197

Public WiFi is still insecure, and it will always be if not used together with something like a VPN. Many websites use HTTPS, but not nearly all. In fact, more than 30 percent don't. Only around 5 percent of websites use HSTS. And it's still trust on first use. If the max age is short, that first use can be quite often. Let's face it, even if you are ...


141

The way I see it, not storing passwords in Git (or other version control) is a convention. I suppose one could decide not to enforce it with various results, but here's why this is generally frowned upon: Git makes it painful to remove passwords from source code history, which might give people a false idea that the password was already removed in the ...


117

I'm a little surprised that nobody has pointed out that there's more to the internet than HTTP. Even if your claims about HTTP(S) and HSTS were correct (and other answers discuss that), you're forgetting POP, SMTP, IMAP, FTP, DNS, etc. None of these protocols are inherently secure.


92

First, the non-security reason: Password Change Workflow Passwords change independently of a software application code. If a DBA changes a database password, does it make sense for developers to have to update the code, get a new build and release to production, and try to time it all? Passwords are a runtime configuration artifact, not development ...


49

There is no real concept of an "average user with no special access rights". From the perspective of an attacker the main point is if the effort needed for an attack is less then the gain of the attack. Even an "average user" might have crypto wallets or precious twitter accounts. Sometimes the gain of an attack is also not that obvious, like when a ...


48

Compared to the famous HeartBleed bug leak, this is similar in some ways: the uninitialized memory exposure means unrelated private data is disclosed. The things that are better This only affected code running on CloudFlare, and the bug ceased to function an hour after notification. No new data can be leaked via this bug. If somebody had awareness of this ...


37

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 I'm ...


37

Like most embedded hardware (routers, etc), their firmware often sucks, and unless you have unlimited time I'm afraid there is no way to thoroughly check every single camera out there. And even if you do find one that's currently secure, what guarantees that you'll get updates for vulnerabilities that will be discovered in the future ? Instead, I suggest ...


29

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 family ...


24

It's always important to keep in mind that suggestions do have to be tailored to fit your use-case. Security safeguards taken by, say, the NSA to protect all the zero-days they keep around for a rainy day should be much more stringent than security safeguards taken to protect up-votes on a cat-picture-posting site. On one extreme, I can think of an example ...


23

Another difficulty of public wifi access is that you are on the same local network as other unknown actors. Any misconfiguration of your local network permissions can lead to an intrusion into your device. Maybe at home, you have configured shared data on your local network. Now, everybody on the same wifi access point may have access to those shared data....


15

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 ...


15

Like many things, there is a tiny bit of truth in there, but overall it is a non-issue in practice and incidents are reported/perceived totally out of perspective. Most stuff, including every new system that comes up every few months and that completely obsoletes everything else is usually based on personal financial interests, dogma, belief, and snake oil. ...


13

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 you'...


13

Keeping secrets (passwords, certificates, keys) separate from source code makes it possible to manage source and secrets according to different policies. Like, all engineers can read the source code, only the people who are directly responsible for production servers can access the secrets. This makes life easier for developers because they're not bound by ...


12

This convention, like many other security "best practices" is a handy way of making sure that things don't go wrong because of bad habits or routine. If you always remember that your sensitive passwords are in your version control system and if you never give anyone who shouldn't have the password access to the repository and if your repository is stored as ...


10

A replay attack is an attack where you record a legitimate transaction and then replay it at a later date. It is not an attack on confidentiality because the attacker isn't learning any new information: he has the same data than what he recorded in the first place. it might lead to an unauthorized access but that is a different issue. It is not an attack ...


10

This started off as a comment on Andre's answer, but it got a bit long. USB is fine as long as none of the cameras are more than 16 foot from the host :) Since you need to run power out to the cameras anyway, just run a wired ethernet connection to the LAN (or use POE if you can find cameras which support it). On an un-routed subnet, most of the inherent ...


10

I would argue that any time you connect to a publicly accessible network you're putting yourself at risk, VPNs are great, but do nothing to firewall your machine against the threats on the local network if you, the user, screw up and open say: your private folder for sharing to anyone else. One strategy I employed and played with in the past when on a ...


10

"Should I worry?" is not a technical question-- you can worry about anything you want. For Information Security purposes it is more helpful to consider specific threats, balancing their probability and risk against cost and inconvenience. A different question you could ask is whether SMS 2FA is sufficient mitigation against criminal teams working on mass ...


9

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

EDIT - Modified this answer slightly (now three parts) Low Budget Version Pick up a used router (laying around the house?), install dd-wrt on it and turn off the WiFi. Bingo, ready made 4 port switch. You won't get PoE for the cameras, but, if needed, that's easily rectified (pun intended) with a PoE adapter or just wall warts. Run a VPN on the dd-wrt ...


8

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 ...


8

Some of the concern has to do with MiTM attacks and the tendency for laptops to be configured to blindly connect to open networks based on SSID after the initial connect. Nothing stops an unknown party from firing up an access point with the same SSID as is used at other locations. Thus, while some of your traffic may be protected, a fair amount won't be, ...


8

Tl;DR Time is on your side. Note: leave your own phone at home and preferably own a car without GPS. Drive 100 miles from home and buy a cheap used laptop/Android device with functioning Wi-Fi in cash from any source with bad/non-existent record-keeping If laptop then make sure it has the most common OS such as Windows 10 Make sure to park your car about ...


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

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

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.


7

tl;dr Auditors Many data security audits require data to be encrypted at rest. Often the threat model is an old hard drive ending up on eBay or picked out of the dump. If the data is unencrypted on these drives and they are not properly handled/destroyed there could definitely be data loss. There is also the classic "truck backing up into the datacenter" ...


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 computer, ...


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