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  2005-05-14

Watermarking for DRM? Maybe one day

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 228 words
Categories: Security Engineering

One of the biggest hurdles of DRM results is that content can somehow be leaked by a few skilled individuals and then find itself on the peer-to-peer networks again. The only way to mitigate this threat is by embedding a watermark on the plain content data that will be used either by the playback devices to recognize pirated content or for identifying the source of leaked content on the network.

That’s nice, but for this we need a watermarking scheme that can be detected by a non-secret mechanism (called Public Watermarking) and for this mechanism to be such that makes it impossible, or at least very difficult, to peel the mark off. Unfortunately, these two requirements are known to be contradicting. The schemes being public implies that anyone can form an oracle that will tell him as soon as the mark was rendered useless. Once such an oracle is available there is a simple iterative process to be followed by which changes are introduced to and removed from the original content until the result is another piece of content that on one hard is not too different from the original and on the other hand does not contain a usable mark.

This is not to say that watermarking for DRM is doomed to failure - this is just to say that a breakthrough is needed to make it happen.

  2005-04-29

Open Source Disk Encryption

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 163 words
Categories: IT Security, Products

About two months ago I was delighted to see the new version of what I consider to be the first open source drive encryption program for Win32. It’s name is TrueCrypt, and it provides functionality that resembles that of DriveCrypt from SecurStar.

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  2005-02-28

Worms Using Search Engines

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 357 words
Categories: IT Security

Check out this news item:

Latest Mydoom shows hackers using search engines for attacks

It’s about Internet based worms making use of search engines to spread out. In the examples presented the worms search Google, Lycos, etc., for e-mail addresses and for vulnerable machines to hop to using specially-crafted search strings.

I was not aware of this trend of worms before so I agree it’s new. Yet, I don’t agree with any fear associated with this new brand of worms. These worms are somewhat novel in their approach. Yet, I think this approach is better for us (the good guys) rather than worse.

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