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27

There's a great short essay written by Bruce Schneier on the right of privacy: The most common retort against privacy advocates -- by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures -- is this line: "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?" Some clever answers: "If ...


22

Positive reasons Instead of a beach holiday, we joined a Christian Mission this summer in Malawi. We're keeping quiet about it in case the children are teased at school. I leapt into the road and saved a toddler's life. I just walked away because I don't want any fuss. Controlling dissemination My wife is pregnant, great news! We want to tell close ...


14

Officially, they are pushed forward to allow people in dictatorships to break laws restricting their freedom of information and/or expression. Because, the problem with the law is, that you need some people to make it, and wherever people are involved, they try to get their beliefs into the law. As such, laws, even in so-called "democracies", are not always ...


11

Just to address one point: Credit card insurance protects them from fraud This makes several assumptions, none of which are to be relied on: You assume that the insurance will pay out. It would be safer to assume that the insurer will try to avoid paying out, and require you to prove that you didn't give away your card details. This may be tricky if ...


10

Ok, this is a pretty nasty flaw. If directory traversal is possible, the attacker might overwrite often-used executables in order to infect the box with malware. From there, the rest of the network could get infected through a whole range of different mechanisms: USB spreading, remote code execution vulnerabilities, spear phishing, etc. Worse, they could ...


9

If the victim is using an open wireless network, spoofing DNS is easy. It is easy for the attacker to mount a man-in-the-middle attack and send forged DNS responses. Therefore, if you are using an open wireless network, you should not trust DNS at all: it is trivial to spoof. Similarly, if the attacker is on the same subnet as you, spoofing DNS is easy: ...


8

If the attacker gets to choose the files he can overwrite, then he just has to replace a few operating system files to completely own the machine (e.g. replace the kernel and wait for the next reboot). If the file names are "contained" (i.e. the files written to by the attacker will necessarily appear in a specific directory or a subdirectory thereof, ...


7

In short, yes it would. But you could also use a simple triage approach if threat modelling is too much of an overhead. In detail - Code analysis can be a time consuming activity. Even tool lead approaches will generate large amounts of output that will require human review and prioritisation. As such a threat modelling approach can help to identify and ...


7

Threat Modeling is really a skill, based on experience, after learning what works and what doesn't. I don't think a choice of framework will make things much easier for you, you will still have the same issues and difficulties that you have now. On the contrary, I would recommend STRIDE-per-element as the better place to start, and later add in ...


6

Just to add some point of view: Have you heard about the 10 Immutable Laws of Security ? It's a bit old, simple, etc., but goes to the point. Inside it you'll find some rules: Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it's not your computer anymore Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your ...


6

I suggest the Microsoft Press book titled "Threat Modeling"


6

OWASP, the Open Web Application Security project, maintains a top 10 list of vulnerabilities. It's available in PDF form. That can be a good starting point for understanding, at a high level. "The OWASP Guide to Building Secure Web Applications and Web Services" explains how web applications can be exploited and how they can be designed for robustness.


6

Definatly maybe. Methods and techniques have value when they assist you in acomplishing a task either more completely or with fewer resources than another approach. So are you looking to do the job thoroughly or more efficiently? Threat modeling may help you come up with test cases that anticipate a practical attack and ignore test cases, and thus code, ...


6

Somebody owning a Tor exit node can sniff and modify any traffic. This includes of course also man-in-the-middle attacks against HTTPS connections. This is not only theoretical attack but used in practice, see https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/8657. See also How safe is Tor from MITM/snooping attacks? for a more detailed answer.


5

SANS.org have a few really good resources. Including: http://www.sans.org/windows-security/2009/07/11/practical-risk-analysis-spreadsheet/ http://software-security.sans.org/resources/paper/reading-room/threat-modeling-process-ensure-application-security ...


5

Microsoft SDL v5 is pretty decent and you have to full paper explaining the whole process that can be downloaded from MSKB: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=12285 If you need to get just a general grasp of the process, you can read a short and solid intro @ TechSurface: ...


5

Yes, the "phone" itself is an application. It can be hijacked or replaced entirely. In fact, Android handsets are DESIGNED to do this so that you can automatically use a VOIP provider when making phone calls if you so desire. Malware with complete device control could simply place itself as such a service and when you dialed a call, it would be connected ...


4

Is DNSSec required for public key/hash distribution? Yes. One has to have a trusted starting point, and in this case that's the signature of the root domain. From there, each corresponding subdomain is signed so there is a chain of continuity to demonstrate that your request was not hijacked at any step of inquiry. Are there any threat models comparing ...


4

If you have zero trace of what happened then you can only make assumptions as to what happened. Standard practice is to identify all platforms and versions, then to look at vulnerability databases to see if there are known weaknesses in your environment. Then look at all information flows and transforms - identifying entrance points. The above are common ...


4

OK, it sounds like you are asking for a policy, plan, and practices for secure system administration of a data center. I have some suggestions for you: Start with a policy. Start by thinking out your security policy. Develop a written security policy, and gain approval from management. Take a look at SANS's resources on security policies. They'll give ...


4

It sounds like you are interested in something similar to the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), except for malware. I am not sure such a thing exists, but here are some similar repositories: http://home.mcafee.com/virusinfo/ http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Threat/Views.aspx http://www.virustotal.com/search.html ...


4

Google Authenticator is based on the Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP). http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-based_One-time_Password_Algorithm The reason that it would be difficult to brute-force is because the tokens change every 30 seconds. So after every 30 seconds of trying to brute-force, the target moves, and suddenly the token can by any ...


4

You are using the expression "zero-knowledge proof" but it does not mean what you believe it to mean. A ZKP proof is a kind of cryptographic protocol by which a Prover demonstrates to a Verifier a given property on a secret value. The proof is "zero-knowledge" if it does not divulge any extra information to the verifier. For instance, suppose that there is ...


4

RFC 5246 does include a threat model, but it is described very succinctly and quite informally. It is at the start of Appendix F: The TLS protocol is designed to establish a secure connection between a client and a server communicating over an insecure channel. This document makes several traditional assumptions, including that attackers have ...


4

For the fraud and "identity theft" angle on this, people should remember that dealing with it always takes someone's time and money. Identity theft can be extremely inconvenient or expensive, and your time is not usually covered by insurance. Another angle is price discrimination. "We see you have $1234.50 in your bank account, therefore the price of this ...


3

It sounds to me like you want your Web based SaaS application to be accessed only by browser/client/hosts that have some system integrity properties that are usually lacking in a typical web client host -- e.g. absence of malware, resistance to malware. If that is so, then you should consider developing a client that is a hardened dedicated browser ...


3

Look at the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle. This is one of the seminal and best-in-breed approaches to secure software development, and Microsoft has generously provided a great deal of material, resources, and tools to support the lifecycle. Also, take a look at the Building Security In Maturity Model (BSIMM). BSIMM doesn't tell you how you ...


3

If you like to get into the basics of Threat Models, then Threat Modelling from Microsoft Press is a nice book. Don't be put off by the introduction-page, it is an overall fine beginner read.


3

In a technical sense, DNS is easy to spoof. It (almost always) uses UDP as the transport protocol, which is trivial to spoof compared to TCP. And DNS itself offers no precautions against spoofing, so if the attacker can return their own packet first, they win. Note that DNSSEC is designed to address this issue and a couple of others. Successful DNS ...


3

Since you refer to SDL I assume you know it already, but to have it mentioned here: Microsoft provides a SDL Threat Modelling Tool (http://www.microsoft.com/security/sdl/adopt/threatmodeling.aspx) OWASP hosts a primer about Threat Risk Modelling (and recommends the use of Microsoft SDL) And of course NIST has a whole load of docs on this topic, e.g.: ...



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