If you think you are seeing a pattern over the last two days, about how insecure the internet is, especially when it comes to financial transactions, then you'll also notice that the Paradigm Shift I've been talking about is starting to take shape.
It's becoming increasingly clear.
- Internet Security Broken
- No Website is Safe
- Online Transactions aren't safe
- Use the Internet for browsing, use another device for payments.
Security researchers: Online transactions aren’t as safe as we thought
Internet security is busted, said researchers at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas today.
If this sounds familiar it’s because just a year ago, Dan Kaminsky (pictured left) found a flaw in the Internet’s address book, the Domain Name System, where hackers could fool DNS servers into redirecting traffic to bogus sites. The tech industry pulled together quickly to patch the hole and minimize the vulnerability.
The same thing happened here, as Kaminsky rounded up a coalition of companies to deal with a weakness in X.509, a cryptographic system used to create digital certificates. The digital certificates are the way that a web site can verify the identity of a unique users who is visiting the site and wants to do a transaction. It’s a lot like using a passport photo to identify someone standing in front of you. Everyone from Amazon.com to Microsoft uses it in so-called digital handshakes that precede e-commerce transactions.
When Kaminsky walked into the standing-room only auditorium where he talked about the flaws in X.509, he got a lot of applause. You would never know that a day earlier his own personal web site, Doxpara.com, got hacked.
But Kaminsky held the crowd spellbound as he elaborated in great technical detail. Then he got started describing what he called the “crisis of authentication.” He showed that by altering a line in a digital certificate, hackers could fool users into believing that a site is legitimate when it really isn’t.
Businesses have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the public key infrastructure system that was developed in the 1990s. Now Kaminsky, as well as grad student Len Sassaman (second from right) says we need to reboot the system. Tim Callen, (pictured far right), a vice president at Internet infrastructure authority VeriSign, pretty much agreed.
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The conjunction of technologies and the monetizing of hacking haveresulted in a web environment where no websites, legitimate or not canbe trusted.