Feeds

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

New crypto for Wi-Fi

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.