it as spam/phishing/suspicious and it ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

How does an end user differentiate between OV and DV certificates?

This is a very good link that explains the different types of SSL certificates and level of trust provided by them. An Extended Validation (EV) certificate it is easily identified by the green color ...
11
votes
2answers
859 views

How long can X.509 certificate chains be?

Usually, I only see certificate chains with a root CA, an intermediate one, and a third one for the particular SSL/TLS website; but can X.509 certificate chains be deeper than 3 levels? Is there a ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it possible to get all the data I send through wifi?

Is it possible, that the network administrator (wpa2 wifi network) can log all the data the users send and then get password out of it? I know it is not possible to get the password if I'm surfing ...
11
votes
7answers
450 views

Can I trust DNS servers?

If I use my own VPN and use third party DNS - can I trust it? For example, is there any possibilities that an attacker can track the requests by contacting the DNS-hosting (assume that attacker have ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Is client side encryption really better than server side?

Web application may encrypt all user data at client side to convince users that it can't decrypt them. When user enters password, it's used to encrypt data in browser and then it's sent to server in ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I choose whether to trust a particular website?

From @GrahamLee's comment over on this question, this is a very good point: How do I choose whether to trust a particular website when the only information I have relevant to my trust decision is the ...
9
votes
4answers
206 views

How to trust ICs?

While it is theoretically possible to thoroughly examine the source code of Open Source Software to check for backdoors (neglecting a Ken Thompson hack), and given sufficiently adequate knowledge in ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

TPM and storage of keys

A TPM hardware device has very limited non-volatile protected memory just sufficient to store the EK (Endorsement Key) and SRK (Storage Root Key). How does a TPM allow nearly unlimited number of ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to determine if a VPN provider respects data confidentiality?

I've read about why I really should use a VPN and I've been looking into different providers, but there's one thing I'm worried about. Can't a VPN provider just look at my traffic all they want and ...
9
votes
2answers
425 views

I want trusted SMIME certificates for 3rd parties. Is this a reasonable configuration?

I want to send out SMIME certificates with my emails, and want to deploy the following PKI Root01 (All EKU, All Constrants, No Restrictions) PolicyInt01 (Internal applications, not trusted by 3rd ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Alternative to “web of trust”

Let's say I have an SMIME platform where I want to easily establish trust across the entire world for a particular purpose, for example for sharing valid financial information. I think that a ...
8
votes
1answer
766 views

How safe is “trust this computer” option for websites?

Many sites have a "trust this computer" option that allows one to bypass some security measures (ex.: with Google's 2-step authentication enabled, one does not need to enter the phone's code if the ...
8
votes
2answers
381 views

In Linux, when I consider trusting a new software source, what do I need to evaluate?

When I'm using the Linux software PackageKit, I get confused about what specific items of information I will need in order to decide whether to authorize software installation from a new software ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How bad it is to install another company's root certificate to your server?

Our company uses a web server with a couple of web sites on it (private and public, over HTTP and HTTPS, some low risk and some high risk including online payments or other sensitive data for example)....
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to determine whether site is secure from common user's point of view?

What should be done (or at least declared) so end-users, visitors will start trusting your website? Some thoughts: secured login (via https) privacy policy (hidden email and other private ...
7
votes
2answers
263 views

GPG key trust after a signing party

I might be totally misunderstanding the concept of web-of-trust, but imagine the following scenario: I generate my key, then go to a key signing party, and after, I import all the keys which ...
7
votes
4answers
318 views

Must a system be insecure against physical access? If so, why?

Inspired by: Why don't OSes protect against untrusted USB keyboards? Related: What can a hacker do when he has physical access to a system? (I address the points of its main answers below.) There ...
6
votes
3answers
708 views

Are online hash calculators dangerous?

I was about to use an online MD5 checksum calculator when I realized that my result could be added to a database. This is significant because the string I was going to type in was my bank password. ...
6
votes
1answer
942 views

Is Man-In-The-Middle necessary for a CA to read HTTP plaintext?

Although I understand the basic theory behind certificates and asymmetric cryptography, I'm not quite sure on the details of the X.509 protocol. I'm wondering what attacker model a given CA requires ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Dynamic vs Static root of trust

In TCG specification (for TPM devices) they specify how a static root of trust can be built up using secure boot and trusted boot. An alternative method appears to be Intel's Dynamic boot using their ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

How can a new website create trust with users?

Earlier I asked a question on how to authenticate business identities, now I am wondering on the other side (the user side). There is also How do I choose whether to trust a particular website? How ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

Why does a web site operator need to trust an openid provider?

I am working on a web site and am considering using OpenID for authentication. The site will have some low cost ($3-$5) premium services, but will not be protecting particularly sensitive user data, ...
5
votes
3answers
223 views

How can I prove that my software is secure for those who are interested to install it?

I've written a password locker program for Microsoft Windows that encrypts its contents to the local machine. The only way to get the data out is with the encryption key the user knows. It uses the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to verify crypto engine?

If I understand this correctly, when I use a cryptographic (hardware) engine, I have to trust it. Are there any cryptographic algorithms with properties that allow me to verify the correctness of an ...
5
votes
2answers
824 views

TPM- Symmetric key storage

I understand that the TPM can be used to store an unlimited number of keys. However I am left with a few questions: Presuming the TPM is connected on the LPC what protects the data travelling across ...
5
votes
1answer
594 views

'Trusted CA Certificates' and 'Trusted remote Certificates'

What is the difference between Trusted CA Certificates and Trusted remote Certificates?
5
votes
2answers
315 views

How to ensure that a person whose identity has been verified from an I.D. is the author of their exam answers?

Background We are designing a computer based test system where the examinees use their own computers to write their answers. The examinees' computers are booted to a custom Linux OS from USB drives ...
5
votes
1answer
434 views

Trusted Timestamping Scope and Real-World Uses

What security assurances does Trusted Timestamping based on Cryotography provide? What are the real-world uses of Trusted Timestamping?
5
votes
2answers
205 views

How can a certificate be valid in the Hybrid Model but not in the Chain Model?

All dates in European format! I am learning about validity models, but the solution for this assignment confuses me. Translation: The relevant data for the applicable certificates are shown ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Fido: trusting user-agent

As I went through Fido specifications: the server (providing web app/services) need to trust user agent for local fido authentication and if needed can enforce certain policies" I am not sure ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Hiding backdoors in Open Source code in other languages than C and C++?

I am referring to The Underhanded C Contest and Hiding Backdoors in plain sight. They demonstrate, that you can with some cleverness, write Open Source code, publish the code and hide a backdoor in ...
4
votes
3answers
468 views

On an “uncritical” site, is there any reason to NOT trust a self-signed certificate?

There are many sites that have self-signed ("untrusted" in Firefox) certificates. I then have the option to trust them or not. If I not trust them I can either leave the site or only visit the site ...
4
votes
2answers
139 views

Can a website have multiple valid TLS certs looping back to multiple root CAs in case one of them is compromised?

Sometimes, CAs get compromised, like Diginotar or Comodo. In such an incident, anything can happen from individual certs being revoked to the entire tree being scrubbed from the cert store. A company ...
4
votes
2answers
300 views

Reset links in password expiration emails

Our organization is rolling out yearly password expiration to our 40,000+ users this fall and we have been socializing this change for some time now. However being such a large organization, our users ...