Feeds

I'll show you mine if you show me, er, mine

New crypto for Wi-Fi

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Security researchers have developed a new cryptographic technique they say will prevent so-called stealth attacks against networks.

A stealth attack is one where the attacker acts remotely, is very hard to trace, and where the victim may not even know he was attacked. The researchers say this kind of attack is particularly easy to mount against a wireless network.

The so-called "delayed password disclosure" protocol was developed by Jakobsson and Steve Myers of Indiana University. The protocol allows two devices or network nodes to identify themselves to each other without ever divulging passwords.

The protocol could help secure wireless networks against fraud and identity theft, and protect sensitive user data. The technique will be particularly useful in ad-hoc networks, where two or more devices or network nodes need to verify each others' identity simultaneously.

Briefly, it works like this: point A transmits an encrypted message to point B. Point B can decrypt this, if it knows the password. The decrypted text is then sent back to point A, which can verify the decryption, and confirm that point B really does know point A's password. Point A then sends the password to point B to confirm that it really is point A, and knows its own password.

The researchers say that this will prevent consumers connecting to fake wireless hubs at airports, or in coffee shops. It could also be used to notify a user about phishing attacks, scam emails that try to trick a user into handing over their account details and passwords to faked sites, provide authentication between two wireless devices, and make it more difficult for criminals to launder money through large numbers of online bank accounts.

Jakobsson is hoping to have beta code available for Windows and Mac by the spring, and code for common mobile phone platforms later in 2005.

More info available here. ®

Related stories

Hotspot paranoia: try to stay calm
Crypto researchers break SHA-1
Cyberpunk authors get the girls

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.