Feeds

Give young infosec boffins more cash or BAD THINGS will happen – RSA boff

State-sponsored malware already making crypto 'irrelevant'

Seven Steps to Software Security

RSA Europe 2013 Declining support for young science and technology researchers from the US government could hurt technology innovation in the long term, a top computer scientist has warned.

Robert Griffin, chief security architect at information security biz RSA, said complaints about funding featured in all three pairs of Nobel Prize acceptance speeches this year.

Funding is not too much of a problem for established researchers but for "younger researchers there's pressure to publish early or quickly," said Griffin. Government funding for academic research has been cut because of tough economic conditions – but, said Griffin, this is a short-sighted approach because it will hurt researchers over the long term.

Zurich-based Griffin, who has given lectures at MIT and is heavily involved in the EU's Smart Grid project, said that industry needs to engage in the research community. Yet other sources of support are also needed because research breakthroughs can take years to filter down into front-line products.

For example, the RSA algorithm was the result of work by three young researchers - Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman - in 1976. RSA Security was formed six years later in 1984.

During the US edition of the RSA Conference, Shamir said that cryptography is “becoming less important” because of state-sponsored malware. The godfather of encryption warned the security industry to prepare for a 'post-crypto world'.

Griffin, who is also co-chair of the OASIS Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) technical committee, was more upbeat and optimistic. While he stressed the need for continuous review of code, and highlighted the danger potentially posed by prime factorisation methods and other code-breaking techniques, he added that there's still an "opportunity for breakthroughs" in cryptography protocols and schemes.

At a more strategic level, game theory offers a possible means to get ahead of attackers – or, at least, to develop better techniques that can thwart or frustrate hacking attacks, according to Griffin.

Such strategies might include changing crypto keys at a frequency rapid enough to make brute force attacks unviable, as explained in more depth in a paper on the application of game theory to security problems co-authored by Griffin and Ron Rivest.

Griffin added that using security analytics and other techniques, such as the application of the DevOps method, offers a combined approach for improving security defences. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
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
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.