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  2012-03-08

Against the collection of private data: The unknown risk factor

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 734 words
Categories: Security Policies, Counter-media

I bet there are thousands of blog posts advocating privacy and explaining why people should resist governments and companies collecting personal data. I dare to write yet another one because I would like to make a couple of points that I have never seen made before. This post will discuss one of these two points: the unknown risk.

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  2012-03-02

Improving the security provided by Yubikey for local encryption

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 697 words
Categories: IT Security

In the previous post, I discussed the use of Yubikey for local encryption. I noted that Yubikey can store a long string that can be used as an encryption key, or a password. It provides no extra protection against key-loggers, but still allows to use strong passwords without remembering and typing them. Today, I would like to discuss a technique that makes Yubikey based encryption more secure; still not resistant to a key-logger, but resistant to having the Yubikey “borrowed” by a thief.

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  2012-02-26

Using Yubikey with constant keys

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 322 words
Categories: IT Security

Yubikey is the first one-time password generator I saw that can also emit a static password. When you press the button, a constant pre-defined string is entered, just as if it was typed on the keyboard. Is it more secure than typing the password on the keyboard? Not at all (unless shoulder-surfing is an issue.) So how does it differ from entering a long key yourself? It does not. And still, local encryption is a valid use-case just for such a function.

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  2012-02-25

The case for supporting one-time passwords in conjunction with regular ones

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 874 words
Categories: IT Security

A few days ago I got a Yubikey. While exploring use-cases for it, it occurred to me that there is a strong case for a mode of operation which is seldom (never?) used by IT departments: using the token while also supporting static passwords for the same services. It is not suitable for everyone, but it is suitable for the security-aware users. I will now introduce Yubikey in a few words, and then explain the purpose of adding support for one-time password to services that already support static passwords, without eliminating the latter.

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  2012-01-26

I was appointed CTO of Discretix Technologies

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 24 words
Categories: Personal News

On January 23rd, 2012, I was appointed as the CTO of Discretix Technologies Ltd. I have been involved with Discretix since its establishment, 11 years ago.

  2011-09-26

OSMOSIS Online Event

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 14 words
Categories: Personal News

I will be speaking at the OSMOSIS online event, on October 4th, 2011, at 09:00 UTC.

  2011-07-30

Handling the Security Aspect of Smart Grid Product Purchasing

  By Hagai Bar-El   , 1581 words
Categories: Security Engineering, Cyber Security

Smart Grid security is one of the new emerging fields of security. Everybody knows that the new generation of electricity grids requires a new level of security against cyber-wars, cyber-terrorism, and all the rest. Yet, for the purchaser of Smart Grid solutions, it is not always obvious where to start and that to require. The topic is wide, complex, and not very well documented. I do not intend to write a compendium here, but I will share my perspective on how an integrator, or purchaser, may prefer to approach the problem of evaluating Smart Grid solutions from the security perspective.

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