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  2014-11-13

Prime numbers and security

  02:28, by Hagai Bar-El   , 607 words
Categories: Security Engineering
Without much relation to anything, I wrote this short essay about the role prime numbers play in Internet security. In a nutshell, security relies on the ability to form leverage for the defender over the adversary. Such leverage can be of one of two… more »

  2014-10-15

Poodle flaw and IoT

  17:53, by Hagai Bar-El   , 457 words
Categories: Security Engineering
The Poodle flaw discovererd by Google folks is a big deal. It will not be hard to fix, because for most systems there is just no need to support SSLv3. Fixing those will only imply changing configuration so not to allow SSL fallback. However, this flaw brings to our attention, again, how the weakest link in security often lies in the graceful degredation mechanisms that are there to support interoperability. Logic that degrades security for the sake of interoperability is hard to do right and is often easy to exploit. Exploitation is usually carried out by the attacker connecting while pretending to be "the dumbest" principal, letting the "smarter" principal drop security to as low as it will go. All this is not new. What may be new is a thought on what such types of flaws may imply on the emerging domain of the Internet-of-Things. more »

  2014-10-11

Snapchat leak -- who is to blame?

  10:52, by Hagai Bar-El   , 242 words
Categories: IT Security, Security Engineering
Snapchat is in the headlines again for allegedly leaking out nude photos of users. They strictly deny that there was any breach of their servers, and blame third party applications for leaking this data. This might be the case, but it is not enough to take them off the hook, especially given that their product is mostly about ​confidence​. more »

  2014-09-23

A gift from Snowden to the European economy

  21:48, by Hagai Bar-El   , 463 words
Categories: Security Policies
When we buy products and services, we trust their provider to follow the norms we believe it follows. When such trust breaks, we need to think what next. In my opinion, the situation that follows the Snowden leaks forms an opportunity for Europe to catch up. more »

  2014-09-06

Book review: "No place to hide" by Glenn Greenwald

  21:14, by Hagai Bar-El   , 411 words
Categories: Sources
I just finished reading the book "No Place to Hide", by the journalist Glenn Greenwald. The book talks about the revelations from Edward Snowden on the actions taken by the NSA, as well as about their implications. more »

  2014-09-05

Capturing PINs using an IR camera

  16:40, by Hagai Bar-El   , 97 words
Categories: Security
This video demonstrates how an IR camera, of the type that can be bought for a reasonable price and attached to a smart-phone, can be used to capture a PIN that was previously entered on a PIN pad, by analyzing a thermal image of the pad after the fact.… more »

  2014-08-19

Protecting network neutrality: both important and hard

  06:14, by Hagai Bar-El   , 2362 words
Categories: Security Policies
The term "network neutrality" is mentioned very often lately. Here is my take of what network neutrality is, and on why it is difficult to regulate and enforce. more »

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