Internet security and privacy

Personal Privacy in the Digital Age
By Philip E. Agre It is the year 2010, and your car is hooked up to the Internet. As you drive, you receive updates and instructions that reflect changing traffic conditions monitored by video cameras and satellites. Your mechanic is able to monitor your engine remotely and alert you if there are signs of a problem. Your entire home music collection is available on the car stereo. But these conveniences come at a price. Your insurance company also tracks your movements, making sure you obey all speed limits. You receive endless personalized advertisements for the businesses that you drive past. The police have noticed that you often drive through a bad part of town and have started a file on you. This scenario is entirely plausible, and the technology is already available or soon will be. But will it actually happen? Is invasion of privacy the unavoidable consequence of technological progress? Hundreds of today's emerging technologies have privacy implications, and many of them, such as wireless data communications, have already become cheap enough to be used on a large scale. Once these technologies become commonplace, it will be nearly impossible to change them. For this reason, taking measures to protect privacy should be high on the agenda of societies throughout the world. Why should we care about a possible loss of privacy? What are some of the potential impacts when our privacy is breached? What data trails does a person create in modern society? How important is the Internet, with its booming demand for online shopping and its free flow of information, to these concerns? What steps can individuals take to control access to data regarding their personal lives and thus protect their privacy? Personal Information and Technology In the modern world privacy issues constantly arise with the collection and dissemination of digitized personal data. This data, the computerized transfer of information by a myriad of devices, has become a routine part of our lives. We exchange this type of data when withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM), borrowing a book from the library, or sending electronic mail (email) on the Internet. Computers also affect our lives in a thousand indirect ways: the bills we get in the mail, the logistical systems that get groceries into the store, telephone networks, and more. To understand the privacy issues that information technology can raise, it is important to understand what computers are and how they are designed. Information technology originated in military and business environments as a way of automating existing practices, such as calculating missile trajectories and scheduling factory operations. As the technology matured, companies such as International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) shaped modern software engineering by drawing on the methods of industrial automation and the language of bureaucracy. The computerized files that are the focus of privacy concerns today are directly descended from the paper files of the past.

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Computers are, above all, representational machines—they manipulate internal patterns of data that represent people, places, and conditions in the outside world. Some data represents the past—for example, when an accounting program keeps records of financial transactions. Other data represents the future, as when a computer simulates the economic impact of a proposed change in taxes. Yet other data represents the present, such as when a tracking device attached to a truck keeps the trucking company informed of its location. Central to the design of any computer system, therefore, is a careful analysis of what sorts of things need to be represented. A designer may decide that a particular system needs to represent people, cars, employees' tasks, and so on. The next step is to decide which attributes of these things need to be represented: an employee's name and job title, the type and location of a car, the inputs and outputs of a task, and so on. Only then is it possible to specify the procedures the computer should follow. The best-designed computer system, however, is useless without a supply of accurate input data. So designers must also provide their machines with the technical means of ―capturing‖ the data. Early computers used simple mechanisms such as keyboards: A person would manually type in the necessary data. Today, however, computers can capture data through an enormous variety of mechanisms. These mechanisms include bar code scanners, tracking devices, and wallet-sized cards with magnetic strips. Some systems also use microphones, cameras, and more exotic kinds of sensors. Streams of Data As a person goes through the day, therefore, representations of his or her activities are continually being captured by computer input devices. Restaurant orders are entered into point-of-sale (POS) terminals, which calculate the bill but also detect patterns in customer dining habits. Medical personnel create detailed records of interactions with patients, thereby assisting future caregivers but also permitting oversight by insurance companies. Email messages at work are filed for easy searching, but also for easy reading by supervisors. Credit card systems capture details of purchases, easing both payment and subsequent marketing. Few of these databases are unknown to consumers, who can see a grocery store's scanner in operation and who most likely realize that a computer prints their electric bill. Even so, few people understand the consequences of all of this data being captured, accumulated, and passed along. It is a complicated matter. For example, data can only be abused if it is individually identifiable—that is, if the computer knows who you are. If you pay by cash in a restaurant, the records in the POS terminal have no way of connecting your identity to the food you ordered. But if you purchase groceries using a grocery store ―club‖ card, you have identified yourself and made it possible for your data to be personally identified and thus possibly manipulated and abused. Because of the dangers posed by individually identifiable information, most organizations take steps to prevent abuse. Computer security, for example, includes numerous measures to prevent data from being used in unintended ways, whether by outsiders ―cracking‖ a password mechanism or by insiders who might be paid by private investigators to retrieve individual records. Responsible organizations also establish clear data-handling policies, such as stringent password requirements, and train their employees to follow them. But these measures are hardly foolproof. Few abuses of personal information leave obvious signs that would tip off victims. As a

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result, the dangers are hard to measure, and few organizations have adequate incentives to take the necessary precautions. Even when security is tight, the most significant dangers to privacy derive from uses of personal information that are consciously chosen. Flows of personal data that are initiated for one purpose are often used for other purposes later on. The most important of these secondary uses of personal information involve the merger of databases from different sources. Records of your supermarket purchases, for example, will be more valuable to marketers if they can be merged with demographic information about your background and lifestyle. By combining the data you generate at the supermarket with, for example, information gleaned from your credit card purchases—where you buy your clothes, rent your videos, and go out to eat—a well-defined profile of your personal tastes could be developed and used for future marketing. In order to merge different databases, however, each database must use the same identifier (a number that has been assigned uniquely to you). In the United States, the identifier most often used is the social security number (SSN). A recent congressional initiative to require states to link social security numbers with driver's licenses, designed to help control illegal immigration, was put on hold in November 1998 after significant citizen outcry. Privacy advocates oppose the creation of a national identification card in the United States, which would allow databases to be merged on a large scale. On the other hand, no major privacy problems arise from aggregate data—statistical trends that are calculated from thousands of individual records. There are many benefits to this type of information, from deducing the causes of illness to analyzing what types of products are most in demand. This type of personal data collection means that people are more likely to be alerted to a public health problem, and it is more likely that the book you want will be in stock and the sweater you like will come in your favorite colors. Privacy Violations and Crime The large amount of personal data floating around in society today leaves individuals open to having their privacy violated, sometimes with dire consequences. Incredibly, a stolen social security or credit card number is often all that is needed to perpetrate identity theft, a type of fraud in which a criminal assumes the victim's identity to obtain illegal credit and run up huge debts. Statistics are uncertain on this emerging area of crime, but one estimate by the U.S. Secret Service, which tracks major cases of identity theft, indicates that this type of crime was responsible for $745 million in losses in 1997, nearly $300 million more than the previous year. Credit companies say fraud inquiries have soared in the 1990s to about 500,000 cases annually. Credit laws typically limit direct financial losses to the victim, but correcting credit records and other corrupted information can consume a victim's life for years afterward and cost thousands of dollars. Medical records are another highly sensitive type of information that is ripe for abuse. Often assumed to be highly confidential as part of the patient-doctor relationship, electronic medical data in the United States actually has little in the way of privacy regulation. The rise of large managed-care health organizations and the tight connections between drug companies, drugstores, and intermediary companies known as prescription benefit managers (PBMs) have changed the way patient medical information is used. It used to be that someone filling a prescription at the local pharmacy could assume a certain measure of confidentiality. Today, the same consumers could

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find themselves receiving letters from the PBM telling them when and how to take their medication, enrolling them in a special program, or informing them that they have been switched to a lower-cost prescription. PCS Health Systems, a PBM owned by the giant drug maker Eli Lilly and Company, covers 56 million people and has a total of 1.5 billion individual prescriptions in its database. Although most people assume that this information is confidential, in fact the companies can use the information with few legal restraints. In addition to intrusive marketing and general concerns about medical privacy, employees face particular risks if medical records are available to their employers. There are many accounts of employees that have been reassigned or fired when supervisors learned of a medical condition by accessing medical records. People suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) can suffer particular harm if their medical status is disclosed, but even employees seeing a therapist for depression or another mental condition can face repercussions if their treatment is disclosed. Although definitive data are hard to come by, a 1996 study by David Linowes, a professor of political economy at the University of Illinois, showed that onethird of Fortune 500 companies responding to a survey had utilized individual medical records in making job-related decisions. A particularly pertinent example of how personal data can be seriously misused came in 1997 when a 36-year-old U.S. Navy sailor was threatened with expulsion from the military because he was linked with an America Online (AOL) personal profile that said he was homosexual. Timothy R. McVeigh (no relation to the convicted Oklahoma City bomber) had filled out the AOL profile indicating he was gay using only the name Tim. But naval investigators found the profile and obtained McVeigh's full name from AOL's customer service department, in apparent violation of AOL's own written privacy policies. McVeigh sued the Navy and won a settlement in June 1998 that allowed him to retire with full benefits and an undisclosed sum. AOL admitted it made a mistake and agreed to pay an undisclosed sum in damages. AOL also vowed to conduct employee training on privacy issues. Inadequate protection of private information can even threaten personal safety. An actor named Rebecca Schaeffer was killed in 1989 by a deranged fan who obtained her address through a private investigator. To get the address, the investigator had simply called the California Department of Motor Vehicles. After this incident California passed laws restricting access to its motor vehicle records, but of course this is just one source of personal data. Women escaping from domestic violence are particularly vulnerable, and must go to great lengths to prevent their assailant from using public records or illicitly obtained private data to track their hiding places. Internet Privacy A new level of concern over abuse of informational technology has accompanied the rise of the Internet. Although email is not inherently private, some guarantees of privacy can be obtained by encrypting the contents of electronic messages. Emerging technical standards could make such encryption routine in the future. The World Wide Web, however, is a more complicated story. Web sites typically use simple data files called cookies to maintain detailed records of individuals' movements from one Web page to another. In practice, however, cookies resemble pseudonyms—false names adopted just for the purpose of browsing that one Web site. A Web site therefore cannot know a user's identity without explicitly asking for it. In

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this sense, the Web's current architecture is inherently friendly to privacy, although this situation could easily change as that architecture evolves. However, some Web sites require registration before a user can access the site, potentially leading to sales pitches and other appeals. Sites targeted at children have come under particular scrutiny for collecting detailed personal data from naïve users. The Web can seem like an innocuous, friendly place, but the site you furnish with your credit card number could be based in a country where U.S. fraud laws do not apply. An organization such as the nonprofit consortium TRUSTe can certify a site's privacy policy, but this approach is relatively new and still unproven. Fear of “Big Brother” Threats to privacy can also arise from abuse of personal information by the government. Historically, the most important threat to privacy has been political oppression. Computers emerged in the years during and immediately after World War II (1939-1945). Secret police organizations and their networks of listening devices and informers were common, most prominently in the totalitarian states of Nazi Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and to a lesser but still significant extent in the United States and other democracies. British writer George Orwell described a culture of constant surveillance in his novel 1984 (1949), and Orwell's allseeing ―Big Brother‖ has become a metaphor for privacy invasions of all kinds. The ―Big Brother‖ concept of a centralized, publicly visible surveillance system is misleading for modern purposes, however. Contemporary dangers to privacy are primarily decentralized—they emerge from a combination of databases representing many different aspects of life. These databases are usually created independently of one another, and they are often incompatible. When contemporary governments do engage in systematic surveillance, as in the case of the U.S. National Security Agency's Echelon system for intercepting electronic communications, they generally do so secretly rather than openly. Of course, the vast amount of personal data collected through modern technology only makes such covert surveillance easier. Privacy Solutions Potential solutions to the loss of informational privacy can be grouped into three areas: regulation, technical measures, and individual action. Protecting privacy is such a complicated and difficult task that any workable solution will have to address all three areas. The leading model of privacy regulation worldwide is known in the United States as fair information practices and in most other countries as data protection. This model originated in the late 1960s as countries throughout the industrial world built centralized file systems to support their welfare states. The potential for abuse of these files was obvious to everyone, and policy makers in several countries—especially Germany, Sweden, and the United States—articulated a set of principles based on individual rights. These principles include the right to know what databases exist, the right to know what the collected information will be used for, and the right to have false information corrected. In the United States, these principles were incorporated into the 1974 Privacy Act. However, that law applied only to the government and has loopholes that make it ineffective in practice. Since that time, the United States has passed a fragmentary set of industry-specific privacy laws, but industry concerns over limiting technological development and hampering commerce have prevented any more generalized legislation from being passed. For the most part, therefore, the

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government has allowed private companies to regulate themselves. In the area of medical records, the 1996 Kennedy-Kassebaum health care legislation, named for Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and then-Senator Nancy Kassebaum, a Republican from Kansas, mandates that the government must have medical privacy regulations in place by mid-1999. How strong those regulations will be is uncertain. The Europeans have adhered to a stricter privacy standard, believing that informational privacy is a human right and recalling the abuses of personal data by the Nazis during World War II. Europe has applied its data protection principles both to government and to private industry. The European Union (EU) recently gave these principles constitutional status in the Data Protection Directive, which all EU member countries must implement. The agreement, which took effect in October 1998, caused concern in the United States because it prohibits trade with any nation that does not have adequate privacy laws. Negotiations on this issue between the United States and the EU were ongoing. New technologies, the source of much privacy concern, can also be used to protect privacy. Because privacy problems arise when information is individually identifiable, cryptographic methods can be used to disguise identity. Digital cash systems, for example, can take the place of credit cards and operate as anonymously as ordinary cash, or they can be designed to reveal an identity only with the payer's permission or with a court order. Similar methods can be employed to support anonymous email or digital pseudonyms that prevent information from being merged by different organizations without the individual's permission. Even without these protections, individuals can act to protect their own privacy. In some cases, market forces can create incentives for companies to protect privacy if consumers consistently call for such protection. Consumers should study a company's privacy policy in its promotional literature. If such a policy is weak or nonexistent, it is reasonable to assume that the company uses any personal information it captures in every way it legally can. Consumers can also protect their privacy when faced with what they consider excessive requests for information by asking why the information is pertinent or by refusing to answer the questions. Finally, individuals can take initiative by informing other citizens about specific privacy problems. Many threats to privacy remain unpublicized simply because there are too many of them for existing privacy advocates to track. Even simple research on an unpublicized privacy problem can have an impact when submitted to a relevant Internet forum, watchdog group, or media outlet. At the Crossroads The spread of information technology has made the world a less private place. Computers that may be used to invade personal privacy can also be used to protect it. The Internet might have the potential to become an omnipresent network of surveillance, but it is already a worldwide forum for education, debate, and advocacy on privacy issues. Nothing is set in stone at this point—everything depends on the choices that society makes over the next few years. Technologists can choose to incorporate privacy protection in future devices and systems. Consumers can choose to educate themselves, to assert their rights, and to become activists for sensible privacy protection. Policy makers can explore the combinations of measures that can protect privacy or can undermine it. If we so choose, we can enjoy the benefits of new information technologies while also preserving privacy.

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About the author: Philip E. Agre is an associate professor of information studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the coeditor of Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape and the author of many articles on information technology. Source: Encarta Yearbook, December 1998.

http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_1741587566/Personal_Privacy_in_the_Digital_Age.html

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Privacy in the Digital Age: Work in Progress
Jerry Berman & Deirdre Mulligan Nova Law Review, Volume 23, Number 2, Winter 1999. The Internet and Law TABLE OF CONTENTS I. OVERVIEW II. WHAT MAKES THE INTERNET DIFFERENT? A. Increased Data Creation and Collection B. The Globalization of Information and Communications C. Lack of Centralized Control Mechanisms III. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY PRIVACY? AND HOW IS IT BEING ERODED? A. The Expectation of Anonymity B. The Expectation of Fairness and Control Over Personal Information C. The Expectation of Confidentiality IV. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? A. Maintain a Consistent Level of Privacy Protection for Communications and Information Regardless of Where They are Stored B. Raise the Legal Protections Afforded to Transactional Data When it is Collected C. Encourage Technologies that Limit the Collection of Personally Identifiable Data D. Establish Rules and Implement Technologies That Give Individuals Control Over Personal Information During Commercial Interactions E. Create a Privacy Protection Entity to Provide Expertise and Institutional Memory, a Forum for Privacy Research, and a Source of Policy Recommendations on Privacy Issues F. We Must Question Our Tendency to Rely on Government as the Central and Sometimes Sole Protector of Privacy V.CONCLUSION I. OVERVIEW The Internet is at once a new communications medium and a new locus for social organization on a global basis. Because of its decentralized, open, and interactive nature, the Internet is the first electronic medium to allow every user to "publish" and engage in commerce. Users can reach and create communities of interest despite geographic, social, and political barriers. The Internet is an unprecedented mechanism for delivering government and social services, from education and healthcare to public information. As the World Wide Web grows to fully support voice, data, and video, it will become in many respects a virtual "face-to-face" social and political milieu. However, it remains an open question whether the Internet's democratic potential will be achieved. The Internet exists within social, political, and technological contexts that can impede its democratic potential. Governments tout the Internet, but worry about its threat to their traditional authority. The private sector sees the economic potential of the Internet, but anti-competitive impulses are also part of the landscape. Users bring not only their social aspirations to the Internet, but also their potential for antisocial behavior. Adopting the frontier metaphor, we are now witnessing the struggle over governance of the Internet. After the revolution, what

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type of constitution do we want? Will it be pluralistic and democratic? Will it incorporate a bill of rights that protects individual liberty and equality? Protection of privacy is one of the critical issues that must be resolved. Will the "Digital Age" be one in which individuals maintain, lose, or gain control over information about themselves? Will it be possible to preserve a protected sphere from unreasonable government and private sector intrusion? In the midst of this uncertainty, there are reasons for optimism. Individuals operating on the Internet can use new tools for protecting their privacy. From anonymous mailers and web browsers that allow individuals to interact anonymously, to encryption programs that protect email messages as they pass through the network; individuals can harness the technology to promote their privacy. Equally important is the new found voice of individuals. Using e-mail, Web sites, listservers, and newsgroups, individuals on the Internet are able to quickly respond to perceived threats to privacy. Whether it be a proposal before the Federal Reserve Board requiring banks to "Know Your Customers,"[ 1 ] or the release of a product like Intel's Pentium III, that will facilitate the tracking of individuals across the World Wide Web. Internet users have a forum for discussion, a simple method to find like-minded souls, and a platform from which to spread their message. This active vigilance is forcing the government and the private sector to reckon with a growing and vocal privacy constituency.[ 2 ] But it is not just individuals' self-interest leading us toward increased privacy protection. Faced with numerous surveys documenting that the lack of privacy protections is a major barrier to consumer participation in electronic commerce, businesses are beginning to take privacy protection more seriously. Numerous efforts at self-regulation have emerged; both cooperative, such as TRUSTe ,[ 3 ] the Better Business Bureau's Online Privacy Program,[ 4 ] and the Online Privacy Alliance;[ 5 ] and perhaps more importantly for the long-run, company specific. A growing number of companies, under public and regulatory scrutiny, have begun incorporating privacy into their management process and actually marketing their "privacy sensitivity" to the public. The collective efforts pose difficult questions about how to ensure the adoption and enforcement of rules in this global, decentralized medium. Governments, are also struggling to identify their appropriate role in this new environment. To date, the United States policy appears to be largely based on the principle "first do no harm." The restraint shown thus far can be credited with providing the room for all affected parties to wrestle with the difficult issues presented by this new environment and move towards consensus. The principles to be abided by, and to some extent the enforcement schemes, are becoming more robust. Most importantly, the dialogue in recent months, evidenced by developments such as the recently passed Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA")[ 6 ] --which was supported by children's advocates, privacy advocates, and companies--has taken an important turn. Less is heard about the means to achieve privacy protection--selfregulation versus legislation--and more focus is on the ends--privacy protections for individuals. These developments provide tangible evidence that common ground is within reach. While expectations of privacy are under serious challenge, the selfinterest of the various constituencies that make up the Internet--users, advocates, industry, and government--are all pushing toward the adoption of technologies and rules that provide individuals with greater control over their information and their privacy.

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II. WHAT MAKES THE INTERNET DIFFERENT? If we are to design systems that protect privacy on the Internet--a globally, networked environment--we must understand the specific challenges to privacy posed by its functions and use. The Internet presents a series of new challenges for achieving public policy goals--be they protecting children from inappropriate material or protecting privacy. A. Increased Data Creation and Collection The Internet accelerates the trend toward increased information collection, which is already evident in our offline world. The data trail, known as transactional data, left behind as individuals use the Internet is a rich source of information about their habits of association, speech, and commerce. Transactional data, click stream data, or "mouse droppings," as it is alternatively called, can include the Internet protocol address ("IP address") of the individual's computer, the browser in use, the computer type, and what the individual did on previous visits to the Web site, or perhaps even other Web sites. This data, which may or may not be enough to identify a specific individual, is captured at various points in the network and available for reuse and disclosure. Some of the data generated is essential to the operation of the network, like the phone number that connects a calling party to the intended recipient, the IP address is necessary, for without it the network cannot function. However, other pieces of data may serve purposes beyond network operation. Along with information intentionally revealed through purchasing or registration activities, this transactional data can provide a "profile" of an individual's activities. When aggregated, these digital fingerprints reveal the blueprint of an individual's life. This increasingly detailed information is bought and sold as a commodity by a growing assortment of players. B. The Globalization of Information and Communications On the Internet, information and communications flow unimpeded across national borders. The Internet places the corner store, and a store three continents away, equally at the individual's fingertips. Just as the flow of personal information across national borders poses a risk to individual privacy, citizens' ability to transact with entities in other countries places individual privacy at risk in countries that lack privacy protections. National laws may be insufficient, on their own, to provide citizens with privacy protections, across borders. Whether it is protecting citizens from fraud, limiting the availability of inappropriate content, or protecting privacy, governments are finding their traditional ability to make and effectively enforce policies challenged by the global communications medium.[ 7 ] C. Lack of Centralized Control Mechanisms While developing appropriate domestic policy may be sufficient in a paper-based world or a centralized and closed network, where nations can control the flow of information about citizens thereby protecting them from areas where protection is insufficient, information in a networked environment flows effortless from country to country, organization to organization, and policy regime to policy regime. Effective monitoring of the generation, collection, and flow of information on this vast scale may tax the resources of those currently responsible for data protection or other policies.

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In addition to the difficulty of enforcing rules, governments around the globe are struggling with how to develop appropriate and effective rules. Efforts to use legal and regulatory instruments developed to address issues in other media-broadcast, telephone, print--may not be effective, and in cases like the United States' Communications Decency Act, may be found impermissible .[ 8 ] The need for global, decentralized solutions has prompted various international bodies including the European Union, the Organization for Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations to examine how to best advance their missions in this new environment .[ 9 ] As Dr. Malcolm Norris, Data Protection Commissioner for the Isle of Man, concluded in his paper, Privacy and the Legal Aspects of the Information Superhighway, "I believe the Internet will prove to be very difficult to govern in the way that Governments may wish."[ 10 ] Together, the characteristics of the new medium pose challenges to our traditional, top-down methods of implementing policy and controlling behavior. Providing a seamless web of privacy protection to data as it flows through this international network will require us to harness the business community's interest in promoting commerce, the government's interest in fostering economic growth and protecting its citizens, and the self-interest of individuals in protecting themselves from the overreaching of the government and the private sectors. It requires us to use all of the tools at our disposal--international agreements, legislation, self-regulation, public education, and the technology itself. We must begin by reaching consensus on what we mean by protecting privacy, but we must keep the characteristics of the online environment sharply in focus. Concentrating in this manner is essential for the nature of the Internet and may alter the manner through which we achieve our goals. III. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY PRIVACY? AND HOW IS IT BEING ERODED? Privacy means many things to many people and different things in different contexts.[ 11 ] For the purpose of our discussion, we will examine several core "privacy expectations"[ 12 ] that individuals have long held, and which should carry over to their interactions on the Internet that are under siege. A. The Expectation of Anonymity Imagine walking through a mall where every store, unbeknownst to you, placed a sign on your back. The signs tell every other store you visit exactly where you have been, what you looked at, and what you purchased. Something very close to this is possible on the Internet. When individuals surf the World Wide Web, they have a general expectation of anonymity, more so than in the physical world where an individual may be observed by others. If an individual has not actively disclosed information about herself, she believes that no one knows who she is or what she is doing. But the Internet generates an elaborate trail of data detailing every stop a person makes on the Web. This data trail may be captured by the individual's employer if she logged on at work, and is captured by the Web sites the individual visits.[ 13 ] Transactional data, click stream data, or "mouse-droppings," can provide a "profile" of an individual's online life. Technologies such as "cookies,"[ 14 ] written directly onto your hard drive, enable Web sites to surreptitiously collect information about your online activities and store it for future use. Designed for the benign purpose of enabling Web sites to recognize a repeat visitor and respond accordingly, cookies were quickly adopted by Web sites to facilitate the tracking of specific individual's activities at Web

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sites for the purpose of customizing content and advertising. The surreptitious collection of information about individual's activities, across multiple Web sites enabled through some "cookie" implementations, gained the attention of Internet users, technicians, and policy makers.[ 15 ] Companies, such as Doubleclick, use this detailed transactional information to provide targeted online advertising. Others, such as Adfinity, combine these "mouse-droppings" or "click-stream data" with personal information collected from other sources into fully identifiable profiles of the individual's online and offline behavior. The increased data collection enabled by the Internet and electronic commerce are part of a larger phenomena--the growing market in personal information. As one reporter stated: ―Let's face it: Companies are fascinated by me. ― Okay, maybe not me personally, but "me"--the consumer--collectively. I possess something nearly as valuable as spendable cash: information about myself. Before they can get to "me" to buy something, they need to know a lot about me: how old I am, how much I make, who I voted for, what I eat, wear, drive think or do. [ 16 ] Evidence of the growing market for detailed "personal profiles" of individuals is rampant on the Internet. Be it personalized search engines and "portals," the pervasive use of "cookies" and other sticky bits of data that Web sites store on visitors' computers to aid the site in personalizing and targeting content and advertising, or the recent move by Intel to stamp each computer--and once the individual using the computer releases information, each individual--with a unique and traceable identity in cyberspace. The business communities rapacious appetite for information is all too apparent. Last August, some of the largest commercial sites on the World Wide Web announced that they would feed information about their customers' reading, shopping, and entertainment habits into a system developed by a Massachusetts company that was already tracking the moves of more than thirty million Internet users, recording where they go on the Internet and what they read, often without the users' knowledge.[ 17 ] In a sense, the system does what direct mail companies have done for years. But Internet based systems can be more precise, determining not only which magazines you subscribe to, but also which articles you read. More recently stories about "free" computers, valued at approximately $999, provided to individuals in exchange for detailed information about themselves and their families and permission to track their Internet usage, provide some indication of the value placed by a section of the business community on personal information and the lengths to which they will go to solicit it.[ 18 ] While the private sector uses of personal information generated by use of the Internet have been scrutinized by the public and the press, the governments interest in and use of it has received less attention. But governments are interested in this data too. As the Federal Trade Commission revealed in its report to Congress on the Individual Reference Service Industry ("Look-up Services"), the government is a major customer of personal information about us .[ 19 ] While marketing information is not the fodder for "look-up services," it too is attractive to the government. A battle being waged today, over the "location" information available through many cellular networks, foreshadows the larger privacy considerations lurking in the vast data generated by individuals' use of the Internet.[ 20 ] In the course of processing calls, many wireless communications systems collect information about the cell site and location of the person making or receiving a call. Location information may be captured when the phone is merely on, even if it is not handling a call .[ 21 ] Both government and the private sector have their eye on this location information. While the government seeks to build added surveillance features into the network and ensure their access to the increasingly detailed data it captures, the private sector is considering how to use this new form of information. A company in Japan is

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experimenting with a World Wide Web site that allows anyone to locate a phone, and the person carrying it, by merely typing in the phone number .[ 22 ] As one reporter put it: "Cellular telephones, long associated with untethered freedom, are becoming silent leashes."[ 23 ] Now we head to the register. In the physical world, individuals can choose to purchase goods and services with a variety of payment mechanisms, the most common being cash, check, bank card, credit card, and a prepaid stored value mechanism, such as a travelers check or smart- card. Individuals can, and often do, pay by cash.[ 24 ] An individual's choice of payment mechanism impacts on her privacy. The amount of personal information generated and collected varies from theoretically none in a cash transaction to identity, item or service purchased, merchant, and date and time in a credit transaction. Similarly, the list of parties who have access to personal data can range from the individual and the merchant in a cash transaction, to the merchant, affiliated issuer, transaction processor, credit card company, and individual in a credit card transaction. In general, cash provides the most privacy protection during financial transactions in the offline world .[ 25 ] It is fungible, largely untraceable, and because its value is inherent and irrefutable, it requires no additional assurance of authenticity which often drives the collection of identity information. In the online environment, the digital equivalent of cash has not yet achieved widespread use. Most online purchases are made with credit cards, which identify the individual and facilitate the collection of purchasing data. The lack of a cash equivalent in the online world, and its reduced use in the physical world, will seriously alter the privacy of individuals' financial dealings.[ 26 ] For example, consider the differences between an auction/yard sale in the physical world and Ebay, the premiere auction/classified listing/yard sale on the World Wide Web. Attendees at a traditional auction while physically present do not reveal who they are prior to participation. At Ebay, prior to bidding individuals must provide a name, home address, phone number and e-mail address. The differences between the information collected to support a similar activity in these two environments to some degree reveals the increased emphasis placed on knowing the identity of the individual with whom you are interacting where the payment mechanism is less secure than what cash affords. The translation of cash, the most privacy protective of payment mechanisms, into an online equivalent, is a pressing privacy issue.[ 27 ] Without it we will quickly move from a world of cash-based anonymity to one of full identification and increased tracking of individuals' purchases .[ 28 ] B. The Expectation of Fairness and Control Over Personal Information When individuals provide information to a doctor, a merchant, or a bank, they expect that those professionals/companies will base the information collected on the service and use it for the sole purpose of providing the service requested. The doctor will use it to tend to their health, the merchant will use it to process the bill and ship the product, and the bank will use it to manage their account--end of story. Unfortunately, current practices, both offline and online, foil this expectation of privacy. Whether it is medical information, or a record of a book purchased at the bookstore, information generated in the course of a business transaction is routinely used for a variety of other purposes without the individual's knowledge or consent. Some entities go so far as to declare the information individuals provide them as company "property."

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There are multiple examples of companies using and disclosing personal information for purposes well beyond what the individual intended. For example, recent news stories have focused the public on misuses of personal health information by the private sector--particularly when it is digitized, stored and manipulated. Recently, the Washington Post reported that CVS drug stores and Giant Food were disclosing patient prescription records to a direct mail and pharmaceutical company . [ 29 ] The company was using the information to track customers who failed to refill prescriptions, and then sending them notices encouraging them to refill and to consider other treatments.[ 30 ] Due to public outrage and perhaps the concern expressed by senators crafting legislation on the issue of health privacy, CVS and Giant Food agreed to halt the marketing disclosures.[ 31 ] But the sale and disclosure of personal health information is big business. In a recent advertisement Patient Direct Metromail advertised that it had 7.6 million names of people suffering from allergies, 945,000 suffering from bladder-control problems, and 558,000 suffering from yeast infections.[ 32 ] While many expect strong concern for privacy to surround sensitive information such as health and financial records, several recent incidents involving the sale and disclosure of what many perceive as less sensitive information indicate a rising of privacy concerns among the public.[ 33 ] In recent years, a number of corporations, as well as government entities, have learned the hard way that consumers are prepared to protest against services that appear to infringe on their privacy. In 1996, public criticism forced Lexis-Nexis to withdraw a service known as PTrak, which granted easy online access to a database of millions of individuals' Social Security numbers. Also in 1996, Yahoo faced a public outcry over its People Search service. The service, jointly run with a marketing list vendor, would have allowed Net searchers to put an instant finger on 175 million people, all culled from commercial mailing lists. After hearing the complaints, Yahoo decided to delete 85 million records containing unlisted home addresses. During August of 1997, American Online ("AOL") announced plans to disclose its subscribers' telephone numbers to business partners for telemarketing.[ 34 ] AOL heard loud objections from subscribers and advocates opposed to this unilateral change in the "terms of service agreement" covering the use and disclosure of personal information .[ 35 ] In response, AOL decided not to follow through with its proposal.[ 36 ] At the beginning of the year, the Washington Post reported that several states had entered into agreements to sell state drivers' license photos to Image data. Under public scrutiny the deal seemed quite different,--state governors and legislatures quickly moved to block the contract. Florida Governor Jeb Bush terminated the contract saying: "I am personally not comfortable with the state mandating license photos for the purpose of identifying authorized drivers, and then selling those photos at a profit for a completely different purpose." The technologies' surveillance capacity to collect, aggregate, analyze and distribute personal information coupled with current business practices have left individual privacy unprotected. While recent surveys[ 37 ] and public pressure have raised the privacy consciousness of companies, particularly those operating online,[ 38 ] individuals' information is frequently used and disclosed for purposes well beyond what the individual provided it for. C. The Expectation of Confidentiality When individuals send an e-mail message, they expect that it will be read only by the intended recipient. Unfortunately, this expectation too is in danger. For starters, if an individual is using an office computer, it is possible, and legal, for her

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boss to monitor her messages. If she is using her home computer, her privacy is still not fully assured. While United States law provides e-mail the same legal protection as a first class letter, the technology leaves unencrypted e-mail as vulnerable as a postcard. Compared to a letter, an e-mail message travels in a relatively unpredictable and unregulated environment. As it travels through the network, e-mail is handled by many independent entities: in comparison, a letter is handled only by the United States Postal Service. To further complicate matters, the e-mail message may be routed, depending upon traffic patterns, overseas and back, even if it is a purely domestic communication. While the message may effortlessly flow from nation to nation, the statutory privacy protections stop at the border. In addition, unlike the phone or postal systems, the Internet does not have central points of control. While the decentralized nature of the Internet allows it to cope with problems and failures in any given computer network, by simply routing in another direction, it also provides ample opportunities for those seeking to capture confidential communications .[ 39 ] The rogue action or policy of a single computer network can compromise the confidentiality of information. But e-mail is just one example, today our diaries, our medical records, our communications, and confidential documents are more likely to be out in the network than under our bed. This has drastic consequences for our privacy--as information moves further out onto the network our existing statutory framework provides less and less protection. It's useful to look at the weak state of privacy protections for other personal papers and records. Individuals traditionally kept their diaries under their mattress, in the bottom drawer of their dresser, or at their writing table. Situated within the four walls of the home, these private papers are protected by the Fourth Amendment. With the advent of home computers, individual diaries moved to the desktop and the hard drive. Writers, poets, and average citizens quickly took advantage of computers to manage and transcribe their important records and thoughts. Similarly, pictures moved from the photo album to the CD-ROM. Today, network computing allows individuals to rent space outside their home to store personal files and personal World Wide Web pages. The information has remained the same. A diary is a diary is a diary. But storing those personal thoughts and reflections on a remote server eliminates many of the privacy protections they were afforded when they were under the bed or on the hard drive. Rather than the Fourth Amendment protections--including a warrant based on probable cause, judicial oversight, and notice--the individual's recorded thoughts may be obtained from the service provider through a mere court order with no notice to the individual at all. The weak state of privacy protection is evident in the business setting too. Let's look at medical records. Hospitals, their affiliated clinics, and physicians are using intranets to enable the sharing of patient, clinical, financial, and administrative data. Built on Internet technologies and protocols, the private networks link the hospital's information system, to pharmacy and laboratory systems, transcription systems, doctor and clinic offices and others. The United States government is contemplating the development of a federal government-wide computer-based patient record system.[ 40 ] According to news reports, the Internet and World Wide Webbased interfaces are under consideration .[ 41 ] The private sector is moving to integrate network computing into a sensitive area of our lives, the doctor's office .[ 42 ] As computing comes to medicine, the detailed records of individuals' health continue to move not just out of our homes, but out of our doctor's offices. While the use of network technology promises to bring information to the fingertips of

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medical providers when they need it most, and greatly ease billing, prescription refills, and insurance preauthorizations, it raises privacy concerns. In the absence of comprehensive federal legislation to protect patient privacy, the legal protections afforded medical records may vary greatly depending upon how the network is structured, where data is stored, and how long it is kept. If records are housed on the computer of an individual doctor then access to that data will be governed by the Fourth Amendment.[ 43 ] Law enforcement would be required to serve the doctor with a warrant or subpoena and the doctor would receive notice and have the chance to halt an inappropriate search. Under federal law, the patient however, would receive no notice and have no opportunity to contest the production of the records. When information is in transit between a doctor and a hospital through a network, law enforcement's access is governed by the warrant requirements of The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 ("ECPA"); and, neither doctor nor patient receive prior or contemporaneous notice. If the records are stored on a server leased from a service provider, the protections are unclear. They may be accessible by mere subpoena. If they are covered by the "remote computing" provisions of ECPA this would severely undermine privacy in the digital age .[ 44 ] The confidentiality of our sensitive information is challenged by a legal framework that hinges protections on who maintains the information, how the network is structured, where data is stored, and how long it is kept. As our wallets become "ewallets" housed somewhere out on the Internet rather than in our back-pockets, and as our public institutions, businesses, and even cultural institutions find homes online, the confidentiality of our communications, papers, and information is at risk of compromise. IV. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? It is clear that our existing legal framework did not envision the pervasive role information technology would play in our daily lives. Nor did it envision a world where the private sector would collect and use information at the level it does today. Our legal framework for protecting individual privacy in electronic communications while built upon constitutional principles and statutory protections, reflects the technical and social "givens" of specific moments in history. From a belief that the government's collection and use of information about individuals' activities and communications was the only threat to individual privacy and that a solid wall separated the data held by the private and public sector; to the notion that the Internet would be used primarily for a narrow slice of activities and that private and public spaces were easily demarcated, these vestiges of a pre-Internet, pre-networked world, stress our existing privacy framework. Crafting proper privacy protections in the electronic realm has always been a complex endeavor. It requires a keen awareness of not only changes in technology, but also changes in how the technology is used by citizens, and how those changes are pushing at the edges of existing laws. From time to time these changes require us to reexamine our fabric of privacy protections. The issues raised in this article indicate that it is time for such a review. The Internet has changed the quantity and quality of data available about individuals' lives, but unfortunately our business practices, norms, and laws have not progressed to ensure individuals' privacy. At the outset, there are six areas where we must step up our activities to strengthen privacy protections. Clear proposals can be attached to some, while at this time others require further consideration.

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A. Maintain a Consistent Level of Privacy Protection for Communications and Information Regardless of Where They are Stored Increasingly, our most important records are not "papers" in our "houses" but "bytes" stored electronically at distant "virtual" locations for indefinite periods of time and held by third parties. As discussed in Part I, the Internet, and digital technology generally, accelerate the collection of information about individuals' actions and communications. Our communications, rather than disappearing, are captured and stored as well on servers controlled by third parties. With the rise of networking and the reduction of physical boundaries for privacy, we must ensure that privacy protections apply regardless of where information is stored. Under our existing law, there are now essentially four legal regimes for access to electronic data: 1) the traditional Fourth Amendment [ 45 ] standard for records stored on an individual's hard drive or floppy disks; 2) the Title III-Electronic Communications Privacy Act[ 46 ] standard for records in transmission; 3) the standard for business records held by third parties, available on a mere subpoena to the third party with no notice to the individual subject of the record;[ 47 ] and 4) for records stored on a remote server such as the research paper, or the diary, of a student stored on a university server, or the records, including the personal correspondence, of an employee stored on the server of the employer, the scope of which is probably unclear. As the third and fourth categories of records expand because the wealth of transactional data collected in the private sector grows and people find it more convenient to store records remotely, the legal ambiguity and lack of strong protection grows more significant and poses grave threats to privacy in the digital environment. Independent Counsel Starr's investigation into books purchased by Monica Lewinsky highlights the potential sensitivity of records routinely collected by businesses and the intersection of privacy and First Amendment concerns .[ 48 ] During his investigation into President Clinton's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Starr sought information confirming the purchase of a specific book by Miss Lewinsky. Starr served a subpoena upon Kramer Books, a local DC bookstore, demanding the production of records reflecting purchasing activities .[ 49 ] While the book store valiantly objected to the subpoena on First Amendment and privacy grounds, and Starr eventually obtained Miss Lewinsky's records through other channels, this incident raised concern among the book-buying public.[ 50 ] To search Miss Lewinsky's residence for information about her reading habits Starr would have needed a warrant, but in the hands of the bookstore the records were available under a less stringent standard. Sometimes the equation is flipped--the government has collected the data and the private sector seeks access to it. During the law suit brought by several states, including Massachusetts, against the tobacco industry for repayment of state health care costs for smoking related illnesses, lawyers for the tobacco industry sought access to a Massachusetts database containing records on every hospital visit by every person in the entire state population.[ 51 ] While the State's purpose for collecting the data was to compare what it paid for health care to private insurers, it failed to enact privacy protections to limit access to the database .[ 52 ] Because the State's argument for repayment was premised on its ability to prove damage to state residents from tobacco products, the tobacco companies wanted to see the data supporting it.[ 53 ] Massachusetts acted responsibly, hiring a team of cryptographers to ensure that the data released wouldn't identify individuals, however the fact remains that the data was not protected by law.[ 54 ]

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Even our communications are vulnerable under today's law. Under the existing legal framework, the same e-mail message would be afforded different privacy protections depending on whether it was sought: while on the individual's computer; in transmission; unread in storage for less than 180 days; or, read but left on the service provider's server. The differences in protection afforded e-mail depending on whether it is captured in transmission, accessed in storage while unread, or accessed in storage after it has been read seem unwarranted, for the communication and individuals' expectations of privacy remain the same. In an era where e-mail is more commonly accessed as a stored record than through an interception, the concepts developed for governmental access to business records in the relatively static, paper-based environment are an ill-fit and provide weak protections for individual privacy. It is time to provide a framework that reflects individuals' expectations. B. Raise the Legal Protections Afforded to Transactional Data When it is Collected Where information is needed, we must ensure that it is protected from misuse and unfettered government access. Congress acted by legislation to establish a right of privacy in bank records in the wake of a Supreme Court decision finding they were without constitutional protection.[ 55 ] Institutions all across the economy are quickly becoming store houses of information about individuals' marketplace behaviors,--unlike records held by banks, these new databases are unprotected. The possibilities of computer analysis have given value to tidbits previously considered meaningless: the little digital footprints individuals leave showing who they called, where they used their credit cards, what websites they visited, what products they purchased, and when they entered the "intelligent" highway using the automatic toll booth. While a certain website or product registration card may only ask for a few minor pieces of personal information, together they constitute a fairly complete profile of one's associations, habits, health condition and personal interests, combining credit card transactions with magazine subscriptions, telephone numbers, real estate records, car registrations and fishing licenses.[ 56 ] The digital deposits of these transactional details are so deep that the practice of exploiting their commercial value is called "data-mining," evoking the intensive, subterranean, and highly lucrative labors of an earlier age. It's time to ensure that the records of our reading habits, our online browsing, and all the details of our lives left behind, online and in electronic commerce, are not treated as mere "business records" available, without our knowledge or permission, at the government's request. For even the most mundane of records can harbor risks to privacy. A December Washington Post article revealed that Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") officials were reviewing records of grocery store purchasing data collected to support "frequent shopper" or loyalty programs.[ 57 ] What would DEA officials possibly hope to uncover? According to the Post, they were seeking to identify purchasers of large numbers of small plastic bags and baking powder -- common grocery supplies used by drug dealers to dilute and package cocaine and other drugs.[ 58 ] As businesses intensify their data collection efforts we must take steps to strengthen the privacy protections afforded this data. Congress took the first small step towards recognizing the changing nature of transactional data in the networked environment with amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act[ 59 ] enacted as part of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 ("CALEA ").[ 60 ] The 1994 amendments recognized that transactional data was emerging as a hybrid form of data, somewhere between addressing information and content, and was becoming increasingly revealing

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of personal patterns of association. For example, addressing information was no longer just a number and name, but contained the subject under discussion and information about the individual's location. Therefore, Congress raised the legal bar for government access to transactional data by eliminating subpoena access and requiring a court order, albeit one issued on a lower relevance standard.[ 61 ] This Congress passed legislation to foster online interactions between citizens and the government by facilitating the government's acceptance of digital certificates.[ 62 ] The legislation includes forward looking privacy protections for the transactional data generated by citizens' use of digital certificates.[ 63 ] On a case by case basis, the courts are addressing the privacy issues raised by this revealing data. However, as electronic commerce becomes pervasive, transactional data will continue to proliferate. A piecemeal approach may not provide the privacy protections that this potentially sensitive information deserves. C. Encourage Technologies that Limit the Collection of Personally Identifiable Data Law is only one tool for protecting privacy. In this global, decentralized medium, we must promote applications of technology that limit the collection of transactional information that can be tied to individuals.[ 64 ] Some tools developed to protect privacy by limiting the disclosure, or cloaking it, of information likely to reveal identity, or decoupling this identity information from the individual's actions and communications, exploit the decentralized and open nature of the Internet.[ 65 ] For example, Crowds provides anonymity to individuals surfing the Web by mingling their requests for access to Web sites with those of others.[ 66 ] By routing Web site access requests in a series of unpredictable paths, the identity of the requester is hidden. Similarly, Onion Routing uses the decentralized nature of the Internet coupled with public key encryption to provide privacy protections for Internet communications.[ 67 ] Communications are passed through a series of routers before reaching the recipient. Resembling an onion, the message is encircled in a series of lay-ers. Each router is able to peel one layer of the onion enabling it to learn the next stop in the messages path. Passing messages in this fashion protects an individual's identity by obfuscating the originator and recipient of the message from points in the network. These technical advances, if adopted by users, can provide protections for privacy. Of particular importance are payment mechanisms that preserve anonymity. By using cash, individuals can engage in many daily transactions without revealing their identity. Depending on the design choices we make, the online environment could wipe out the expectation of privacy that the physical world's cash purchase provides or the technology of electronic payments could preserve privacy. Similarly, digital certificates, if guided by privacy concerns, could be designed to limit the instances in which identity is used as a broad substitute for specific traits or abilities. A number of companies have attempted to craft cash-like payment mechanisms.[ 68 ] Digicash is a frequently mentioned payment mechanism that provides cash-like anonymity to individual users.[ 69 ] Digicash relies on blind digital signatures, a cryptographic technique, to prevent the bank, or other money issuer, and merchant from linking the individual's identity to specific transactions.[ 70 ] Blind signatures provide the merchant with the ability to determine the value and establish the authenticity of the payment while shielding the individual's identity. The bank, while privy to information about the user's identity, and able to deduct the appropriate sum from the individual's account, is incapable of tying the particulars of a transaction to the individual.[ 71 ]

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The ability to engage in cash-like transactions in the online environment is important to the protection of privacy. The enhanced data generation and collection that occurs during the process of browsing a virtual store front, a merchant's World Wide Web site, increases the privacy concerns associated with the revelation of identity during the payment process. The capacity to connect information far in excess of the specifics of a given financial transaction to the individual's identity increases the risks to individual privacy relative to the concerns in the offline world. Digital cash technology can vastly reduce the need for the collection and revelation of identity information. By providing alternative methods of authenticating value, the online environment can afford cash-like anonymity while providing some of the protections against theft associated with traditionally data intensive payment mechanisms. For example, Digicash's reliance on blind digital signatures may limit the risk of theft by providing for non-identity dependent methods of verifying the transaction at the point that value is removed from the individual's account. The development of electronic payment mechanisms that protect privacy hinges on the use of strong cryptography and the creation of a robust public key infrastructure to support its use.[ 72 ] By designing payment mechanisms to limit the collection of personally identifiable information by banks, clearinghouses, and merchants, it is possible to preserve the privacy which individuals currently enjoy during cash transactions and perhaps move the developers of other payment mechanisms to enhance privacy protection. The private sector and the government should foster the development of payment mechanisms and other technologies that foster anonymity and privacy. D. Establish Rules and Implement Technologies That Give Individuals Control Over Personal Information During Commercial Interactions We must adopt enforceable standards, both self-regulatory and regulatory, to ensure that information provided for one purpose is not used or redisclosed for other purposes. At the same time, we must recognize that in this freewheeling, open marketplace, there will be limits to the effectiveness of regulation and self-regulation. Therefore, we must look to technological tools that will empower individuals to control their personal information. The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce are engaged in initiatives designed to promote "fair information practice principles" in the online environment. The business community is also engaged in efforts to protect privacy through self-regulatory guidelines and enforcement mechanisms. All such efforts should focus on the Code of Fair Information Practices ("CFIP") developed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare ("HEW") in 1973 [ 73 ] and the Guidelines for the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data, adopted by the Council of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 1980.[ 74 ] Coupled with the World Wide Web Consortium's Platform for Privacy Preferences ("P3P")[ 75 ], rules based on the FIP will provide a framework that protects privacy by limiting data collection to that which is necessary for transactions and ensuring that individuals are the arbiters of their personal information. The challenge of implementing privacy practices, such as notice and consent, on the Internet is ensuring that they are implemented in a fashion that builds upon the medium's real-time and interactive nature and uses it to foster consumer privacy. While the path to this policy is currently quite contested, there is some indication of a growing willingness to collaborate in order to develop privacy protections. Debate over the capacity of self-regulation and market forces to adequately address privacy concerns is common in the privacy and consumer

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protection arenas, and will continue to rage. Advocates often take the position that self-regulation is inadequate due to both a lack of enforcement and the absence of legal redress to harmed individuals. Industry tends to strongly favor self-regulation, stating that it results in workable, market-based solutions while placing minimal burdens on affected companies. These positions, while in tension, have both accurately described the self-regulatory process. A close look at the enactment of federal privacy legislation over the years reveals that the battle itself, with all its sound and fury, is the path to legislation. Historically, for privacy legislation to garner the support of at least a section of the industry, which is generally critical to successful legislative efforts, it must build upon the work of some industry members--typically binding bad actors to the rules being followed by industry leaders--or, be critically tied to the viability of a business service or product as with the Video Privacy Protection Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.[ 76 ] Today, the dialogue over assuring privacy on the Internet and in electronic commerce is well situated for a successful legislative effort. Privacy-aware companies are seeking to develop and implement self-regulatory programs. Surveys have shown that the viability of online commerce depends upon the existence of real protections for consumers' privacy. Similar to the development of early privacy laws, some industry actors have led the way crafting self-regulatory policies that are the prototype for subsequent legislation supported by self-regulated players who for reasons of public trust, liability, and/or government concern want to bind bad industry actors. Advocates of both self-regulation and legislation each have a vested interest in exploring and resolving the hard issues. Questions of what is personally identifiable information in the context of the Internet, what does access require, and what is the appropriate way to police and provide remedies in this environment must all be explored. The work of the Online Privacy Alliance to develop principles to protect children's privacy became a starting point for the recently passed Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.[ 77 ] The collective desire to provide privacy protections that protect individuals' privacy, and encourage them to participate in the online environment, provides the common ground for the development of sound policies and enforcement strategies in the coming year. E. Create a Privacy Protection Entity to Provide Expertise and Institutional Memory, a Forum for Privacy Research, and a Source of Policy Recommendations on Privacy Issues The work outlined above, and the state of privacy today, all weigh in favor of creating a privacy entity within the federal government. The existing approach has hindered the development of sound policy and failed to keep pace with changes in technology. The United States needs an independent voice empowered with the scope, expertise, and authority to guide public policy. Such an entity has important roles to play on both domestic and international fronts. It would serve as the forum for collaboration with other governments, the public interest community, and the business community. There are a myriad of functions an entity charged with promoting privacy could perform. Unfortunately, the debate over the scope and power of such an agency or office has consistently stymied attempts to create one. As in many areas, the perfect has been the enemy of the good. At this junction, foremost on this entity's agenda should be developing and articulating a comprehensive vision of privacy protection for the United States, and coordinating efforts to advance it in both the

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public and private sector. The emergence of the Internet and other advanced technologies require us to reflect, study, adapt, and apply existing privacy principles and at times develop new ones. Without expertise and devoted resources this task will not be undertaken. To function well, such an entity should have the ability to: 1. monitor and evaluate developments in information technology with respect to their implications for personal privacy; 2. conduct research, hold hearings, and issue reports on privacy issues in both the public and private sector; 3. develop and recommend public policy appropriate for specific types of personal information systems; 4. comment upon government and private sector proposals that impact on privacy; 5. review agency activities under the Privacy Act; 6. participate in government proposals that impact on privacy .[ 78 ] The level of 1) public concern; 2) agency activity; 3) private sector investment; and 4) non-governmental organization focus on individual privacy, cry out for the formation of an entity able to comprehensively and effectively address privacy issues. In July, Vice President Gore announced the Administration's intent to appoint an individual to oversee and coordinate the governments privacy activities as part of the "Electronic Bill of Rights."[ 79 ] While the duties and powers of this individual are unclear, the announcement signals the Administration's recognition that privacy is an issue of growing importance and one that the Administration must play a role in coordinating. As of publication, no appointment has been made. F. We Must Question Our Tendency to Rely on Government as the Central and Sometimes Sole Protector of Privacy In the decentralized and global environment of the Internet, the law's impact will be limited. In an area such as privacy, where the government's actions have often been detrimental rather than supportive, we must ask if other options-such as technology may provide stronger protection. We must encourage the development and implementation of technologies that support privacy. They are critically important on the Internet and other global medium. Strong encryption is the backbone of technological protections for privacy. Today technical tools are available to send anonymous e-mail, browse the World Wide Web anonymously, and purchase goods with the anonymity of cash. Public policy is quickly becoming as much a product of computer code and product decisions as law. Advocates who once focused nearly exclusively on federal and state legislatures and agencies are increasingly seeking to influence the design of technical standards and specifications, and even specific product designs. From the Internet Engineering Taskforce and the World Wide Web Consortium, to the United States Telephone Association, decisions that will affect the future of privacy are made each day. Advocates, the public, and policy-makers have taken fire at specific products ranging from Lexis-Nexis Ptrak[ 80 ] to the soon to be released Intel Pentium III Processor seeking to ward off privacy invasions. But as we ward off the bad, we must move for the development of the good--seeking to foster technologies,--both standards and specific products,--that protect privacy. Future technical developments have the capacity to provide an underlying framework for privacy, providing greater anonymity, confidentiality, and a platform for fair information practices.[ 81 ] Technologies must be a central part of our

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privacy protection framework, for they can provide protection across the global and decentralized Internet where law or self-regulation may fail us. V. CONCLUSION No doubt, privacy on the Internet is in a fragile state, however, there is new hope for its resuscitation. The business community, enlightened by survey upon survey documenting consumers' privacy concerns, has recently begun serious efforts at self-regulation. The White House, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, and Congress all show interest in ensuring that privacy is protected as the digital economy is embraced. A growing number of advocacy organizations, ranging from consumer to civil liberties to libertarian organizations, have begun to focus on privacy. Thanks to the Internet, the public voice is being heard more clearly than ever-more often than not weighing in strongly in support of privacy protections through law and technology. There is a special need now for dialogue. Providing a web of privacy protection to data and communications as they flow along networks requires a unique combination of tools--legal, policy, technical, and self-regulatory. Cooperation among the business community and the nonprofit community is crucial. Whether it is setting limits on government access to personal information, ensuring that a new technology protects privacy, or developing legislation--none will happen without a forum for discussion, debate, and deliberation. http://www.cdt.org/publications/lawreview/1999nova.shtml

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CERT® Coordination Center

Home Network Security
This document gives home users an overview of the security risks and countermeasures associated with Internet connectivity, especially in the context of ―always-on‖ or broadband access services (such as cable modems and DSL). However, much of the content is also relevant to traditional dial-up users (users who connect to the Internet using a modem).

I.

II.

III.

Computer security A. What is computer security? B. Why should I care about computer security? C. Who would want to break into my computer at home? D. How easy is it to break into my computer? Technology A. What does "broadband" mean? B. What is cable modem access? C. What is DSL access? D. How are broadband services different from traditional dial-up services? E. How is broadband access different from the network I use at work? F. What is a protocol? G. What is IP? H. What is an IP address? I. What are static and dynamic addressing? J. What is NAT? K. What are TCP and UDP ports? L. What is a firewall? M. What does antivirus software do? Computer security risks to home users A. What is at risk? B. Intentional misuse of your computer 1. Trojan horse programs 2. Back door and remote administration programs 3. Denial of service 4. Being an intermediary for another attack 5. Unprotected Windows shares 6. Mobile code (Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX) 7. Cross-site scripting 8. Email spoofing 9. Email-borne viruses 10. Hidden file extensions 11. Chat clients 12. Packet sniffing C. Accidents and other risks 1. Disk failure 2. Power failure and surges

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IV.

3. Physical theft Actions home users can take to protect their computer systems 1. Consult your system support personnel if you work from home 2. Use virus protection software 3. Use a firewall 4. Don’t open unknown email attachments 5. Don’t run programs of unknown origin 6. Disable hidden filename extensions 7. Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched 8. Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use 9. Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible 10. Disable scripting features in email programs 11. Make regular backups of critical data 12. Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised Appendix: References and additional information

Document Revision History

I.

Computer security
A.

What is computer security?

Computer security is the process of preventing and detecting unauthorized use of your computer. Prevention measures help you to stop unauthorized users (also known as "intruders") from accessing any part of your computer system. Detection helps you to determine whether or not someone attempted to break into your system, if they were successful, and what they may have done. B. Why should I care about computer security?

We use computers for everything from banking and investing to shopping and communicating with others through email or chat programs. Although you may not consider your communications "top secret," you probably do not want strangers reading your email, using your computer to attack other systems, sending forged email from your computer, or examining personal information stored on your computer (such as financial statements). C. Who would want to break into my computer at home?

Intruders (also referred to as hackers, attackers, or crackers) may not care about your identity. Often they want to gain control of your computer so they can use it to launch attacks on other computer systems. Having control of your computer gives them the ability to hide their true location as they launch attacks, often against high-profile computer systems such as government or financial systems. Even if you have a computer connected to the Internet only to play the latest games or to send email to friends and family, your computer may be a target.

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Intruders may be able to watch all your actions on the computer, or cause damage to your computer by reformatting your hard drive or changing your data. D. How easy is it to break into my computer?

Unfortunately, intruders are always discovering new vulnerabilities (informally called "holes") to exploit in computer software. The complexity of software makes it increasingly difficult to thoroughly test the security of computer systems. When holes are discovered, computer vendors will usually develop patches to address the problem(s). However, it is up to you, the user, to obtain and install the patches, or correctly configure the software to operate more securely. Most of the incident reports of computer break-ins received at the CERT/CC could have been prevented if system administrators and users kept their computers up-to-date with patches and security fixes. Also, some software applications have default settings that allow other users to access your computer unless you change the settings to be more secure. Examples include chat programs that let outsiders execute commands on your computer or web browsers that could allow someone to place harmful programs on your computer that run when you click on them. II.

Technology

This section provides a basic introduction to the technologies that underlie the Internet. It was written with the novice end-user in mind and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of all Internet-based technologies. Subsections provide a short overview of each topic. This section is a basic primer on the relevant technologies. For those who desire a deeper understanding of the concepts covered here, we include links to additional information. A. What does broadband mean?

"Broadband" is the general term used to refer to high-speed network connections. In this context, Internet connections via cable modem and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) are frequently referred to as broadband Internet connections. "Bandwidth" is the term used to describe the relative speed of a network connection - for example, most current dial-up modems can support a bandwidth of 56 kbps (thousand bits per second). There is no set bandwidth threshold required for a connection to be referred to as "broadband", but it is typical for connections in excess of 1 Megabit per second (Mbps) to be so named. B. What is cable modem access?

A cable modem allows a single computer (or network of computers) to connect to the Internet via the cable TV network. The cable modem usually has an Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network) connection to the computer, and is capable of speeds in excess of 5 Mbps. Typical speeds tend to be lower than the maximum, however, since cable providers turn entire neighborhoods into LANs which share the same bandwidth. Because of this "shared-medium" topology, cable modem users may

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experience somewhat slower network access during periods of peak demand, and may be more susceptible to risks such as packet sniffing and unprotected windows shares than users with other types of connectivity. (See the "Computer security risks to home users" section of this document.) C. What is DSL access?

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet connectivity, unlike cable modem-based service, provides the user with dedicated bandwidth. However, the maximum bandwidth available to DSL users is usually lower than the maximum cable modem rate because of differences in their respective network technologies. Also, the "dedicated bandwidth" is only dedicated between your home and the DSL provider's central office -- the providers offer little or no guarantee of bandwidth all the way across the Internet. DSL access is not as susceptible to packet sniffing as cable modem access, but many of the other security risks we'll cover apply to both DSL and cable modem access. (See the "Computer security risks to home users" section of this document.) D. How are broadband services different from traditional dial-up services?

Traditional dial-up Internet services are sometimes referred to as "dialon-demand" services. That is, your computer only connects to the Internet when it has something to send, such as email or a request to load a web page. Once there is no more data to be sent, or after a certain amount of idle time, the computer disconnects the call. Also, in most cases each call connects to a pool of modems at the ISP, and since the modem IP addresses are dynamically assigned, your computer is usually assigned a different IP address on each call. As a result, it is more difficult (not impossible, just difficult) for an attacker to take advantage of vulnerable network services to take control of your computer. Broadband services are referred to as "always-on" services because there is no call setup when your computer has something to send. The computer is always on the network, ready to send or receive data through its network interface card (NIC). Since the connection is always up, your computer’s IP address will change less frequently (if at all), thus making it more of a fixed target for attack. What’s more, many broadband service providers use well-known IP addresses for home users. So while an attacker may not be able to single out your specific computer as belonging to you, they may at least be able to know that your service providers’ broadband customers are within a certain address range, thereby making your computer a more likely target than it might have been otherwise. The table below shows a brief comparison of traditional dial-up and broadband services.
Dial-up Connection type IP address Dial on demand Changes on each call Broadband Always on Static or infrequently changing

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Relative connection speed Remote control potential ISP-provided security

Low

High

Computer must be dialed in to control remotely

Computer is always connected, so remote control can occur anytime

Little or none

Little or none

Table 1: Comparison of Dial-up and Broadband Services

E.

How is broadband access different from the network I use at work?

Corporate and government networks are typically protected by many layers of security, ranging from network firewalls to encryption. In addition, they usually have support staff who maintain the security and availability of these network connections. Although your ISP is responsible for maintaining the services they provide to you, you probably won’t have dedicated staff on hand to manage and operate your home network. You are ultimately responsible for your own computers. As a result, it is up to you to take reasonable precautions to secure your computers from accidental or intentional misuse. F. What is a protocol?

A protocol is a well-defined specification that allows computers to communicate across a network. In a way, protocols define the "grammar" that computers can use to "talk" to each other. G. What is IP?

IP stands for "Internet Protocol". It can be thought of as the common language of computers on the Internet. There are a number of detailed descriptions of IP given elsewhere, so we won't cover it in detail in this document. However, it is important to know a few things about IP in order to understand how to secure your computer. Here we’ll cover IP addresses, static vs. dynamic addressing, NAT, and TCP and UDP Ports. An overview of TCP/IP can be found in the TCP/IP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/internet/tcp-ip/tcp-ip-faq/part1/

and
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/internet/tcp-ip/tcp-ip-faq/part2/ H. What is an IP address?

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IP addresses are analogous to telephone numbers – when you want to call someone on the telephone, you must first know their telephone number. Similarly, when a computer on the Internet needs to send data to another computer, it must first know its IP address. IP addresses are typically shown as four numbers separated by decimal points, or ―dots‖. For example, 10.24.254.3 and 192.168.62.231 are IP addresses. If you need to make a telephone call but you only know the person’s name, you can look them up in the telephone directory (or call directory services) to get their telephone number. On the Internet, that directory is called the Domain Name System, or DNS for short. If you know the name of a server, say www.cert.org, and you type this into your web browser, your computer will then go ask its DNS server what the numeric IP address is that is associated with that name. Every computer on the Internet has an IP address associated with it that uniquely identifies it. However, that address may change over time, especially if the computer is    dialing into an Internet Service Provider (ISP) connected behind a network firewall connected to a broadband service using dynamic IP addressing.

I.

What are static and dynamic addressing?

Static IP addressing occurs when an ISP permanently assigns one or more IP addresses for each user. These addresses do not change over time. However, if a static address is assigned but not in use, it is effectively wasted. Since ISPs have a limited number of addresses allocated to them, they sometimes need to make more efficient use of their addresses. Dynamic IP addressing allows the ISP to efficiently utilize their address space. Using dynamic IP addressing, the IP addresses of individual user computers may change over time. If a dynamic address is not in use, it can be automatically reassigned to another computer as needed. J. What is NAT?

Network Address Translation (NAT) provides a way to hide the IP addresses of a private network from the Internet while still allowing computers on that network to access the Internet. NAT can be used in many different ways, but one method frequently used by home users is called "masquerading". Using NAT masquerading, one or more devices on a LAN can be made to appear as a single IP address to the outside Internet. This allows for multiple computers in a home network to use a single cable modem or DSL connection without requiring the ISP to provide more than one IP address to the user. Using this method, the ISP-assigned IP address can be either static or dynamic. Most network firewalls support NAT masquerading. K. What are TCP and UDP Ports?

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) are both protocols that use IP. Whereas IP allows two computers to talk to each other

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across the Internet, TCP and UDP allow individual applications (also known as "services") on those computers to talk to each other. In the same way that a telephone number or physical mail box might be associated with more than one person, a computer might have multiple applications (e.g. email, file services, web services) running on the same IP address. Ports allow a computer to differentiate services such as email data from web data. A port is simply a number associated with each application that uniquely identifies that service on that computer. Both TCP and UDP use ports to identify services. Some common port numbers are 80 for web (HTTP), 25 for email (SMTP), and 53 for Dmain Name System (DNS). L. What is a firewall?

The Firewalls FAQ (http://www.faqs.org/faqs/firewalls-faq/) defines a firewall as "a system or group of systems that enforces an access control policy between two networks." In the context of home networks, a firewall typically takes one of two forms:

Software firewall - specialized software running on an individual computer, or Network firewall - a dedicated device designed to protect one or more computers.
Both types of firewall allow the user to define access policies for inbound connections to the computers they are protecting. Many also provide the ability to control what services (ports) the protected computers are able to access on the Internet (outbound access). Most firewalls intended for home use come with preconfigured security policies from which the user chooses, and some allow the user to customize these policies for their specific needs. More information on firewalls can be found in the Additional resources section of this document. M. What does antivirus software do?

There are a variety of antivirus software packages that operate in many different ways, depending on how the vendor chose to implement their software. What they have in common, though, is that they all look for patterns in the files or memory of your computer that indicate the possible presence of a known virus. Antivirus packages know what to look for through the use of virus profiles (sometimes called "signatures") provided by the vendor. New viruses are discovered daily. The effectiveness of antivirus software is dependent on having the latest virus profiles installed on your computer so that it can look for recently discovered viruses. It is important to keep these profiles up to date. More information about viruses and antivirus software can be found on the CERT Computer Virus Resource page http://www.cert.org/other_sources/viruses.html III.

Computer security risks to home users
A. What is at risk?

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Information security is concerned with three main areas:  Confidentiality - information should be available only to those who rightfully have access to it  Integrity -- information should be modified only by those who are authorized to do so  Availability -- information should be accessible to those who need it when they need it These concepts apply to home Internet users just as much as they would to any corporate or government network. You probably wouldn't let a stranger look through your important documents. In the same way, you may want to keep the tasks you perform on your computer confidential, whether it's tracking your investments or sending email messages to family and friends. Also, you should have some assurance that the information you enter into your computer remains intact and is available when you need it. Some security risks arise from the possibility of intentional misuse of your computer by intruders via the Internet. Others are risks that you would face even if you weren't connected to the Internet (e.g. hard disk failures, theft, power outages). The bad news is that you probably cannot plan for every possible risk. The good news is that you can take some simple steps to reduce the chance that you'll be affected by the most common threats -- and some of those steps help with both the intentional and accidental risks you're likely to face. Before we get to what you can do to protect your computer or home network, let’s take a closer look at some of these risks. B. Intentional misuse of your computer

The most common methods used by intruders to gain control of home computers are briefly described below.

1. Trojan horse programs 2. Back door and remote administration programs 3. Denial of service 4. Being an intermediary for another attack 5. Unprotected Windows shares 6. Mobile code (Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX) 7. Cross-site scripting 8. Email spoofing 9. Email-borne viruses 10.Hidden file extensions 11.Chat clients 12.Packet sniffing
1. Trojan horse programs Trojan horse programs are a common way for intruders to trick you (sometimes referred to as "social engineering") into installing "back door" programs. These can allow intruders easy access to your computer without your knowledge,

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change your system configurations, or infect your computer with a computer virus. More information about Trojan horses can be found in the following document. http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1999-02.html 2. Back door and remote administration programs On Windows computers, three tools commonly used by intruders to gain remote access to your computer are BackOrifice, Netbus, and SubSeven. These back door or remote administration programs, once installed, allow other people to access and control your computer. 3. Denial of service Another form of attack is called a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. This type of attack causes your computer to crash or to become so busy processing data that you are unable to use it. In most cases, the latest patches will prevent the attack. The following documents describe denial-of-service attacks in greater detail. http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2000-01.html http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/DoS_trends.pdf It is important to note that in addition to being the target of a DoS attack, it is possible for your computer to be used as a participant in a denial-ofservice attack on another system. 4. Being an intermediary for another attack Intruders will frequently use compromised computers as launching pads for attacking other systems. An example of this is how distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) tools are used. The intruders install an "agent" (frequently through a Trojan horse program) that runs on the compromised computer awaiting further instructions. Then, when a number of agents are running on different computers, a single "handler" can instruct all of them to launch a denial-of-service attack on another system. Thus, the end target of the attack is not your own computer, but someone else’s -- your computer is just a convenient tool in a larger attack. 5. Unprotected Windows shares Unprotected Windows networking shares can be exploited by intruders in an automated way to place tools on large numbers of Windows-based computers attached to the Internet. Because site security on the Internet is interdependent, a compromised computer not only creates problems for the computer's owner, but it is also a threat to other sites on the Internet. The greater immediate risk to the Internet community is the potentially large number of computers attached to the Internet with unprotected Windows networking shares combined with distributed attack tools such as those described in http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-01.html Another threat includes malicious and destructive code, such as viruses or worms, which leverage unprotected Windows networking shares to propagate. One

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such example is the 911 worm described in http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN2000-03.html There is great potential for the emergence of other intruder tools that leverage unprotected Windows networking shares on a widespread basis. 6. Mobile code (Java/JavaScript/ActiveX) There have been reports of problems with "mobile code" (e.g. Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX). These are programming languages that let web developers write code that is executed by your web browser. Although the code is generally useful, it can be used by intruders to gather information (such as which web sites you visit) or to run malicious code on your computer. It is possible to disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX in your web browser. We recommend that you do so if you are browsing web sites that you are not familiar with or do not trust. Also be aware of the risks involved in the use of mobile code within email programs. Many email programs use the same code as web browsers to display HTML. Thus, vulnerabilities that affect Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX are often applicable to email as well as web pages. More information on malicious code is available in http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/malicious_code_FAQ.html More information on ActiveX security is available in http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/activeX_report.pdf 7. Cross-site scripting A malicious web developer may attach a script to something sent to a web site, such as a URL, an element in a form, or a database inquiry. Later, when the web site responds to you, the malicious script is transferred to your browser. You can potentially expose your web browser to malicious scripts by  following links in web pages, email messages, or newsgroup postings without knowing what they link to  using interactive forms on an untrustworthy site  viewing online discussion groups, forums, or other dynamically generated pages where users can post text containing HTML tags More information regarding the risks posed by malicious code in web links can be found in CA-2000-02 Malicious HTML Tags Embedded in Client Web Requests. 8. Email spoofing Email ―spoofing‖ is when an email message appears to have originated from one source when it actually was sent from another source. Email spoofing is often an attempt to trick the user into making a damaging statement or releasing sensitive information (such as passwords). Spoofed email can range from harmless pranks to social engineering ploys. Examples of the latter include

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 email claiming to be from a system administrator requesting users to change their passwords to a specified string and threatening to suspend their account if they do not comply  email claiming to be from a person in authority requesting users to send them a copy of a password file or other sensitive information Note that while service providers may occasionally request that you change your password, they usually will not specify what you should change it to. Also, most legitimate service providers would never ask you to send them any password information via email. If you suspect that you may have received a spoofed email from someone with malicious intent, you should contact your service provider's support personnel immediately. 9. Email borne viruses Viruses and other types of malicious code are often spread as attachments to email messages. Before opening any attachments, be sure you know the source of the attachment. It is not enough that the mail originated from an address you recognize. The Melissa virus (see References) spread precisely because it originated from a familiar address. Also, malicious code might be distributed in amusing or enticing programs. Many recent viruses use these social engineering techniques to spread. Examples include  W32/Sircam -- http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-22.html  W32/Goner -- http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2001-15.html Never run a program unless you know it to be authored by a person or company that you trust. Also, don't send programs of unknown origin to your friends or coworkers simply because they are amusing -- they might contain a Trojan horse program. 10. Hidden file extensions Windows operating systems contain an option to "Hide file extensions for known file types". The option is enabled by default, but a user may choose to disable this option in order to have file extensions displayed by Windows. Multiple email-borne viruses are known to exploit hidden file extensions. The first major attack that took advantage of a hidden file extension was the VBS/LoveLetter worm which contained an email attachment named "LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs". Other malicious programs have since incorporated similar naming schemes. Examples include     Downloader (MySis.avi.exe or QuickFlick.mpg.exe) VBS/Timofonica (TIMOFONICA.TXT.vbs) VBS/CoolNote (COOL_NOTEPAD_DEMO.TXT.vbs) VBS/OnTheFly (AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs)

The files attached to the email messages sent by these viruses may appear to be harmless text (.txt), MPEG (.mpg), AVI (.avi) or other file types when in fact the file is a malicious script or executable (.vbs or .exe, for example). For further

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information about these and other viruses, please visit the sites listed on our Computer Virus Resource page: http://www.cert.org/other_sources/viruses.html 11. Chat clients Internet chat applications, such as instant messaging applications and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks, provide a mechanism for information to be transmitted bi-directionally between computers on the Internet. Chat clients provide groups of individuals with the means to exchange dialog, web URLs, and in many cases, files of any type. Because many chat clients allow for the exchange of executable code, they present risks similar to those of email clients. As with email clients, care should be taken to limit the chat client’s ability to execute downloaded files. As always, you should be wary of exchanging files with unknown parties. 12.Packet sniffing A packet sniffer is a program that captures data from information packets as they travel over the network. That data may include user names, passwords, and proprietary information that travels over the network in clear text. With perhaps hundreds or thousands of passwords captured by the packet sniffer, intruders can launch widespread attacks on systems. Installing a packet sniffer does not necessarily require administrator-level access. Relative to DSL and traditional dial-up users, cable modem users have a higher risk of exposure to packet sniffers since entire neighborhoods of cable modem users are effectively part of the same LAN. A packet sniffer installed on any cable modem user's computer in a neighborhood may be able to capture data transmitted by any other cable modem in the same neighborhood. Accidents and other risks In addition to the risks associated with connecting your computer to the Internet, there are a number of risks that apply even if the computer has no network connections at all. Most of these risks are well-known, so we won’t go into much detail in this document, but it is important to note that the common practices associated with reducing these risks may also help reduce susceptibility to the network-based risks discussed above.

1.

Disk failure

Recall that availability is one of the three key elements of information security. Although all stored data can become unavailable -- if the media it’s stored on is physically damaged, destroyed, or lost -- data stored on hard disks is at higher risk due to the mechanical nature of the device. Hard disk crashes are a common cause of data loss on personal computers. Regular system backups are the only effective remedy.

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2.

Power failure and surges

Power problems (surges, blackouts, and brown-outs) can cause physical damage to a computer, inducing a hard disk crash or otherwise harming the electronic components of the computer. Common mitigation methods include using surge suppressors and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). 3. Physical Theft

Physical theft of a computer, of course, results in the loss of confidentiality and availability, and (assuming the computer is ever recovered) makes the integrity of the data stored on the disk suspect. Regular system backups (with the backups stored somewhere away from the computer) allow for recovery of the data, but backups alone cannot address confidentiality. Cryptographic tools are available that can encrypt data stored on a computer’s hard disk. The CERT/CC encourages the use of these tools if the computer contains sensitive data or is at high risk of theft (e.g. laptops or other portable computers). IV.

Actions home users can take to protect their computer systems
The CERT/CC recommends the following practices to home users: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Consult your system support personnel if you work from home Use virus protection software Use a firewall Don’t open unknown email attachments Don’t run programs of unknown origin Disable hidden filename extensions Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible Disable scripting features in email programs Make regular backups of critical data Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised

Further discussion on each of these points is given below.

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Recommendations 1. Consult your system support personnel if you work from home

If you use your broadband access to connect to your employer's network via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other means, your employer may have policies or procedures relating to the security of your home network. Be sure to consult with your employer's support personnel, as appropriate, before following any of the steps outlined in this document. 2. Use virus protection software

The CERT/CC recommends the use of anti-virus software on all Internetconnected computers. Be sure to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date. Many antivirus packages support automatic updates of virus definitions. We recommend the use of these automatic updates when available. See http://www.cert.org/other_sources/viruses.html#VI for more information. 3. Use a firewall

We strongly recommend the use of some type of firewall product, such as a network appliance or a personal firewall software package. Intruders are constantly scanning home user systems for known vulnerabilities. Network firewalls (whether software or hardware-based) can provide some degree of protection against these attacks. However, no firewall can detect or stop all attacks, so it’s not sufficient to install a firewall and then ignore all other security measures. 4. Don't open unknown email attachments

Before opening any email attachments, be sure you know the source of the attachment. It is not enough that the mail originated from an address you recognize. The Melissa virus spread precisely because it originated from a familiar address. Malicious code might be distributed in amusing or enticing programs. If you must open an attachment before you can verify the source, we suggest the following procedure:

1. be sure your virus definitions are up-to-date (see "Use virus protection
software" above) 2. save the file to your hard disk 3. scan the file using your antivirus software 4. open the file

For additional protection, you can disconnect your computer's network connection before opening the file. Following these steps will reduce, but not wholly eliminate, the chance that any malicious code contained in the attachment might spread from your computer to others. 5. Don't run programs of unknown origin

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Never run a program unless you know it to be authored by a person or company that you trust. Also, don't send programs of unknown origin to your friends or coworkers simply because they are amusing -- they might contain a Trojan horse program. 6. Disable hidden filename extensions

Windows operating systems contain an option to "Hide file extensions for known file types". The option is enabled by default, but you can disable this option in order to have file extensions displayed by Windows. After disabling this option, there are still some file extensions that, by default, will continue to remain hidden. There is a registry value which, if set, will cause Windows to hide certain file extensions regardless of user configuration choices elsewhere in the operating system. The "NeverShowExt" registry value is used to hide the extensions for basic Windows file types. For example, the ".LNK" extension associated with Windows shortcuts remains hidden even after a user has turned off the option to hide extensions. Specific instructions for disabling hidden file name extensions are given in http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-07.html 7. Keep all applications, including your operating system, patched

Vendors will usually release patches for their software when a vulnerability has been discovered. Most product documentation offers a method to get updates and patches. You should be able to obtain updates from the vendor's web site. Read the manuals or browse the vendor's web site for more information. Some applications will automatically check for available updates, and many vendors offer automatic notification of updates via a mailing list. Look on your vendor's web site for information about automatic notification. If no mailing list or other automated notification mechanism is offered you may need to check periodically for updates. 8. Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use

Turn off your computer or disconnect its Ethernet interface when you are not using it. An intruder cannot attack your computer if it is powered off or otherwise completely disconnected from the network. 9. Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible

Be aware of the risks involved in the use of "mobile code" such as ActiveX, Java, and JavaScript. A malicious web developer may attach a script to something sent to a web site, such as a URL, an element in a form, or a database inquiry. Later, when the web site responds to you, the malicious script is transferred to your browser. The most significant impact of this vulnerability can be avoided by disabling all scripting languages. Turning off these options will keep you from being vulnerable to malicious scripts. However, it will limit the interaction you can have with some web sites. Many legitimate sites use scripts running within the browser to add useful features. Disabling scripting may degrade the functionality of these sites.

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Detailed instructions for disabling browser scripting languages are available in http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/malicious_code_FAQ.html More information on ActiveX security, including recommendations for users who administer their own computers, is available in http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/activeX_report.pdf More information regarding the risks posed by malicious code in web links can be found in CA-2000-02 Malicious HTML Tags Embedded in Client Web Requests. 10. Disable scripting features in email programs

Because many email programs use the same code as web browsers to display HTML, vulnerabilities that affect ActiveX, Java, and JavaScript are often applicable to email as well as web pages. Therefore, in addition to disabling scripting features in web browsers (see "Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible", above), we recommend that users also disable these features in their email programs. 11. Make regular backups of critical data

Keep a copy of important files on removable media such as ZIP disks or recordable CD-ROM disks (CD-R or CD-RW disks). Use software backup tools if available, and store the backup disks somewhere away from the computer. 12. Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised

To aid in recovering from a security breach or hard disk failure, create a boot disk on a floppy disk which will help when recovering a computer after such an event has occurred. Remember, however, you must create this disk before you have a security event.

Appendix
References and additional information This section contains links to references and additional resources related to this document. References The following documents were used in compiling portions of this document: CERT Advisories CERT Incident Notes CERT Tech Tips Other CERT documents

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CERT Advisories CA-1999-02: Trojan Horses http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1999-02.html CA-1999-04: Melissa Macro Virus http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1999-04.html CA-2000-01: Denial-of-Service Developments http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2000-01.html CA-2000-02: Malicious HTML Tags Embedded in Client Web Requests http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2000-02.html CA-2001-22: W32/Sircam Malicious Code http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-22.html
CERT Incident Notes

IN-2000-01: Windows Based DDOS Agents http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-01.html IN-2000-02: Exploitation of Unprotected Windows Networking Shares http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-02.html IN-2000-03: 911 Worm http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-03.html IN-2000-07: Exploitation of Hidden File Extensions http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-07.html IN-2000-08: Chat Clients and Network Security http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2000-08.html IN-2001-15: W32/Goner Worm http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-2001-15.html CERT Tech Tips Frequently Asked Questions About Malicious Web Scripts Redirected by Web Sites http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/malicious_code_FAQ.html Spoofed/Forged Email http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/email_spoofing.html Windows 95/98 Computer Security Information http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/win-95-info.html Other CERT documents Other Computer Virus Resources http://www.cert.org/other_sources/viruses.html Results of the Security in ActiveX Workshop http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/activeX_report.pdf Security of the Internet http://www.cert.org/encyc_article/tocencyc.html#PackSnif Trends in Denial of Service Attack Technology http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/DoS_trends.pdf

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Additional resources Additional information is available from the following sources. TCP/IP Frequently Asked Questions http://www.faqs.org/faqs/internet/tcp-ip/tcp-ip-faq/part1/ http://www.faqs.org/faqs/internet/tcp-ip/tcp-ip-faq/part2/ Computer Virus Frequently Asked Questions for New Users http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-virus/new-users/ alt.comp.virus Frequently Asked Questions http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-virus/alt-faq/part1/ http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-virus/alt-faq/part2/ http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-virus/alt-faq/part3/ http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-virus/alt-faq/part4/ VIRUS-L/comp.virus Frequently Asked Questions http://www.faqs.org/faqs/computer-virus/faq/ Firewalls Frequently Asked Questions http://www.faqs.org/faqs/firewalls-faq/

This document is available from: http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/home_networks.html

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http://www.mycrypto.net/ Encryption

• Encryption and Privacy •Why Encrypt? • How Encryption works • Private Key Encryption • Public Key Encryption • Encryption Algorithms • Encrypted Email • Cracking Encryption • Virtual Private Network • Encryption Tools • Encryption Resources

Encryption and Privacy

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin, 1759. Security and privacy have long been important issues forming the basis of numerous democracies around the world. In the digital age, securing personal information and ensuring privacy pose to be issues of paramount concern. At first glance, one might find it gratifying that an online website greets the person by their first name, sends them emails when goods of their taste are added, or recommends goods services based on their demographic profile, previous visits, etc. An astute surfer though will also see the privacy drawbacks in such services. Who else is being provided this information? Is there a way to ensure the security of this information? What happens with the information if the company meets financial diffuculties and has to liquidate its assets? Where does all that "private information" go? Many studies over the last few years have suggested that a majority of consumers are concerned about when, what and how their personal information is being collected, how this information is being used and whether it is being protected. They want to know whether the information is being sold or shared with others, and if so with whom and for what purposes. They also want to have control over their privacy in today's digital age where strides in telecommunicaiton, storage and software technologies have made monitoring a person's activities effortless. The Internet, once a research tool has grown into a mammoth educational, entertainment and commercial implementation. The advent of commerce on the Internet exposed the lack of security over this public network. The incorporation of encryption (especially strong 128 bit encryption) into Internet browsers and web servers quelled this concern to a certain extent. There was still the matter of storing the information sent over the Internet in a safe manner. Firewalls and encryption

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software evolved to ensure that the computers and data on the Internet were safer. What can be done regarding these important issues? Part of the solution is to secure important data - more specifically, using strong encryption. Educating end users and corporations on the use of email and file encryption software, data encryption during transmission using VPNs, password encryption on public interfaces and use of encryption software like PGP, F-Secure and 128 bit version of IE/NS will lead us closer to the end goal of a safer Internet. The growth of the worldwide Internet user base and with Internet based transactions believed to reach well over a trillion dollars in the next three years, it makes sense for the parties involved to secure the Internet. Haphazard handling of financial and personal information can lead to the Internet being constantly associated with fraud and privacy abuses instead of being a viable commerce medium. http://www.mycrypto.net/

Why Use Encryption?

As organizations and individuals have connected to the Internet in droves, many have begun eyeing its infrastructure as an inexpensive medium for widearea and remote connections. The Internet is an international network consisting of individual computers and computer networks that are all interconnected by many paths. Unlike Local Area Networks where access is physically restricted to authorized users, the Internet is a public network and can be accessed by anyone. Now more than ever, moving vast amounts of information quickly and safely across great distances is one of our most pressing needs. The basic idea of cryptography is to hide information from prying eyes. On the Internet this can be your credit card numbers, bank account information, health/social security information, or pseraonal correspondence with someone else. History of Encryption Encryption pre-dates the Internet by thousands of years. Looking back in history we find that Julius Caesar was an early user of cryptography. He sent messages to his troops in a simple but ingeneous method. A letter in the alphabet was replaced by one say 5 positions to the right. So, an "A" would be replaced by an "E", "B" by "F" and so on. Hence RETURN would become VJYZVS. But as it can be seen, this cipher can be easily broken by either figuring out a pattern, by brute force or by getting ones hands on a plaintext and ciphertext combination to deduce the pattern. Users of Encryption A few decades ago, only governments and diplomats used encryption to secure sensitive information. Today, secure encryption on the Internet is the key to confidence for people wanting to protect their privacy, or doing business online. ECommerce, secure messaging, and virtual private networks are just some of the applications that rely on encryption to ensure the safety of data. In many companies that have proprietary or sensitive information, field personnel are required to encrypt their entire laptops fearing that in the wrong hands this information could cause millions of dollars in damage.

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http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/why_encrypt.html How Encryption Works

The concept behind encryption is quite simple - make the data unlegible for everyone else except those specified. This is done using cyrptography - the study of sending 'messages' in a secret form so that only those authorized to receive the 'message' be able to read it. The easy part of encryption is applying a mathematical function to the plaintext and converting it to an ecrypted cipher. The harder part is to ensure that the people who are supposed to decipher this message can do so with ease, yet only those authorised are able to decipher it. We of-course also have to establish the legitimacy of the mathematical function used to make sure that it is sufficiently complex and mathmatically sound to give us a high degree of safety. The essential concept underlying all automated and computer security application is cyptography. The two ways of going about this process are conventional (or symmetric) encryption and public key (or asymmetic) encryption. Featured articles: A Primer on Public Key Encryption by Charles C. Mann. Introduction to Cryptography by Peter Meyer. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/how_encryption_works.html

Primer on Public Key Encryption

[A Web-only sidebar to "Homeland Insecurity," (September, 2002 Atlantic Monthly) by Charles C. Mann] Public-key encryption, as noted in the profile of cryptographer Bruce Schneier, is complicated in detail but simple in outline. The article below is an outline of the principles of the most common variant of public-key cryptography, which is known as RSA, after the initials of its three inventors; a mathematically detailed explanation of RSA by the programmer Brian Raiter, understandable to anyone willing to spend a little time with paper and pencil, is available here. A few terms first: cryptology, the study of codes and ciphers, is the union of cryptography (codemaking) and cryptanalysis (codebreaking). To cryptologists, codes and ciphers are not the same thing. Codes are lists of prearranged substitutes for letters, words, or phrases—i.e. "meet at the theater" for "fly to Chicago." Ciphers employ mathematical procedures called algorithms to transform messages into unreadable jumbles. Most cryptographic algorithms use keys, which are mathematical values that plug into the algorithm. If the algorithm says to encipher a message by replacing each letter with its numerical equivalent (A = 1, B = 2, and so on) and then multiplying the results by some number X, X represents the key to the algorithm. If the key is 5, "attack," for example, turns into "5 100 100 5 15 55." With a

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key of 6, it becomes "6 120 120 6 18 66 ." (Nobody would actually use this cipher, though; all the resulting numbers are divisible by the key, which gives it away.) Cipher algorithms and cipher keys are like door locks and door keys. All the locks from a given company may work in the same way, but all the keys will be different. Public-key cryptography is often said to be important because messages enciphered by it are "unbreakable"—that is, people can't randomly try out possible keys and break the cipher, even with powerful computers that try thousands of keys a second. (This assumes that the key has been properly chosen; even the best algorithm will be compromised if the key is something easily guessable.) In fact, though, many types of crypto algorithms are effectively unbreakable. What public-key does—its significant innovation—is to simplify drastically the problem of controlling the keys. In non-public-key crypto systems, controlling the keys is a constant source of trouble. Cryptographic textbooks usually illustrate the difficulty by referring to three mythical people named Alice, Bob, and Eve. In these examples, Alice spends her days sending secret messages to Bob; Eve, as her name indicates, tries to eavesdrop on those messages by obtaining the key. Because Eve might succeed at any time, the key must be changed frequently. In practice this cannot be easily accomplished. When Alice sends a new key to Bob, she must ensure that Eve doesn't read the message and thus learn the new key. The obvious way to prevent eavesdropping is to use the old key (the key that Alice wants to replace) to encrypt the message containing the new key (the key that Alice wants Bob to employ in the future). But Alice can't do this if there is a chance that Eve knows the old key. Alice could rely on a special backup key that she uses only to encrypt new keys, but presumably this key, too, would need to be changed. Problems multiply when Alice wants to send messages to other people. Obviously, Alice shouldn't use the key she uses to encrypt messages to Bob to communicate with other people—she doesn't want one compromised key to reveal everything. But managing the keys for a large group is an administrative horror; a hundred-user network needs 4,950 separate keys, all of which need regular changing. In the 1980s, Schneier says, U.S. Navy ships had to store so many keys to communicate with other vessels that the paper records were loaded aboard with forklifts. Public-key encryption makes key-management much easier. It was invented in 1976 by two Stanford mathematicians, Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. Their discovery can be phrased simply: enciphering schemes should be asymmetric. For thousands of years all ciphers were symmetric—the key for encrypting a message was identical to the key for decrypting it, but used, so to speak, in reverse. To change "5 100 100 5 15 55" or "6 120 120 6 18 66 " back into "attack," for instance, one simply reverses the encryption by dividing the numbers with the key, instead of multiplying them, and then replaces the numbers with their equivalent letters. Thus sender and receiver must both have the key, and must both keep it secret. The symmetry, Diffie and Hellman realized, is the origin of the key-management problem. The solution is to have an encrypting key that is different from the decrypting key— one key to encipher a message, and another, different key to decipher it. With an asymmetric cipher, Alice could send encrypted messages to Bob without providing him with a secret key. In fact, Alice could send him a secret message even if she had never before communicated with him in any way. "If this sounds ridiculous, it should," Schneier wrote in Secrets and Lies (2001). "It sounds impossible. If you were to survey the world's cryptographers in 1975, they would all have told you it was impossible." One year later, Diffie and Hellman showed that it was possible, after all. (Later the British Secret Service revealed that it had invented these techniques before Diffie and Hellman, but kept them secret—and apparently did nothing with them.)

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To be precise, Diffie and Hellman demonstrated only that public-key encryption was possible in theory. Another year passed before three MIT mathematicians—Ronald L. Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard M. Adleman—figured out a way to do it in the real world. At the base of the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, or RSA, encryption scheme is the mathematical task of factoring. Factoring a number means identifying the prime numbers which, when multiplied together, produce that number. Thus 126,356 can be factored into 2 x 2 x 31 x 1,019, where 2, 31, and 1,019 are all prime. (A given number has only one set of prime factors.) Surprisingly, mathematicians regard factoring numbers—part of the elementary-school curriculum— as a fantastically difficult task. Despite the efforts of such luminaries as Fermat, Gauss, and Fibonacci, nobody has ever discovered a consistent, usable method for factoring large numbers. Instead, mathematicians try potential factors by invoking complex rules of thumb, looking for numbers that divide evenly. For big numbers the process is horribly time-consuming, even with fast computers. The largest number yet factored is 155 digits long. It took 292 computers, most of them fast workstations, more than seven months. Note something odd. It is easy to multiply primes together. But there is no easy way to take the product and reduce it back to its original primes. In crypto jargon, this is a "trapdoor"—a function that lets you go one way easily, but not the other. Such one-way functions, of which this is perhaps the simplest example, are at the bottom of all public-key encryption. They make asymmetric ciphers possible. To use RSA encryption, Alice first secretly chooses two prime numbers, p and q, each more than a hundred digits long. This is easier than it may sound: there are an infinite supply of prime numbers. Last year a Canadian college student found the biggest known prime: 213466917-1. It has 4,053,946 digits; typed without commas in standard 12-point type, the number would be more than ten miles long. Fortunately Alice doesn't need one nearly that big. She runs a program that randomly selects two prime numbers for her and then she multiplies them by each other, producing p x q, a still bigger number that is, naturally, not prime. This is Alice's "public key." (In fact, creating the key is more complicated than I suggest here, but not wildly so.) As the name suggests, public keys are not secret; indeed, the Alices of this world often post them on the Internet or attach them to the bottom of their email. When Bob wants to send Alice a secret message, he first converts the text of the message into a number. Perhaps, as before, he transforms "attack" into "5 100 100 5 15 55." Then he obtains Alice's public key—that is, p x q—by looking it up on a Web site or copying it from her e-mail. (Note here that Bob does not use his key to send Alice a message, as in regular encryption. Instead, he uses Alice's key.) Having found Alice's public key, he plugs it into a special algorithm invented by Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman to encrypt the message. At this point the three mathematicians' cleverness becomes evident. Bob knows the product p x q, because Alice has displayed it on her Web site. But he almost certainly does not know p and q themselves, because they are its only factors, and factoring large numbers is effectively impossible. Yet the algorithm is constructed in such a way that to decipher the message the recipient must know both p and q individually. Because only Alice knows p and q, Bob can send secret messages to Alice without ever having to swap keys. Anyone else who wants to read the message will somehow have to factor p x q. How hard is that? Even if a team of demented government agents spent a trillion dollars on custom computers that do nothing but try random numbers, the Sun would likely go nova before they succeeded. (Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman patented their algorithm and to market it created a company, RSA Data Security, in 1983.)

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In the real world, public-key encryption is practically never used to encrypt actual messages. The reason is that it requires so much computation—even on computers, public-key is very slow. According to a widely cited estimate by Schneier, public-key crypto is about a thousand times slower than conventional cryptography(http://www.f10.org/Number-Theory/Cryptography). As a result, public-key cryptography is more often used as a solution to the key-management problem, rather than as direct cryptography. People employ public-key to distribute regular, symmetric keys, which are then used to encrypt and decrypt actual messages. In other words, Alice and Bob send each other their public keys. Alice generates a symmetric key that she will only use for a short time (usually, in the trade, called a session key), encrypts it with Bob's public key, and sends it to Bob, who decrypts it with his private key. Now that Alice and Bob both have the session key, they can exchange messages. When Alice wants to begin a new round of messages, she creates another session key. Systems that use both symmetric and public-key cryptography are called hybrid, and almost every available public-key system, such as PGP, is a hybrid. Solving the key problem, one should note, didn't make encryption easy for novices—it made encryption easier for experts. In 1999 a Carnegie Mellon doctoral student named Alma Whitten asked twelve experienced computer users to send and receive five encrypted e-mail messages apiece with PGP. One couldn't manage it at all; three accidentally sent unencrypted messages; seven created them with the wrong key; two had so much difficulty with the other tasks that they never bothered to send out the public, encrypting half of their keys; two who received properly encrypted messages tried to decrypt their decryption key, rather than the messages. Whitten called her report, cowritten with J. D. Tygar of the University of California at Berkeley, "Why Johnny Can't Encrypt." Indeed, as mentioned in the profile, Johnny not only can't encrypt, he doesn't encrypt. Fascinating as a mathematical exercise, public-key encryption has yet to make much difference in people's lives. (The Atlantic Monthly) http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/encryption_public.html Introduction to Cryptography

by Peter Meyer (Last revision 1994-04-29) The purpose of this article is to provide information in the area of practical cryptography of interest to anyone wishing to use cryptographic software. I have mostly avoided discussion of technical matters in favor of a more general explanation of what I regard as the main things to be understood by someone beginning to use encryption. Those wishing to get more deeply into the theoretical aspects should consult Bruce Schneier's book (see bibliography at end). Dolphin Software publishes several commercial cryptographic software products for the PC, including Dolphin Encrypt and Dolphin Encrypt Advanced Version (file and disk encryption software) and EZ-Crypt (an on-the-fly encryption TSR). (Product information available upon request). Occasionally in this article I include some remarks specifically concerning these or other products. Cryptography is the art or science of secret writing, or more exactly, of storing information (for a shorter or longer period of time) in a form which allows it to be revealed to those you wish to see it yet hides it from all others. A cryptosystem is a method to accomplish this. Cryptanalysis is the practice of defeating such attempts to hide information. Cryptology includes both cryptography and cryptanalysis.

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The original information to be hidden is called plaintext. The hidden information is called ciphertext. Encryption is any procedure to convert plaintext into ciphertext. Decryption is any procedure to convert ciphertext into plaintext. A cryptosystem is designed it so that decryption can be accomplished only under certain conditions, which generally means only by persons in possession of both a decryption engine (these days, generally a computer program) and a particular piece of information, called the decryption key, which is supplied to the decryption engine in the process of decryption. Plaintext is converted into ciphertext by means of an encryption engine (again, generally a computer program) whose operation is fixed and determinate (the encryption method) but which functions in practice in a way dependent on a piece of information (the encryption key) which has a major effect on the output of the encryption process. The result of using the decryption method and the decryption key to decrypt ciphertext produced by using the encryption method and the encryption key should always be the same as the original plaintext (except perhaps for some insignificant differences). In this process the encryption key and the decryption key may or may not be the same. When they are the cryptosystem is called a "symmetric key" system; when they are not it is called an "asymmetric key" system. The most widely-known instance of a symmetric cryptosystem is DES (the so-called Data Encryption Standard). The most widely-known instance of an asymmetric key cryptosystem is PGP. Dolphin Encrypt and EZ-Crypt are symmetric key cryptosystems. There are many reasons for using encryption (examples are given below), and the cryptosystem that one should use is the one best suited for one's particular purpose and which satisfies the requirements of security, reliability and ease-of-use. Ease-of-use is easy to understand. Reliability means that the cryptosystem, when used as its designer intended it to be used, will always reveal exactly the information hidden when it is needed (in other words, that the ciphertext will always be recoverable and the recovered data will be the same as to the original plaintext). Security means that the cryptosystem will in fact keep the information hidden from all but those persons intended to see it despite the attempts of others to crack the system. Ease-of-use is the quality easiest to ascertain. If the encryption key is a sequence of 64 hexadecimal digits (a 256-bit key), such as: B923A24C98D98F83E24234CF8492C384E9AD19A128B 3910F3904C324E920DA31 then you may have a problem not only in remembering it but also in using it (try typing the sequence above a few times). With such a key it is necessary to write it down or store it in a disk file, in which case there is the danger that it may be discovered by someone else. Thus such a key is not only inconvenient to use but also is a security risk. The key used in Dolphin Encrypt is any typeable string of from 10 to 60 characters and thus may be a phrase which is easy to remember, e.g. "Lay on MacDuff!" Spaces are not significant, and upper and lower case are equivalent, so you don't have to remember whether the key is "Lay on MacDuff!" or "Lay on Macduff!" Reliability is the quality next easiest to test for. If it is not possible to provide a formal proof that the decryption of the encryption of the plaintext is always identical to the plaintext it is at least possible to write software to perform multiple encryptions and decryptions with many different keys to test for reliability (though this testing cannot be exhaustive). Such software is provided with Dolphin Encrypt. Finally there is the question of security. The security of a cryptosystem is

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always relative to the task it is intended to accomplish and the conditions under which it will be used. A theoretically secure system becomes insecure if used by people who write their encryption keys on pieces of paper which they stick to their computer terminals. In general a cryptosystem can never be shown to be completely secure in practice, in the sense that without knowledge of the decryption key it is impossible to recover the plaintext with real-world computing power in less than, say, a thousand years. There is one cryptosystem known as the one-time pad, which is absolutely secure, but in practice it is cumbersome and the key can be used only once without compromising the security of the system. In some cases it is possible to show that cracking a cryptosystem is equivalent to solving some particular mathematical problem, e.g. the problem of factoring large numbers ("large" here means numbers with several hundred decimal digits). If many mathematicians working for many years have been unable to solve a problem then this is a reason to regard a cryptosystem based on it as secure. However, there is no guarantee that a solution to the mathematical problem may not be found tomorrow, in which case the security of the cryptosystem would disappear overnight (or at least, as soon as word got around). In the case of PGP and other encryption software such as RIPEM which rely on an asymmetric encryption algorithm known as the RSA Algorithm, it is widely believed that these are secure if and only if the problem of factoring large numbers is insoluble (that is, computationally infeasible in real time). Yet recently a claim has been made, but has not been confirmed, that a method of cryptanalysis of the RSA Algorithm has been found which does not depend on a general solution to the problem of factor ing large numbers. A poster to the Usenet newsgroup sci.crypt (Francis Barrett) has remarked: Although factoring is believed to be hard, and factoring breaks RSA, breaking RSA does not simplify factoring. Trivial non-factoring methods of breaking RSA could therefore exist. Whether this paper [by William H. Payne] is legitimate remains to be seen, but it is certainly not beyond the realm of possiblity. Some have claimed that PGP is the most secure encryption program available for PCs, a claim that does not withstand critical examination. Given two encryption programs, each of which generates random-looking ciphertext, how does one decide that one of them is "more secure" than the other - even if full details of the encryption algorithms are known? Short of breaking one of the systems there is no clear answer. If one cannot provide criteria for determining when one program is more secure than another then it does not make sense to ask which is the most secure. Brute force attacks upon a cryptosystem (a brute force attack involves trying every possible key to decrypt some ciphertext until finding one that works) can be compared since the average time required by a brute force attack is half the number of possible keys multiplied by the time required to test each key (by using it to decrypt the ciphertext and seeing whether anything intelligible results). It is true that if the size of the key space associated with a cryptosystem is small (e.g. 2^16 = 65,536) then the cryptosystem is vulnerable to a brute force attack. But if a cryptosystem has a large key space (e.g. the key space associated with Dolphin Encrypt, whose size is about 10^109) then a brute force attack is not feasible and so any weakness in the system, if it exists, must be sought elsewhere. Some may wonder: When trying to decrypt an encoded message by brute force, how does a computer know when it has succeeded? The answer is that in a brute force attack one tries one key after another, and if a key is incorrect the "decryption" will normally be garbage, i.e. will look like random bytes. There are statistical tests for randomness that can easily distinguish random bytes from natural

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language, so if the output does not appear like garbage then it is probably the plaintext, or at least is flagged for closer inspection. Randomness tests will distinguish between garbage and natural language text regardless of what the natural language is. More sensitive tests may actually be able to detect which natural language, since natural language texts in different languages have different statistical qualities. In general, the security of a cryptosystem can only be measured by its resistance to actual attempts to break it in practice. Those that have been broken are obviously insecure. (There are several commercially available PC encryption packages that have been broken; see for example the articles by Kochanski in the bibliography at the end of this article.) Those that have resisted the attentions of many cryptanalysts for many years may be deemed secure, at least until better methods of cryptanalysis are invented. In the case of DES there has long been widespread suspicion that the National Security Agency influenced its designers at IBM so that it was strong enough to withstand most attacks but not strong enough to withstand the NSA computers. The original design submitted by IBM permitted all 16 x 48 = 768 bits of key used in the 16 rounds to be selected independently. A U.S. Senate Select Committee ascertained in 1977 that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was instrumental in reducing the DES secret key to 56 bits that are each used many times, although this had previously been denied by IBM ... (Massey, p.541.) But the best attempts by cryptanalysts over the years have produced only meager results (in particular, the demonstration of Adi Shamir that cryptanalysis of DES ciphertext, in the simplest DES mode (electronic code book), can be done with somewhat less effort than that required for a brute force attack). But recently a new method of DES cryptanalysis has been proposed which involves the use of parallel processing (using many computers simultaneously), and it now seems clear that for a few million dollars a computer can be built which can crack DES ciphertext in a few hours. Since NSA has practically unlimited funding and has the largest concentration of computing power and mathematical talent in the world, it is likely that NSA possesses the ability to decrypt DES ciphertext fairly easily. NSA has, of course, never affirmed or denied their ability to crack DES. (NSA also means Never Say Anything.) However, the absence of publication of a demonstration that a particular cryptosystem has been cracked is no proof that it hasn't. Anyone who discovered a way to crack DES, RSA, etc., could make a lot more money by quietly providing a decryption service than by telling the world about his discovery. In fact if he did announce it people would quickly stop using that cryptosystem and he would have few clients. When selecting a cryptosystem, or cryptographic software, you should first consider what you want it to accomplish. There are numerous (legitimate) reasons why you might wish to conceal information, for example: Companies often possess data files on employees which are confidential, such as medical records, salary records, etc. Employees will feel safer knowing that these files are encrypted and are not accessible to casual inspection by data entry clerks (who may be bribed to obtain information on someone). Individuals may share working space with others, of whose honor they are not entirely sure, and may wish to make certain that in their absence no-one will find anything by snooping about in their hard disk. A company may wish to transfer sensitive business information between sites such as branch offices. Or it may wish to send confidential information (for example, a negotiating position, operating procedures or proprietary data) to an agent in the field (perhaps abroad). If the information is encrypted before transmission then one does not have to worry about it being intercepted since if this happens the encrypted data is incomprehensible (without the encryption key).

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A company may have information that a competitor would like to see, such as information concerning legal or financial problems, results of research, who the customers are and what they are buying, information revealing violations of government regulations, secret formulas or details of manufacturing processes, plans for future expansion or for the development of new products. A person or company may wish to transport to a distant location a computer which contains sensitive information without being concerned that if the computer is examined en route (e.g. by foreign customs agents) then the information will be revealed. Two individuals may wish to correspond by email on matters that they wish to keep private and be sure that no-one else is reading their mail. From the above examples it can be seen that there are two general cases when encryption is needed: (a) When information, once encrypted, is simply to be stored on-site (and invulnerable to unauthorized access) until there is a need to access that information. (b) When information is to be transmitted somewhere and it is encrypted so that if it is intercepted before reaching its intended destination the interceptor will not find anything they can make sense of. In case (b) there arises the problem of secure key exchange. This problem exists because the person who will decrypt the information is usually not the same as the person who encrypted the information. Assuming that the decryptor is in posssession of the decryption engine (normally a software program) how does the decryptor know which decryption key to use? This information must be communicated to the decryptor in some way. If, during the course of this communication, the key is intercepted by a third party then that third party can intercept and decrypt the ciphertext subsequently sent by the encryptor to the decryptor. This is a problem which all users of symmetric key systems (e.g. DES and Dolphin Encrypt) must face when transmitting encrypted data, because in such systems the decryption key is the same as the encryption key. The encryptor can choose any encryption key they wish, but how are they to communicate that key to the decryptor in a secure way? Governments typically solve this problem by putting the key in a locked briefcase, handcuffing it to the wrist of a trusted minion, and despatching him with several armed guards to deliver the briefcase in person (typically at an embassy in a foreign country). This solution is generally too expensive for ordinary citizens. If you know that your mail is not being opened then you can send the key that way, but who can be sure of this? Even registered mail may be opened. The best way to pass the key to whoever you will be sending encrypted material to is by personal contact someplace where there is no chance of being observed. If this is not possible then various less secure means are available. For example, if you used to live in the same city as the person for some years then you might call them and say, "Remember that restaurant in San Diego where we used to have breakfast? Remember the name of that cute waitress? Let's use her name as the key." Then you have a key that only you two know, unless someone has extensive information on your breakfast habits in San Diego several years ago and the names of the waitresses you might have come in contact with. There is a class of cryptosystems knowns as "public key" systems which were first developed in the 1970s to solve this problem of secure key exchange. These are the systems referred to above as "asymmetric key" systems, in which the decryption key is not the same as the encryption key. Such public key systems can, if used properly, go a long way toward solving the problem of secure key exchange because the encryption key can be given out to the world without compromising the security of communication, provided that the decryption key is kept secret. Let's say you wish to receive encrypted email from your girlfriend Alice.

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You call her and give her your public key - the one used to perform encryption. Alice writes a passionate love letter, encrypts it with your public key and sends it to you. You decrypt it with your private key. If your other girlfriend Cheryl intercepts this then there is no way she can decrypt it because the public key (assumed to be known to everyone and thus to her) is no good for decryption. Decryption can only be performed with the private key, which only you know (unless Cheryl finds it written on a piece of paper in the top drawer of the dresser under your socks). A public key cryptosystem relies on some mathematical procedure to generate the public and private keys. The mathematical nature of these systems usually allows the security of the system to be measured by the difficulty of solving some mathematical problem. There are numerous public key cryptosystems, the most well known being the one based on the RSA Algorithm (which is patented by its inventors, Rivest, Shamir and Adelman), which, as noted above, relies for its security on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. There are other public key systems available for licensing for commercial use, such as the LUC public key system (from LUC Encryption Technology, Sierra Madre, CA), and one developed by the computer manufacturer Next, Inc. Public key cryptography has applications beyond the classical one of hiding information. As a consequence of the encryption key and the decryption key being different, public key cryptography makes possible digital signatures (for authentification of documents) and digital forms of such activities as simultaneous contract signing. Digital cash is also an idea which builds on the use of an asymmetric cryptosystem. Although public key cryptography in theory solves the problem of secure key exchange, it does in general have a couple of disadvantages compared to asymmetric (or secret) key systems. The first is speed. Generally public key systems, such as PGP, are much slower than secret key systems, and so may be suitable for encrypting small amounts of data, such as messages sent by email, but are not suitable for bulk encryption, where it may be required to encrypt megabytes of data. Secret key systems can be very fast (especially if implemented by instructions hardcoded into chips rather than running in a computer's memory). The more complex such a system is the slower it tends to be, but even complex systems are generally of acceptable speed. For example, Dolphin Encrypt will encrypt and decrypt at about 30 Kb/sec on a 80486 PC running at 50 Mhz (equivalent to 1 megabyte in 35 seconds), which is fast enough for most people. The second disadvantage of public key systems is that there is a problem of key validation. If you wish to send encrypted data to a person, Fred, say, and you have obtained what is claimed to be Fred's public key, how do you know it really is Fred's public key? What if a third party, Jack, were to publish a public key in Fred's name? If Jack works for a U.S. intelligence or law enforcement agency and can monitor communications channels used by Fred then he can intercept encrypted data sent to Fred, including any message you send to him, and can then decrypt it (since he has the corresponding private key). If Jack were really sneaky, and knew Fred's real public key, he could re-encrypt your message to Fred using the real public key (perhaps after altering your message in ways you might not approve of) and deliver it to Fred as if it had come directly from you. Fred would then decrypt it with his private key and read a message which he assumes is from you, but which may in fact be quite different from what you sent. In theory Jack could sit in the middle of an assumed two-way email correspondence between you and Fred, read everything each of you send to the other, and pass to each of you faked messages saying anything he wanted you to believe was from the other. A recent contributor to sci.crypt (Terry Ritter, 11/29/93) wrote:

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When we have a secret-key cipher, we have the serious problem of transporting a key in absolute secrecy. However, after we do this, we can depend on the cipher providing its level of technical secrecy as long as the key is not exposed. When we have a publickey cipher, we apparently have solved the problem of transporting a key. In fact, however, we have only done so if we ignore the security requirement to validate that key. Now, clearly, validation must be easier than secure transport, so it can be a big advantage. But validation is not trivial, and many people do not understand that it is necessary. When we have a public-key cipher and use an unvalidated key, our messages could be exposed to a spoofer who has not had to "break" the cipher. The spoofer has not had to break RSA. The spoofer has not had to break IDEA. Thus, discussion of the technical strength of RSA and IDEA are insufficient to characterize the overall strength of such a cipher. In contrast, discussion of the technical strength of a secret-key cipher *IS* sufficient to characterize the strength of that cipher. Discussion of the strength of public-key cipher mechanisms is irrelevant without a discussion of the strength of the public-key validation protocol. Private-key ciphers need no such protocol, nor any such discussion. And a public-key cipher which includes the required key-validation protocol can be almost as much trouble as a secret-key cipher which needs none. When encryption is used in case (a), to be stored on-site (and invulnerable to unauthorized access) until there is a need to access that information, a secret key cryptosystem is clearly preferable, since such a system has the virtue of speed, and there is no problem of key validation and no problem of key exchange (since there is no need to transmit the encryption key to anyone other than by face-toface communication). However, many people are still using secret key cryptosystems that are relatively easy to break since those people don't know any better. For example, the WordPerfect word processing program allows you to lock the information in a file by means of a password. In a bad marriage one spouse might think that by locking their WordPerfect files they can write what they like and not worry that the other spouse might later use this against them. What the first spouse doesn't know is that there are programs around that can automatically (and in a few seconds) find the password used to lock a WordPerfect file. In fact the WordPerfect encryption method (at least for Versions 5.1 and earlier) has been shown to be very easy to break. Full descriptions are given in the articles by Bennett, for Version 4.2, and by Bergen and Caelli, for Version 5.0 (see the bibliography below). Another case is the encryption scheme used by Microsoft's word processing program Word. A method to crack encrypted Word files was published on Usenet late in 1993, so this method of protecting information is now obsolete. There is even a company, Access Data Recovery (in Orem, Utah) that sells software that automatically recovers the passwords used to encrypt data in a number of commercial software applications, including Lotus 123. For a cryptosystem to be considered strong it should possess the following properties (I shall illustrate these by reference to the Dolphin Encrypt file encryption software): (i) The security of a strong system resides with the secrecy of the key rather than with the supposed secrecy of the algorithm. In other words, even if an attacker knows the full details of the method used to encrypt and to decrypt, this should not allow him to decrypt the ciphertext if he does not know the key which was used to encrypt it (although obviously his task is even more difficult if he does not know the method). The encryption algorithm used in Dolphin Encrypt is defined by the C source code for the encryption and decryption functions, and this source code is part of a publicly

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available C function library (the Dolphin Encryption Library). The method is not secret and its full details are available for examination to anyone who purchases the library. (ii) A strong cryptosystem has a large keyspace, that is, there are very many possible encryption keys. DES is considered by many to be flawed in this respect, because there are only 2^56 (about 10^17) possible keys. The size of the keyspace associated with Dolphin Encrypt is about 10^109, due to the fact that keys can be up to 60 characters in length. (iii) A strong cryptosystem will produce ciphertext which appears random to all standard statistical tests. A full discussion of these tests is beyond the scope of an introductory article such as this on the use of encryption software, but we may consider one interesting test, the so-called kappa test, otherwise known as the index of coincidence. The idea behind this is as follows: Suppose that the elements of the cipher text are any of the 256 possible bytes (0 through FF). Consider the ciphertext to be a sequence of bytes (laid out in a row). Now duplicate this sequence and place it beneath the first (with the first byte of the second sequence below the first byte of the first sequence). We then have a sequence of pairs of identical bytes. Slide the lower sequence to the right a certain distance, say, 8 places. Then count how many pairs there are in which the bytes are identical. If the sequence of bytes were truly random then we would expect about 1/256 of the pairs to consist of identical bytes, i.e. about 0.39% of them. It is not difficult to write a program which analyzes a file of data, calculating the indices of coincidence (also known as the kappa value) for multiple displacement values. When we run such a program on ordinary English text we obtain values such as the following ("IC" means "index of coincidence"): Typically only 80 or so different byte Offset IC coincidences 5.85% 2397 in 40968 values occur in a file of English text. If these byte 6.23% 2551 in 40967 values occurred randomly then we would expect an 9.23% 3780 in 40966 index of coincidence for each displacement of about 8.31% 3406 in 40965 1/80, i.e. about 1.25%. However, the distribution of 7.91% 3240 in 40964 characters in English text is not random ("e", "t" and 7.88% 3227 in 40963 the space character occur most frequently), which is 7.78% 3187 in 40962 why we obtain the larger IC values shown above. The kappa test can be used to break a 7.92% 3244 in 40961 weak cryptosystem, or at least, to provide a clue 8.24% 3377 in 40960 toward breaking it. The index of coincidence for the 7.98% 3268 in 40959 displacement equal to the length of the encryption 8.16% 3341 in 40958 key will often be significantly higher than the other 8.09% 3315 in 40957 indices, in which case one can infer the length of the 8.15% 3337 in 40956 key. 7.97% 3264 in 40955 For example, here are the indices of 7.97% 3265 in 40954 coincidence for a file of ciphertext (2048 bytes in 8.07% 3306 in 40953 size) produced by encrypting a text file using a weak 8.04% 3293 in 40952 cryptosystem (one which was discussed on sci.crypt 7.85% 3214 in 40951 in December 1993): Offset IC coincidences 1 0.15% 3 in 2047 2 0.34% 7 in 2046 3 0.34% 7 in 2045 4 0.54% 11 in 2044 5 0.44% 9 in 2043 6 0.39% 8 in 2042 7 0.24% 5 in 2041 8 0.49% 10 in 2040 9 0.49% 10 in 2039 10 0.29% 6 in 2038 11 0.15% 3 in 2037 12 0.10% 2 in 2036 13 0.64% 13 in 2035 14 0.74% 15 in 2034 15 0.39% 8 in 2033 16 0.20% 4 in 2032 17 0.30% 6 in 2031 18 0.34% 7 in 2030. 256 different byte values occur in the ciphertext, so if it were to appear 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

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as random then the kappa value should be about 0.39% for each displacement. But the kappa values for displacements 13 and 14 are significantly higher than the others, suggesting that the length of the key used in the encryption was either 13 or 14. This clue led to the decryption of the ciphertext and it turned out that the key length was in fact 13. As an example of how non-random some ciphertext produced by commercial cryptosystems may be it is instructive to consider the proprietary encryption algorithm used by the Norton Diskreet program. The file named NORTON.INI, which comes with the Diskreet program, contains 530 bytes and 41 different byte values, including 403 instances of the byte value 0. The non-zero byte values are dispersed among the zero values. If we encrypt this file using Diskreet's proprietary encryption method and the key "ABCDEFGHIJ" we obtain a file, NORTON.SEC, which contains 2048 bytes, including 1015 0-bytes. When we examine this file with a hex editor we find that it consists of the letters "PNCICRYPT", seven 0bytes or 1-bytes, 1024 bytes of apparent gibberish (the ciphertext) and finally 1008 0bytes. Suppose we extract the 1024 bytes of ciphertext. There are 229 different byte values in this ciphertext, so if it really appeared random we would expect the kappa values to be about 1/229, i.e. about 0.44%. What we find is the following: Offset IC coincidences 1 0.29% 3 in 1023 2 21.72% 222 in 1022 3 0.69% 7 in 1021 4 1.08% 11 in 1020 5 0.49% 5 in 1019 6 0.20% 2 in 1018 7 0.39% 4 in 1017 8 0.00% 0 in 1016 9 0.79% 8 in 1015 10 0.39% 4 in 1014 11 0.69% 7 in 1013 12 0.69% 7 in 1012 13 0.30% 3 in 1011 14 0.99% 10 in 1010 15 0.20% 2 in 1009 16 0.30% 3 in 1008 17 0.40% 4 in 1007 18 0.20% 2 in 1006 The figure of 21.72% for offset 2 is quite astounding. When we look at the ciphertext with a hex editor we see that there are many lines which have a byte pattern: xx yy aa bb aa bb cc dd cc dd ee ff ee ff gg hh gg hh ... that is, in which pairs of bytes tend to be repeated, for example: 4B 25 4B 25 8D 28 8D 28 2D F8 2D F8 21 AC 21 AC E8 9E E8 9E F2 FC F2 FC C6 C5 C6 C5 7E 4F 7E 4F B2 8B B2 8B 32 EE 32 EE 25 2C 25 2C A5 32 A5 32 8D 61 8D 61 E5 C1 E5 C1 D4 F7 D4 F7. This explains why sliding the ciphertext against itself two places to the right produces such a large number of coincidences. Clearly this ciphertext shows obvious regularities, and appears to be very far from random. Such regularities are what a cryptanalyst looks for, as a clue to the encryption method and to the key, and which a good cryptosystem denies him. In contrast to Diskreet, Dolphin Encrypt encrypts the same file, NORTON.INI, using the same key, to a file of 450 bytes (in which there are 207 different byte values, implying that the kappa values should be about 0.48% if the ciphertext is to appear random) with kappa values as follows: Offset IC coincidences 1 0.45% 2 in 449 2 0.45% 2 in 448 3 0.00% 0 in 447 4 0.45% 2 in 446 5 0.00% 0 in 445 6 0.23% 1 in 444 7 0.45% 2 in 443 8 0.23% 1 in 442 9 0.23% 1 in 441 10 0.23% 1 in 440 11 0.46% 2 in 439 12 0.23% 1 in 438 13 0.23% 1 in 437 14 0.46% 2 in 436 15 0.23% 1 in 435 16 0.69% 3 in 434 17 0.00% 0 in 433 18 0.46% 2 in 432 The essentially discrete distribution of these indices of coincidence (0.00, 0.23, 0.46, 0.69) are due to the small size of the ciphertext (450 bytes). When we do the same test for a file of Dolphin ciphertext of size 60201 bytes (in which there are 256 different byte values, implying a desired kappa value of 0.39%) we find: Offset IC coincidences 1. 0.41% 248 in 60200 2. 0.43% 258 in 60199 3. 0.44% 263 in 60198 4. 0.43% 258 in 60197

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The kappa test, and other statistical tests, reveal no regularities in the ciphertext produced by Dolpin Encrypt (or by EZ-Crypt). When evaluating an encryption program it is reasonable to ask whether the cipher used is something as weak as a repeated exclusive-or cipher, in which the bytes of the key are repeatedly exclusive-or'd against those of the plaintext - the sort of "crypto system designed by a 16-year-old on a long weekend" that some like to accuse very new system of being. In a such a crypto system each byte of the ciphertext is affected only by the corresponding byte in the key and not by every byte (or every bit) in the key. In this case the system is generally easy to crack (by determining the length of the key, say n, and then considering the n sets of bytes affected by each byte in the ciphertext). Some simple tests of the encryption program may be performed to answer this question of the extent of the dependence of each byte of the ciphertext on all of, or only on some of, the bytes of the key. To illustrate in the case of Dolphin Encrypt: A file, NULLFILE, of 50,000 zero-bytes (good for testing ciphers because the plaintext consists entirely of a single byte value) was encrypted using Dolphin Encrypt and two similar keys, "abcdefghij" and "abcdefghik". These keys differ only in their final bit ('k' instead of 'j'). The ciphertext files produced were, respectively, NULLFILE.E1 (length 1800 bytes) and NULLFILE.E2 (length 1830) bytes (Dolphin Encrypt performs compression before encryption). A byte-by-byte file comparison utility was run on the two output files, with the following result: File 1: NULLFILE.E1 Filesize: 1800 File 2: NULLFILE.E2 Filesize: 1830 152 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 38 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 31 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 174 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 107 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 318 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 155 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 175 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 8 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 125 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 42 bytes are different. One byte is identical. 464 bytes are different. Thus exactly 11 bytes, at apparently random locations, in the first 1800 bytes of the first file were the same as the bytes in the corresponding positions in the second file. This is more-or-less what we would expect when comparing files which consist of what appear to be random bytes and which are independent of each other (since 1800/256 = 7.03). A similar test is to take a string of characters such as "aabbccddee" and encrypt it using two keys which differ by one bit. When this string is encrypted using Dolphin Encrypt and the keys "abcdefghij" and "abcdefghik" (as before) the resulting ciphertext is as follows (these are hexdumps of the two ciphertext files): 85 E0 08 22 F6 54 27 DE - 6A 1F A0 2C 8F C1 C7 D3 ...".T'.j..,.... 87 54 DF 59 CF 2F 75 64 - 82 D3 95 23 2A 70 3D EA .T.Y./ud...#*p=. D6 AB 12 1C 6D 9E 52 4E - 41 20 0A A9 E7 47 89 90 ....m.RNA ...G.. 47 2C 14 83 EF EE DB 44 - AD FA 2C 38 5C 89 E7 0F G,.....D..,8\... FE 6A EC 16 7C 55 33 EC - 51 2E 52 5C 30 9F 0B 00 .j..|U3.Q.R\0.. 7C 11 91 7B 25 B6 66 10 - 24 B4 29 E1 14 88 12 00 |..{%.f.$.).... 49 03 E5 6A 10 99 37 24 - 98 B9 28 I..j..7$..( A2 59 8D 70 B3 B0 44 D1 - C9 F9 54 EE CA 2E 4D 7C .Y.p..D...T...M| FE 39 72 7B F3

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

0.43% 0.34% 0.40% 0.42% 0.40% 0.40% 0.41% 0.36% 0.41% 0.37% 0.36% 0.41% 0.40% 0.37%

257 205 239 252 241 242 247 216 245 223 219 247 238 222

in in in in in in in in in in in in in in

60196 60195 60194 60193 60192 60191 60190 60189 60188 60187 60186 60185 60184 60183

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C3 D6 87 - 64 EC 2A 5E AD ED D3 9D .9r{....d.*^.... 81 FC 40 CA DF 71 7A 97 - 42 26 FC 65 19 23 C6 08 ..@..qz.B&.e.#.. 76 7B AD CA 0A 71 F5 B2 - 51 DF 21 06 0A D9 0A 0E v{...q..Q.!..... EA 8D EA 14 88 C8 22 69 - B1 38 66 D1 89 DE 00 56 ......"i.8f... V 0A F7 F6 C4 E9 57 B7 92 - BF E5 1C 58 8B 14 2F B7 .....W.....X../. 01 2F 00 CF 5E 06 69 4D - AD 43 F9 DC 94 ./ .^.iM.C... The ciphertext produced is quite different even though the keys are almost the same. In fact, each byte in the first ciphertext block is different from its corresponding byte in the second ciphertext block. When attempting to break a cipher this test is often one of the first to be applied, namely, take some known plaintext and encrypt it with slightly different keys and compare the resulting ciphertext to see whether a particular change in the key produces a particular change in the ciphertext. With a strong cipher a change of a single bit in the key will have a cascading effect, producing large changes in the resulting ciphertext, as we see above. As to the increase in size of the ciphertext in this case: Dolphin Encrypt adds random bytes (a.k.a. garbage) to the ciphertext (this makes crypt- analysis of the cipher more difficult), so very small files are increased. Larger ciphertext blocks (a few Kb or more) are usually considerably smaller than the plaintext blocks because the decrease in size resulting from compression is usually much more than the increase resulting from interpolation of random bytes. Selected Bibliography Cryptology is an academic discipline which has implications for the security of life and property, and thus there is a vast literature on the subject, often highly technical in nature. Much of the research is secret and unpublished. The following are just a few of the many books and journal articles available. The history of codes and code-breaking is especially interesting. The best book on this subject is David Kahn's The Codebreakers (the bound edition is recommended). Among the following works those marked with an asterisk are more historical than technical and tend to be somewhat easier reading. Those marked "#" contain commentary on some contemporary political aspects of the civilian use of cryptography. Andreassen, K.: Computer Cryptology, Prentice-Hall. Angluin, D. and Lichtenstein, D.: Provable Security in Cryptosystems, Yale University, 1983. #Bamford, J.: The Puzzle Palace, Penguin Books. #Barlow, J. P.: "Decrypting the Puzzle Palace", Communications of the ACM, July 1992, pp. 25-31. Barker, W. G.: History of Codes and Ciphers in the U.S., several volumes, Aegean Park Press, P. O. Box 2837, Laguna Hills, CA 92654. Beker, H. and Piper, F.: Cipher Systems, Wiley, 1982. Bennett, J.: "Analysis of the Encryption Algorithm Used in the WordPerfect Word Processing Program", Cryptologia 11(4), pp. 206-210, 1987. Bergen, H. A. and Caelli, W. J.: "File Security in WordPerfect 5.0", Cryptologia 15(1), pp. 57-66, January 1991. Biham, E. and Shamir, A.: "Differential cryptanalysis of DES-like cryptosystems", Journal of Cryptology, vol. 4, #1, pp. 3-72, 1991. Boyd, C.: "Anguish under Siege: High-Grade Japanese Signal Intelligence and the Fall of Berlin", Cryptologia 8(3), July 1989, pp. 193-209. Brassard, G.: Modern Cryptology, Springer-Verlag, 1988. Deavours, C. A. and Kruh, L.: Machine Cryptography and Modern Crypt- analysis, Artech House, 610 Washington St., Dedham, MA 02026, 1985. DeLaurentis, J. M.: "A Further Weakness in the Common Modulus Protocol in the RSA Cryptoalgorithm", Cryptologia, 8(3), July 1984, pp. 253-259. Denning, D.: Cryptography and Data Security, Addison-Wesley, 1982. Diffie, W.: "The first ten years of public key cryptography", IEEE proceedings,

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76(5), 560--577, 1988. ---- and Hellman, M.: "Privacy and authentication: an introduction to cryptography", IEEE proceedings, 67(3), 397-427, 1979. Feistel, H.: "Cryptography and Computer Privacy", Scientific American, 228(5), pp. 15-23, 1973. Flicke, W. F.: War Secrets in the Ether, Volumes 1 & 2, Aegean Park Press. Friedman, W. F.: Solving German Codes in World War I, Aegean Park Press. ---- and Mendelsohn, C. J.: The Zimmermann Telegram of 1917 and its Cryptographic Backround, Aegean Park Press. Gaines, H. F.: Cryptanalysis, Dover, 1956. Garon, G. and Outerbridge, R.: "DES watch: an examination of the sufficiency of the Data Encryption Standard for financial institutions in the 1990's", Cryptologia 15(3), 1991, pp. 177-193. Hinsley, F. H. et al.: British Intelligence in the Second World War, Cambridge U. P., volumes 1 - 4. ---- and Stripp, A. (eds.): Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park, Oxford U.P., 1993. Held, G.: Top Secret Data Encryption Techniques, Sams Publishing, 1993. Hellman, M.: "The mathematics of public key cryptography", Scientific American, pp. 130-139, 1979. Kahn, D.: The Codebreakers, Macmillan, 1967. ----: Seizing the Enigma, Houghton Mifflin, 1991. Kochanski, M.: "A Survey of Data Insecurity Packages", Cryptologia 11(1), pp. 1-15, 1987. ----: "Another Data Insecurity Package", Cryptologia 12(3), pp.165-177, July 1988. Konheim, A. G.: Cryptography: A Primer, John Wiley, 1981. #Kruh, L.: "The Control of Public Cryptography and Freedom of Speech - A Review", Cryptologia 10(1), January 1986, pp. 2-9. Lysing, H.: Secret Writing, Dover, 1974. Marotta, M.: The Code Book, Loompanics, 1987. Massey, J.: "An Introduction to Contemporary Cryptology", IEEE Proceedings, 76(5), pp. 533-549, May 1988. Meyer, C. H., and Matyas, S. M.: Cryptography, John Wiley, 1982. #Pierce, K. J.: "Public Cryptography, Arms Export Controls, and the First Amendment: A Need for Legislation", Cornell International Law Journal, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Winter 1984), pp. 197236. Rivest, R. L., Shamir, A. and Adelman, L.: "A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-key Cryptosystems," Communications of the ACM, February 1979. Salomaa, A.: Public Key Cryptography, Springer-Verlag, 1990. Schneier, B.: "Untangling Public Key Cryptography", Dr Dobb's Journal, May 1992, pp. 16-28. ----: "The IDEA Encryption Algorithm", Dr Dobb's Journal, December 1993, pp. 50-56. ----: Applied Cryptography, John Wiley & Sons, 1994. Simmons, G. (ed.): Contemporary Cryptology: the Science of Information Integrity, IEEE Press, 1991. Smith, L. D.: Cryptography, Dover, 1955. Weber, R. E.: United States Diplomatic Codes and Ciphers 1775-1938, Precedent, 1979. Welsh, D.: Codes and Cryptography, Claredon Press, 1988. Yardley, H. O.: The American Black Chamber, Ballantine 1981. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/cryptography_intro.html Private Key (Symmetric) Encryption

Private Key encryption, also referred to as conventional, single-key or symmetric encryption was the only available option prior to the advent of Public Key encryption in 1976. This form of encryption has been used throughout history by Julius Caesar, the Navaho Indians, German U-Boat commanders to present day military, government and private sector applications. It equires all parties that are communicating to share a common key. A conventional encryption scheme has five major parts: Plaintext - this is the text message to which an algorithm is applied. Encryption Algorithm - it performs mathematical operations to conduct substitutions and transformations to the plaintext.

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Secret Key - This is the input for the algorithm as the key dictates the encrypted outcome. Ciphertext - This is the encrypted or scrambled message produced by applying the algorithm to the plaintext message using the secret key. Decryption Algorithm - This is the encryption algorithm in reverse. It uses the ciphertext, and the secret key to derive the plaintext message. When using this form of encryption, it is essential that the sender and receiver have a way to exchange secret keys in a secure manner. If someone knows the secret key and can figure out the algorithm, communications will be insecure. There is also the need for a strong encryption algorithm. What this means is that if someone were to have a ciphertext and a corresponding plaintext message, they would be unable to determine the encryption algorithm. There are two methods of breaking conventional/symmetric encryption brute force and cryptanalysis. Brute force is just as it sounds; using a method (computer) to find all possible combinations and eventually determine the plaintext message. Cryptanalysis is a form of attack that attacks the characteristics of the algorithm to deduce a specific plaintext or the key used. One would then be able to figure out the plaintext for all past and future messages that continue to use this compromised setup. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/private_key_encryption.html

Cracking Encryption Algorithms Need for secure encryption algorithms Good cryptographic systems should always be designed so that they are as difficult to break as possible. Governments have always had concerns with strong encryption fearing that it could be used against their countries by criminals. Sophisticated technology is used by law enforcement agencies to decipher encrypted information that might contain incriminating evidence. In theory one can break any encryption algorithm by exhausting every key in a sequence. This brute force method requires vast amounts of computing power as length of the key increase. For example a 32-bit key takes 2^32 (4294967296) steps. A system with 40 bit keys (e.g. USexportable version of RC4) takes 2^40 steps - this kind of computing power is available in most universities and even small companies. Encryption key lengths & hacking feasibility
Type of Attacker Budget Minimal $400 $10,000 $300,000 Tool Scavenged computer time FPGA FPGA
1

Time & Cost/Key 40 bit 1 week 5 hours ($.08) 12 min.($.08) 24 sec. ($.08)

Time & Cost/Key 56 bit Not feasible 38 years ($5,000) 556 days ($5,000) 19 days ($5,000)

Regular User

Small Business Corporate

FPGA

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Department Large Corporation Intelligence Agency $10M $300M

ASIC

2

0.18 sec. ($.001) 0.005 sec.($0.001) 0.0002 sec.($0.001)

3 hours ($38) 6 min. ($38) 12 sec. ($38)

ASIC ASIC

As key lengths increase, the number of combinations that must be tried for a brute force attack increase exponentially. For example a 128-bit key would have 2^128 (3.402823669209e+38) total possible combinations. For example, to theoretically crack the 128-bit IDEA key using brute force one would have to: develop a CPU that can test 1 billion IDEA keys per second build a parallel machine that consists of one million of these processors mass produce them to an extent that everyone can own one hundred of these machines network them all together and start working through the 128 bit key space. Assuming ideal performance and no downtime, one should be able to exhaustively search the key-space in over 20,000 years. A common concern amongst many is deciding what key length is secure. There is a metronome for technological progress called Moore's Law which states that; "the number of components that can be packed on a computer chip doubles every 18 months while the price stays the same" . Essentially, this means that computing power per dollar doubles every eighteen months. Using a derivative of this above law one can also say that, if a key length of x is considered safe today, in 18 months the key length would have to be x+1 to keep up to par with the computing power. Recent studies performed by independent scientists have shown that key lengths should be no less than 90-bits long to ensure complete security for the next 20 years.
1

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are programmable pieces of hardware specifically designed for encryption/decryption. 2 ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are also specialized hardware that can test 200 million keys per second. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/encryption_crack.html

Public Key Encryption

1976 saw the introduction of a radical new idea into the field of cryptography. This idea centered around the premise of making the encryption and decryption keys different - where the knowledge of one key would not allow a person to find out the other. Public key encryption algorithms are based on the premise that each sender and recipient has a private key, known only to him/her and a public key, which can be known by anyone. Each encryption/decryption process requires at least one public key and one private key. A key is a randomly generated set of numbers/ characters that is used to encrypt/decrypt information. A public key encryption scheme has six major parts: Plaintext - this is the text message to which an algorithm is applied. Encryption Algorithm - it performs mathematical operations to conduct

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substitutions and transformations to the plaintext. Public and Private Keys - these are a pair of keys where one is used for encryption and the other for decryption. Ciphertext - this is the encrypted or scrambled message produced by applying the algorithm to the plaintext message using key. Decryption Algorithm - This algorithm generates the ciphertext and the matching key to produce the plaintext. Selecting the Public and Private Keys 1. Select large prime numbers p and q and form n = pq. 2. Select an integer e > 1 such that GCD(e, (p - 1)(q - 1)) = 1. 3. Solve the congruence, ed 1 (mod (p - 1), (q - 1)) for an integer d where 1 < d < (p - 1)(q - 1). 4. The public encryption key is (e,n). 5. The private encryption key is (d,n).

The Encryption Process • The process of encryption begins by converting the text to a pre hash code. This code is generated using a mathematical formula. • This pre hash code is encrypted by the software using the senders private key. The private key would be generated using the algorithm used by the software. • The encrypted pre hash code and the message are encrypted again using the sender's private key. • The next step is for the sender of the message to retrieve the public key of the person this information is intended for. • The sender encrypts the secret key with the recipient's public key, so only the recipient can decrypt it with his/her private key, thus concluding the encryption process. 1. Lookup the user's public key (e , n ). 2. Make sure that the message M is an integer such that 0 £M £n. 3. Compute, M ^ e C (mod n) where 0 £C £ n. 4. Transmit the integer C.

The Decryption Process • The recipient uses his/her private key to decrypt the secret key. • The recipient uses their private key along with the secret key to decipher the encrypted pre hash code and the encrypted message. • The recipient then retrieves the sender's public key. This public key is used to decrypt the pre hash code and to verify the sender's identity. • The recipient generates a post hash code from the message. If the post hash code equals the pre hash code, then this verifies that the message has not been changed en-route. 1. Use your private key (d , n ). 2. Receive the integer C, where 0 £C £n. 3. Compute, C ^ d R (mod n) where 0 £R £n. 4. R is the original message.

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Featured article: A Primer on Public Key Encryption by Charles C. Mann. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/public_key_encryption.html Encryption Algorithms

Different encryption algorithms use proprietory methods of generating these keys and are therefore useful for different applications. Here are some nitty gritty details about some of these encryption algorithms. Strong encyrption is often discerend by the key length used by the algorithm. RSA In 1977, shortly after the idea of a public key system was proposed, three mathematicians, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman gave a concrete example of how such a method could be implemented. To honour them, the method was referred to as the RSA Scheme. The system uses a private and a public key. To start two large prime numbers are selected and then multiplied together; n=p*q. If we let f(n) = (p-1) (q-1), and e>1 such that GCD(e, f(n))=1. Here e will have a fairly large probability of being co-prime to f(n), if n is large enough and e will be part of the encryption key. If we solve the Linear Diophantine equation; ed congruent 1 (mod f(n)), for d. The pair of integers (e, n) are the public key and (d, n) form the private key. Encryption of M can be accomplished by the following expression; Me = qn + C where 0<= C < n. Decryption would be the inverse of the encryption and could be expressed as; Cd congruent R (mod n) where 0<= R < n. RSA is the most popular method for public key encryption and digital signatures today. DES/3DES The Data Encryption Standard (DES) was developed and endorsed by the U.S. government in 1977 as an official standard and forms the basis not only for the Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) PIN authentication but a variant is also utilized in UNIX password encryption. DES is a block cipher with 64-bit block size that uses 56-bit keys. Due to recent advances in computer technology, some experts no longer consider DES secure against all attacks; since then Triple-DES (3DES) has emerged as a stronger method. Using standard DES encryption, Triple-DES encrypts data three times and uses a different key for at least one of the three passes giving it a cumulative key size of 112-168 bits. BLOWFISH Blowfish is a symmetric block cipher just like DES or IDEA. It takes a variable-length key, from 32 to 448 bits, making it ideal for both domestic and exportable use. Bruce Schneier designed Blowfish in 1993 as a fast, free alternative to the then existing encryption algorithms. Since then Blowfish has been analyzed considerably, and is gaining acceptance as a strong encryption algorithm. IDEA

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International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA) is an algorithm that was developed by Dr. X. Lai and Prof. J. Massey in Switzerland in the early 1990s to replace the DES standard. It uses the same key for encryption and decryption, like DES operating on 8 bytes at a time. Unlike DES though it uses a 128 bit key. This key length makes it impossible to break by simply trying every key, and no other means of attack is known. It is a fast algorighm, and has also been implemented in hardware chipsets, making it even faster. SEAL Rogaway and Coppersmith designed the Software-optimized Encryption Algorithm (SEAL) in 1993. It is a Stream-Cipher, i.e., data to be encrypted is continuously encrypted. Stream Ciphers are much faster than block ciphers (Blowfish, IDEA, DES) but have a longer initialization phase during which a large set of tables is done using the Secure Hash Algorithm. SEAL uses a 160 bit key for encryption and is considered very safe. RC4 RC4 is a cipher invented by Ron Rivest, co-inventor of the RSA Scheme. It is used in a number of commercial systems like Lotus Notes and Netscape. It is a cipher with a key size of up to 2048 bits (256 bytes), which on the brief examination given it over the past year or so seems to be a relatively fast and strong cypher. It creates a stream of random bytes and 'XORing' those bytes with the text. It is useful in situations in which a new key can be chosen for each message. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/crypto_algorithms.html

Cracking Encryption Algorithms

Need for secure encryption algorithms Good cryptographic systems should always be designed so that they are as difficult to break as possible. Governments have always had concerns with strong encryption fearing that it could be used against their countries by criminals. Sophisticated technology is used by law enforcement agencies to decipher encrypted information that might contain incriminating evidence. In theory one can break any encryption algorithm by exhausting every key in a sequence. This brute force method requires vast amounts of computing power as length of the key increase. For example a 32-bit key takes 2^32 (4294967296) steps. A system with 40 bit keys (e.g. USexportable version of RC4) takes 2^40 steps - this kind of computing power is available in most universities and even small companies. Encryption key lengths & hacking feasibility

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Type of Attacker

Budget Minimal $400 $10,000 $300,000 $10M $300M

Tool Scavenged computer time FPGA FPGA
1

Time & Cost/Key 40 bit 1 week 5 hours ($.08) 12 min.($.08) 24 sec. ($.08) 0.18 sec. ($.001) 0.005 sec.($0.001) 0.0002 sec.($0.001)

Time & Cost/Key 56 bit Not feasible 38 years ($5,000) 556 days ($5,000) 19 days ($5,000) 3 hours ($38) 6 min. ($38) 12 sec. ($38)

Regular User

Small Business Corporate Department Large Corporation Intelligence Agency

FPGA ASIC
2

ASIC ASIC

As key lengths increase, the number of combinations that must be tried for a brute force attack increase exponentially. For example a 128-bit key would have 2^128 (3.402823669209e+38) total possible combinations. For example, to theoretically crack the 128-bit IDEA key using brute force one would have to: develop a CPU that can test 1 billion IDEA keys per second build a parallel machine that consists of one million of these processors mass produce them to an extent that everyone can own one hundred of these machines network them all together and start working through the 128 bit key space Assuming ideal performance and no downtime, one should be able to exhaustively search the key-space in over 20,000 years. A common concern amongst many is deciding what key length is secure. There is a metronome for technological progress called Moore's Law which states that; "the number of components that can be packed on a computer chip doubles every 18 months while the price stays the same" . Essentially, this means that computing power per dollar doubles every eighteen months. Using a derivative of this above law one can also say that, if a key length of x is considered safe today, in 18 months the key length would have to be x+1 to keep up to par with the computing power. Recent studies performed by independent scientists have shown that key lengths should be no less than 90-bits long to ensure complete security for the next 20 years.
1

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are programmable pieces of hardware specifically designed for encryption/decryption. 2 ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are also specialized hardware that can test 200 million keys per second. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/encryption_crack.html

Encrypted Email

One of the most common uses of encryption is in electronic messaging. Encryption can be used to secure email on public and private networks. Unlike e-mail

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on a private system, which goes directly to a mail server and resides there until it is retrieved, Internet e-mail bounces from server to server on its way to a recipient. This makes the transmission channel impossible to secure and provides numerous opportunities for interception. Here it makes sense to secure the message itself by using encryption. But private networks are not immune to the need for higher security and often employ encryption to guarantee the integrity of the message. Sending plaintext email is like sending a postcard - what type of information do you disclose when mailing a postcard? When do you consider putting the letter in an envelope to resist tampering and to protect your privacy? Similarly, encrypting email is the first step to securing the contents of your message. One of the most popular methods of email encryption is the use of public key encryption. The two most widely fielded methods of email encryption are PGP(http://www.pgpi.org/) (Pretty Good Privacy) and Entrust(http://www.entrust.com/). The former provides solutions for both individuals and corporations while Entrust focuses on the larger enterprise based secure messaging solutions. Also availabe to individual users/small businesses is encrypted email on a web based platform through Hushmail. This service allows you to send and receive email from their website, never having to buy any software or have the need for extra infrastructure. Also available is S/MIME (Secure / Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) - a protocol that adds digital signatures and encryption to Internet MIME messages. The MIME format allows the body of the message to be text, graphics, audio/video, etc allowing one to encrypt multiple forms of newsgroup communications. Encrypted mail enables the 'little guy' to decide how much privacy they want and when and where they want it. The Tools section has resources one could use for encrypted and anonymous email. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/secure_email.html Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Recent technological advances in broadband and dial data access offer a more cost-effective solution for supporting large numbers of remote users, as well as unprecedented network scalability and flexibility. These technology advances have created virtual private networks (VPN) using public links. They can be used to provide mobile workers with remote access to the corporate network - at the price of a local call. As with any use of public networks, one sacrifices privacy for cost and availability. Except a VPN is a network tunnel created for data transmission between two or more authenticated parties. A secure VPN encrypts data before passing it through the network tunnel. This creates an encrypted "pipe" between the user and the access device ensuring data integrity/authenticity, and user privacy. Apart from providing connectivity for remote users, VPNs can also be used to interconnect servers and complete networks, creating entities known as Extranets.

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Virtual Private Networks can be implemented by using propreitory systems from Nortel Networks, Cisco, Datafellows, Intel, Nokia, Checkpoint, Lucent and others. Point to point VPNs can also be created using imbedded protocols in Operating Systems like Windows 2000/XP/Linux or even by applications like PGP. IPSec The IP Security Protocol (IPSec) working group has defined a set of specifications for cryptographically-based authentication, integrity, and confidentiality services at the IP datagram layer. This protocol is intended to secure data communications on the Internet and is one of the fastest growing security standards worldwide. IPSec supports multiple algorithms and key management systems within its design architecture. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/data_vpn.html Encryption Tools

There are many free and paid encryption tools available on the Internet. Some better than others, but nonetheless one can setup a secure messaging system (email encryption), secure transactions (SSL enabled web browsers) and secure connectivity (VPNs and SSH) on a very small budget. Some of the small business/individual solutions available include: EMAIL PGP - this is the defacto secure messaging standard on the Internet. Network Associates has dropped this product suite but fortunately the strong user base of PGP means it is likely to stay as the most popular email encryption tool. Hushmail - here is another way of adding encryption to your email. But unlike software tools (say PGP) it is a service built into web based email. With free and paid service, one can get the flexibility of a web based email account combined with the security of 1,024-bit encryption, digital signatures and support for the OpenPGP standard.

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FILE ENCRYPTION Private File - Private File is a fast and easy way to protect yourself and your company by encrypting your files before sending them. With a simple drag-anddrop, or a menu point-and-click, your information is safe. And with the strongest encryption, you can be sure that no one but your desired recipient will be able to use your information. F-Secure FileCrypto - developed by Datafellows Corp, this is a long standing file encryption application that supports strong encryption. Also comes for Pocket PC. ShyFile - free and paid versions of a strong encryption application that lets you create self-executable, encrypted packages. VPNs PGP - certain versions of this applications allow point to point encrypted VPN sessions. Windows NT/2000/XP & Linux - they allow 'secure' data transmssion between two nodes using the PPTP protocol. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/encryption_tools.html

Encryption Resources

Here are some books with good information on Encryption/Cryptography: Cryptography: Theory and Practice - Douglas R. Stinson's Cryptography: Theory and Practice is a mathematically intensive examination of cryptography, including ciphers, the Data Encryption Standard (DES), public key cryptography, oneway hash functions, and digital signatures. Stinson's explication of "zero- sum proofs"-a process by which one person lets another person know that he or she has a password without actually revealing any information--is especially good. SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide - You can't go wrong with thisO'Rielly book - and this one is a mustall Unix users/admins as SSH quickly becomes a popular choice for securing remote transfers and connections. Handbook of Applied Cryptography - A hefty handbook for both novices and experts, introducing practical aspects of conventional and public-key cryptography and offering information on the latest techniques and algorithms in the field. Mathematical treatments accompany practical discussions of areas including pseudorandom bits and sequences, stream and block ciphers, hash functions, and digital signatures. The Internet has thousands of encryption/cryptography related resources. Here are a few that cover a broad range of topics: Radius.net Software Archive(http://crypto.radiusnet.net/archive/) - Your one stop shop for any and all encryption related software. Phil Zimmermann's Homepage(http://www.philzimmermann.com/) - The creator of PGP

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and a cryptography pioneer. PGP Distribution site(http://web.mit.edu/network/pgp.html) - MIT Distribution Center for PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). Hushmail - Web based email with strong encryption. AES(http://csrc.nist.gov/encryption/aes/index.html) - Information on AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) from NIST. Cryptographic Toolkit(http://csrc.nist.gov/encryption/index.html) - NIST's cryptography standard. Encryption and Linux - The Linux Encryption-HOWTO Homepage. Cipher(http://www.ieee-security.org/cipher.html) - IEEE security and privacy newsletter. C.R.I.S. - The Cryptography and Information Security Research Laboratory. Encryption in the workplace(http://www.viacorp.com/crypto.html) - How electronic encryption works and how it will change your business. Encryption and computer crime(http://www.cybercrime.gov/crypto.html) - Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS). Revised U.S. Encryption Export Control Regulations - As of January 2000. http://www.mycrypto.net/encryption/encryption_resources.html

Privacy • • • • George Orwell's 1984 Internet Privacy Identity Theft Privacy Resources

George Orwell's 1984

George Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, India. He served in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, fought in the Spanish Civil War, worked as a producer for the BBC and was a special correspondent for the Observer and Tribune. And of course he was a prolific writer with such classics as 1984, Animal Farm, Burmese Days and his collection of essays. Nineteen Eighty-four (1949), is a profound anti-Utopian novel that examines the dangers of totalitarian rule. Although Orwell expressed leftist views, he was a staunch individualist and political idealist, and was called by his contemporaries the conscience of his age. The setting for the book Nineteen Eighty Four is Airstrip One in the superstate Oceania, ruled by the "Party" and headed by "Big Brother". In a grim city and a terrifying society, where "Big Brother" is always

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watching, the "Thought Police" can practically read your mind, the streets are dirty, people are packed in ghetto like flats, food is rationed, and there is only one brand of cigarettes and synthetic vodka. Everyting is owned by "Big Brother" and his face is on every wall and telescreen - telescreens are much like television sets except the Party uses them to spy on the people and there is only one propaganda channel. The Party's agents constantly rewrite history. The official language is "Newspeak" and the society is dominated by such slogans as "War is Peace", "Freedom is Slavery", "Ignorance is Strength", etc. There with no free speech, no privacy, no private ownership, not even freedom of thought. Though the year 1984 came and passed, at first glance we find ourselves far from the squalor and hardship professed by Orwell. But, many of his points regarding the lack of privacy and freedoms are coming true. They might not be as blatant as in his book, but they are being passed as laws and implemented every day. It is not just governments around the world that want to gain this control, but corporations are also looking to gain profits by getting more and more information on their customers. The questions most often put forward are, 'Is individual privacy dead?' and 'What is the role of technology as we slip into this type of society?'. Technology has helped us live longer, more fuller lives but its unchecked applications are also threatning our privacy. Luckily, we can use technology to protect ourselves as we go about our daily lives. A few decades ago, only governments and diplomats used encryption to secure sensitive information. Today, secure encryption on the Internet is the key to confidence for people wanting to protect their privacy, or doing business online. ECommerce, secure messaging, and virtual private networks are just some of the applications that rely on encryption to ensure the safety of data. In many companies that have proprietary or sensitive information, field personnel are required to encrypt their entire laptops fearing that in the wrong hands this information could cause millions of dollars in damage. http://www.mycrypto.net/privacy/george_orwell_1984.html Internet Privacy

The Internet is a great tool. As it becomes woven into our day to day fabric, there are many more tasks that can be done on it. It is convinient, most people in the developed world have access to it. And many organizations/corporations are providing users with the tools to get stuff done on the Internet. Everyone from governments (records, applications, taxes), businesses (shopping, services, bill payments, banking) and individuals (research, communication, entertainment) are using the Internet to conduct transactions. But the Internet is a public network. That is, the access routes are for the most part open to other traffic and users. It is also a medium to obtain information, legally or not on a wide variety of people and things. So how can we make sure that the Internet can be used without compromising privacy of the users? A tough proposition that is getting harder every day. Like or not, websites collect information about their visitors (cookies, logs). Information that includes how often they visit, what links they click on, what they buy, etc. If you entered your name, age, or any other demographic information, there is a good chance that it might be provided to other firms to sell products/services or for analysis. Many times, the users are unaware of exactly what is being collected/monitored. What happens to this personal information if

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the company has financial diffuculties and has to liquidate its assets? Is this information a company asset, free to be sold to the highest bidder? Internet applications like IE/Netscape have not really kept up either. Privacy issues have been put on the back burner in an effort to compete for market share which is predominantly based on ease of use and standards. Privacy is that uncomformable issue that most people wish would go away. There are many other tools like Anonymizer, McAfee Privacy Services and others that can help users sanitize their computers and get an upper hand on what information they want on their computers. These applications allow you to select what personal information you wish to divulge and how to clean up your computer so as to negate any information or statistics that might be collected on you while surfing. These tools and a good personal firewall along with an anti-virus software are essential for every Internet user. The Internet is also a great tool to learn about increasing your privacy and securing private information. Check the privacy resources section for some other excellent links. A book like the Complete Idiot's Guide to Internet Privacy and Security can also be a valuable resource as an online privacy primer. http://www.mycrypto.net/privacy/internet_privacy.html Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing problem in today's society. It is relatively easy to pull off and very devastating for the victims. There are thousands of cases every year where people see the fraudulent use of their identity to rack up credit card bills and ruin their reputations and credit histories. The Internet is definitely a factor here and is often pointed to as a culprit. But it can also be used to fight back and ensure that ones privacy is maintained. Here are some simple on and offline steps to follow in order to avoid identity theft. ONLINE PRIVACY: • Have you seen your credit report lately? You should check your credit report every 6 months to a year using one of many online credit report services. • Use services and applications like Anonymizer or McAfee Privacy Services to control what personal information is divulged to websites. • Install a good personal firewall (Norton, Black Ice, etc) - here are some firewall reviews. • Use a good anti-virus software (Norton, McAfee, etc) and update signatures regularly - here are some anti-virus reviews. • Encrypt email communications using services like Hushmail. • Have more than one email address, use free services like Yahoo!, Hotmail, or Spam Bully (which has good anti-spam tools) for regular email. • Upgrade your web browser and operating system to support strong (ie 128 bit +) encryption. • Do not divulge private information on the Internet, especially watch where you post your resumes.

OFFLINE:

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• Get a secure mailbox/PO Box - one that won't allow someone to go through your mail. • Get an unlisted number and subscribe to caller id. • Buy a shredder; destroy any and all unwanted documentation before discarding. • Have access to legal representation to consult about your rights. • Guard your Social Security Number (SSN). • Diversify your assets and investments. • Learn how to protect your customer privacy. If you are an identity theft victim, contact your local police department ASAP and implement all of the above suggestions. Check the privacy resources section for some other excellent links. A good book like Identity Theft can also be a valuable resource as an online privacy primer. http://www.mycrypto.net/privacy/identity_theft.html Privacy Resources

Here are some books with good information on protecting your privacy: The Electronic Privacy Papers: Documents on the Battle for Privacy in the Age of Surveillance. A nice change of pace from traditional analysis of algorithms and code, instead the reader gets to see for him/herself just how the U.S. goverment is applying them and the legislation on it. While most books on privacy and security issues in cyberspace simply give accounts of debates on the issues, The Electronic Privacy Papers documents the war - practically salvo by salvo. How to be Invisible - This book is a must for anyone serious about protecting their privacy. Has important information on privacy, asset protection, self-defense, surveillance and more. The Offshore Solution - NEVER PAY TAXES AGAIN! Learn why opening offshore bank accounts might be in your best interest. Teaches you the basics about money. Invasion of Privacy : How to Protect Yourself in the Digital Age - This book by Michael Hyatt looks at how the government, industry, individuals, and interest groups have access to personal information about you and how you can protect your personal information. The Internet has thousands of privacy related resources. Here are a few that cover a broad range of topics: Personal Firewall Reivew - Learn about some of the many personal firewall programs available today. Compares them based on features and price. Online Privacy Tools - Find reviews and comparisons of various online privacy tools and services that allow somewhat anonymous web surfing. Anonymous Surfering - Find how to surf the internet and send emails anonymously. Check your Credit Reports - Have you seen your credit report lately? It should be checked every 6-12 months to make sure that non-authorized transactions are not tainting it. Electronic Frontier Foundation - A special interest group working to make sure that technology does not over-ride our fundamental rights. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse - A nonprofit consumer education, research, and

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advocacy program. Hushmail - Web based encrypted email - free and paid versions. Electronic Privacy Information Center - Looks at the myriad of privacy issues faced in the digital age. Privacy.net - Another consumer information organization. Personal Privacy - A privacy resource with archived articles, newsletters and more. Andre Bacard's Privacy Page - Lists many privacy related resources. Protecting Kids on the Internet - Keep your children safe on the Internet. http://www.mycrypto.net/privacy/privacy_resources.html

Security • • • • Hacking Computer Security Operating Systems Security Resources

Computer Hacking and Security

With the rapid growth of the worldwide Internet user base, online transactions are believed to reach well over a trillion dollars in the next three years. With stakes this high, it makes sense for all parties involved to secure the Internet. Haphazard handling of financial and personal information can lead to the Internet being constantly associated with fraud and privacy abuses instead of being a viable commerce medium. The goal for higher security starts with the individual user. The term "hacker" has been around for a while. It originally referred to a person not well versed with a computer trying different things to accomplish a task. To hack was to figure out something through sheer trial and error or logical deduction. Today, a hacker described as a person who breaks into computers for various reasons. Crackers and script-kiddies are two other more commonly used terms describing those involved in the break in or disruption of an online service. Security problems can occur in any networked environment. Many of the problems are related to the exploitation of the original design of the TCP/IP suite of internetworking protocols, but the majority are due to configuration or operator errors. Hackers are not just looking for websites or government computers to hack - utility grids, emergency information systems, controls for dams and locks, financial information, inter-banking information, military communications and much more sensitive information travels on the Internet and other communication networks. In broad terms, security threats can be classified as active and passive. ACTIVE HACKING: Active attacks involve the modification of transmitted data and attempts to gain unauthorized access to systems. Data communication is based on a set of handshakes to ensure the smooth and reliable flow of information. A hacker that is

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between a client and a server and is able to spoof (illegally duplicate) the IP address and sequence numbers, can attack either machine in several ways. The hacker can disable one of the machines and take the identity of the other, or the hacker can mimic either machine and carry on conversations impersonating the other. A hacker could also attach additional information to a client request and strip the corresponding additional response from the packet before forwarding the remaining response to the client's original request. All this while having access to information that is assumed to be going back and forth between two 'trusted' systems. Computer viruses and trojans are also examples of active attacks. They can disable machines or in the case of trojans allow malicious hackers access to senstive information by creating a back door. PASSIVE HACKING: Passive attacks have to do with evesdropping and monitoring transmissions. All electronic transmissions (email, WWW, telenet, etc) can theoretically be monitored. Since most computers (and the whole Internet) is part of network(s), spying on data transmissions is a major concern. One of the earliest and most sophisticated passive evesdropping example comes to us from the Cold War. The US Navy was able to 'tap' into Soviet undersea fiber optic lines by using special submaries and for years had complete knowledge of that set of communications. On the Internet, protocols like HTTP, FTP and telnet are non-encrypted modes of communications that can easily be compromised. Therefore, encrypted versions (HTTPS, SSH, etc) should be used when transmitting sensitve information. Refer to the resources section for other interesting links and sources, consider a personal firewall router and check these personal firewall reviews. http://www.mycrypto.net/underground/hack.html Computer Security

There are three data security concerns that need to be addressed confidentiality, authentication, and non-repudiatability. Confidentiality ensures that the data is readable only by the intended recipients. Authentication provides protection against unauthorized access or forgeries. Non-repudiatability ensures that someone cannot deny having conducted a transaction . The steps needed to curb the security concerns on the Internet are three fold. First is a balance between industry selfregulation and laws to deter unscrupulous practices. Second would be the education of the Internet user base on their rights and tools to ensure their protection while online. Lastly, the continuous advent of technology as it matures the Internet and provides us with newer more powerful tools that will enhance the current economic boom that many regard as an Internet phenomenon. So how do you secure sensitive data? Well if it is so sensitive that it cannot be comprimised under any circumstances, then the only sure fire security precaution is to take it off any networks. There must be an "air gap" between this system and the rest of the network. But first one would be to ensure that the physical location has been secured. Access to the network would be limited to those who need it and control be exercised by a combination of security methods (passwords, smartcards, biometrics). Biometrics always brings up the question of privacy. And in

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applications where the masses would be affected, this is a valid concern. But biometrics can be very useful if one is trying to control access or verify the identity of a smaller number of people. This is also advisable due to the error rates currently seen in biometric systems (~ 0.01%). And the answer to securing data during transmission is Encryption. When it comes to personal computers, ensuring security is a more manageble matter. If you store sensitive material on your home computer you should consider using an encryption program like PGP or Private File. Any computer that is connected to a broadband (DSL/Cable/Satellite) connection requires an extra layer of protection. You should consider either a good personal firewall and/or a firewall router - the firewall router will also allow you to share your internet connection with other PCs in your home. Featured security articles: • Fortress mentality fails By Tyler Hamilton. • Cable modem hacking goes mainstream By Kevin Poulsen. • Are You Safe? What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself And Your Business By Phillip Jen.

Fortress mentality fails

Tyler Hamilton Why should protecting a computer network be any different than securing your home, the neighbourhood jewelry store or the local bank? It's a simple question, one that computer security expert Bruce Schneier posed to his audience during a seminar in Toronto last week. As far as Schneier is concerned, most companies miss the mark when it comes to computer security. They treat their networks like a village fortress, where the good guys hide behind a large wall —— a software firewall —— created to keep out the bad guys. The dangerous assumption here is that all the good guys really are good guys. It doesn't address the problem of rogue employees, or the fact that mistakes do happen, or what happens when the wall crumbles. "Everyone is trying to regain a fortress around their computer centre," said Schneier, adding that much of the security technology on the market these days either creates these fortresses or attempts to plug up their holes. "This is failing miserably." Schneier, founder and chief technical officer of Counterpane Internet Security Inc. in Cupertino, Calif., said organizations have to view networks in the context of modern-day communities, where good and bad folks mingle together and where threats lurk around every corner. A place is unpredictable, as are the people in it —— this remains true whether there's a wall around it or not. For this reason, cities call for multiple levels of security, requiring a combination of people (security firms, the police, firefighters, health-care workers), processes and procedures that technology alone can't provide. Schneier says the same thinking should apply to networks. Cure-alls such as firewalls or encryption can't do it all. He didn't always hold this view. Schneier, a veteran cryptographer, once held the

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belief that all security and privacy concerns could be solved through mathematics and the application of encryption technology. It's a view he espoused in his classic work Applied Cryptography, published in 1993. But he had a change of heart in the late 1990s after realizing that technology is prone to failure and encryption offers no guarantees. This led to his book Secrets & Lies, published in 2000, which he wrote to "partly correct a mistake" —— his belief at the time that cryptography was the great "technological equalizer," capable of giving a person with a cheap computer the same security as the National Security Agency. "It's just not true," he wrote. "Cryptography can't do any of that . . . cryptography doesn't exist in a vacuum." He repeated this message last week in Toronto, emphasizing the important role that we humans play in this complicated equation. "Automated security is flawed," he said. "Only humans can react to new situations and threats." Take your home. Is locking the doors and windows enough these days to keep out burglars? A locked door might be a slight deterrence, but once somebody decides to break through, then what? The same can be said for a home security system. When the window is broken and the alarm goes off, what's stopping the thief from taking your stuff? The answer is "people." Somewhere in a security strategy there must be a human, 24 hours a day, who can be notified of a situation, who can analyze it, and who can respond accordingly. It may be the owner of the house, aided by a 24/7 home security firm hired to monitor all alarms. The ultimate backup is the local police or fire department. It's not enough to try to prevent an attack or break-in. An assumption should be made that one is possible —— and likely —— turning attention to response. "What matters at the moment of the attack is who is defending you?" In this regard, Schneier says there hasn't been much change with respect to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and promises to beef up security in the aftermath. "There's a whole lot of smoke and not a lot of actual stuff being done," he says. "I've heard a whole lot of rhetoric, a whole lot of companies saying `Buy my technology and it will magically make you safe again.' "In our society it's very much give me the pill that will make me better. Give me the technology and make me safer. We want to go to the store, put down a credit card and buy the answer. And, unfortunately, the answer is more complicated than that." Touching on the topic of airline security, he said it won't be facial recognition software and fancy scanners that will save the day, nor will it be increased government surveillance, more data-gathering by the FBI or a move to centralize all government databases. "The two most effective security measure post-9/11 is reinforcing cockpit doors and teaching the passengers to fight back," he said. The latter point refers to the passengers on the United Airlines flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. After learning that two other planes had been hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, they altered their behaviour to meet the demands of a situation. Normally, passengers are inclined — indeed, they are told — to remain calm until a hijacked plane is safely landed, which happens most of the time. This is likely what the passengers of the other three jets were thinking. Those on the fourth jet adapted, based on new information. "It's a perfect example of the human consciousness reconfiguring itself live, in real-time to a new threat," said Schneier. "If that was a software change, it would still be in beta now." The fourth plane did crash, but the actions of those brave passengers likely prevented many more deaths. An assumption was made at the time that damage had already been done. The reaction was to minimize the damage. Network security needs the same approach. Companies should start thinking less about protecting their

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networks 100 per cent of the time, and start thinking more what they would do if their networks were breached. "Complex systems are insecure, and that's not going away," said Schneier. (The Toronto Star) http://www.mycrypto.net/underground/security_fortress.html Cable Modem Hacking

Kevin Poulsen An ambitious hackware project promises to bring illicit broadband "uncapping" to the masses, and with it the risks that come with high-speed hijinks. From a pitiable 56kbps AOL dial-up somewhere in suburban Colorado, 19-year-old Myko Hein would like to tap out this sad, regretful message to the powers-that-be at his former cable Internet provider, AT&T Broadband: I was wrong. It'll never happen again. Please take me back. Just last month Hein thought of AT&T's service as unbearably slow -acceptable, perhaps, for sending e-mail, but pure molasses when it came to trading software in Internet chat rooms. Hein's thirst for speed finally drove him to employ a sophisticated hack that "uncapped" his cable modem, obliterating the bandwidth limit imposed by the company, and granting him speed beyond the dreams of hotwired youth. But it only took six hours for AT&T to catch Hein, cut him off, and ban him from their network for life. "They said they considered it theft of service," recalls Hein. "There were no second chances." It's easy to see the hot rod appeal of tinkering with one's cable modem to tap into ridiculously high data speeds, and uncapping has become a popular exercise in the bandwidth-hungry "warez" and movie-trading underground. Today, the most common target is Motorola's popular Surfboard line of cable modems. Hackers generate a replacement configuration file for the modem that omits the capacity limits installed by the service provider. They then trick the modem into accepting the bogus file. In addition to violating the typical broadband service agreement, there can be an anti-social aspect to uncapping. Providers put capacity limits in their subscriber's modems to prevent each user from taking more than their fair share of the bandwidth available on each node. In other words, if a user uncaps his or her modem and starts hogging bandwidth during peak hours, neighbors will suffer reduced performance. Uncapping sometimes robs Peter to pay Paul. Instructions for pulling off the configuration file hack have been on the Web for at least a year, and chat rooms and Web boards are crowded with uncappers trading tips and experiences. But AT&T Broadband describes it as a minor problem, at worst. "I don't think it's something that's rampant," says spokesperson Sarah Eder. "It's not widespread." Uncapping Prometheus If cable modem hacking hasn't become a huge problem for service providers, it's probably because the process remains intimidating for non-technical

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users. The subscriber has to program a DOCSIS configuration file with a special editor, run their own TFTP server, change their IP address and run an DHCP server that tricks the modem into pulling the config file from their host. Dedicated hobbyists have refined the procedure and written tools to automate key portions of it, but pitfalls and caveats abound. But that's all about to change, with the pending release of "OneStep," a user-friendly all-in-one tool that promises to make cable modem uncapping a pointand-click sport. The work of a dangerously unemployed U.S. coder who calls himself "DerEngel," working with a colleague named "Byter", OneStep is described as a 30 megabyte monster of a program that rolls up all the various servers and spoofers needed to pull off a cable modem hack. It then hides it all behind a pretty interface with pull-down menus for selecting your service provider, modem make and model, and even the new speed limit you'd like to put on your modem -- in case you don't want the full 10 Mbs Ethernet speed. So far, the beta version is closely held, but few in the uncapping scene dismiss OneStep as vaporware. DerEngel is already famous as the underground Prometheus of super-broadband -- the author of several publicly released programs that automate some of the steps in the uncapping process, and the host of a popular how-to site and chat system dedicated to uncapping. In an IRC interview, DerEngel said he plans to release OneStep in late May, and he expects it to open up the arcane art of uncapping to the masses. "It will be the first program of its kind," says the coder. Speed Kills? But what about the consequences? Myko Hein suffers a low-bandwidth exile as a result of his six hours of living dangerously. His father, who shared the household cable modem, now has to slog into work every day -- the dial-up is too slow for telecommuting. The only other broadband available in his neighborhood is IDSL service from the phone company, which would break his family's budget at over $100 a month. Hein insists he didn't even know he was violating his service agreement, and claims the uncapping was done by an automated script passed to him by a friend on IRC -- a kind of OneStep Lite, written specifically for his service provider, modem and operating system, which he mistook for a perfectly normal connection optimizing tool. Without commenting on any particular case, AT&T Broadband claims it doesn't automatically ban a user for uncapping, and wouldn't have cut Hein off without warning unless there were aggravating factors. "We handle this on a case-by-case basis, and if someone is uncapping their service they could have their service terminated," says AT&T's Eder. "But there are all kinds of things that we have to take into account in an investigation." DerEngel says smart uncappers know how to avoid detection. In any case, OneStep will provide disclaimers and warning statements so that the easy-to-use program will not tempt the truly innocent. Hein, who wanted more and wound up with far less, offers this advice: "Don't uncap your stuff," he says miserably. "Just don't." (SecurityFocus) http://www.mycrypto.net/underground/cable_modem_hacking.html

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What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself And Your Business

Phillip Jen With the advent of the computer and Internet age, computer security and Internet safety has suddenly become a major concern for all users. No longer is your information safe and secure behind locked doors or safe deposit boxes. Information can be stolen from within your computer system using just a few simple commands and unscrupulous people can invade your homes or businesses via the Internet. Personal computers, commercially available operating systems (that would be Windows!) and e-mail contain no effective protection against unauthorized access or theft of your confidential data stored on data disks and hard drives. A clever (read devious) hacker can read and steal your confidential data while you check your e-mail or while your are away from your computer. Enormous financial losses through theft of proprietary information have been reported and are increasing at intolerable rates. More alarmingly, countless undetected incidences of theft are continuously occurring and only detected when it is too late. How then can you protect your data while at lunch, on vacation or business trips? Answers to these questions are many and involve the most rudimentary solutions to high tech gadgetry. The following are 9 ways to protect yourself going from the least practical to best option. 9. Locking your computer within theft secure cabinets or closets is an effective way of safeguarding your data (I did say rudimentory!). This method is an option only if you have the energy, time and a safe and secure place to store your computer. 8. You may have the option of removing your hard drive from your personal computer and taking it with you. This method is very effective in preventing data theft but is laborious and also places you in danger of accidentally loosing your most prized information. Further, in today's on- the-go business environment, not many people are willing to sacrifice their time and energy to remove the hard drive every time they step away from their desks. 7. You may also take your computer with you. However, similar to the method of removing your hard drive your may run the risk of loosing your computer. 6. You may also place all your sensitive files onto a floppy disk or other data storage device (e.g. Jaz, Zip etc.) and take it with you. Again, this method is effective but is also laborious and is not immune to simple human error such as loosing your disks. 5. A bios lock is effective against intrusion attempts by novices but this method can easily be bypassed by simple manipulation of hardware. 4. A simple power lock designed to attach to your power source can be used to prevent data theft. This method may be effective for desktop computers during short trips away from your desk but it is not the answer for all other battery- powered computers. 3. Computer security programs (software only) are available to prevent unauthorized access by using a password based security procedure. However, software-based systems are only effective against break in attempts by novices and can be by-passed with simple software manipulation. 2. Hardware/software systems are available to protect your computer more securely than software only systems. They comprise dual security functions of software and a hardware key that makes unauthorized access more difficult. Nevertheless, these systems are designed for modest protection from data theft and are most effective for blocking unauthorized access when you step away from your computer for a short

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period of time. These security systems are usually based on a blocking screen format. Once the system is activated (via password or by removing the smart card or token from their respective readers) the blocking screen will appear and eliminate the possibility of unauthorized users accessing data files. These systems are solutions for moderate security but can be bypassed given enough time alone with the computer. VirtualGate is one example of this type of security system. For more information go to http://www.armadillo.com.hk/virtualgate.htm 1. Encryption software and/or crypto-hardware/software systems are very effective against data theft and are commonly used by financial institutions, governments and large corporations. This is by far the best solution as it combines many of the advantages of the previous systems. For more information check out GateKeeper at http://www.armadillo.com.hk/gatekeeper.htm. Dr. Phillip Jen Ph.D. Professor at CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) http://www.mycrypto.net/underground/protection.html Operating Systems Security

Needless to say, all operating systems are not created equal. None most popular operating systems of today were developed with secure electronic commerce in mind. Unix is the oldest and most widely used networking operating system in use today. Unix has the advantage of having been hacked and patched by hackers and crackers for decades. One of the most popular Unix derivatives is Linux, developed by Linus Torvalds and now maintained by thousands of volunteers and many software companies. But Linux still has flaws that are being discovered every day. It is extremely important to monitor these occurances and apply the necessary patched when they are made available. Microsoft's Windows platform has seen unprecidented growth as a server and client platform. Whether it be in the millions of home PCs, on the Internet or on corporate LANs, its popularity has caught the fancy of many hackers. Refer to the security resources page for more helpful links and ideas on securing operating systems. Computer Security Resources Here are some books with good information on Hacking/Security: The CERT(R) Guide to System and Network Security Practices - This book guides you through the step-by-step process of developing a comprehensive security program. Auditing and Security: AS/400, NT, UNIX, Networks, and Disaster Recovery Plans - A one stop shop for those who want to secure their IT systems. Ideal for sysadmins, IT managers, auditors and CIOs. Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions - A good book for those still learning their way around - takes an offensive approach to hacking and finds interesting ways to drive home the important points. The Internet has thousands of hacking/security related resources. Here are a few that cover a broad range of topics: Anti-Virus Review (http://www.teleworker.org/tools/virus.html) - Read about various

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anti-virus software packages, including their features and prices. Remote Access Software Review (http://www.teleworker.org/tools/remote_access.html)- Compares some of today's best remote access software packages and services based on price and features. Security Resources - Site with information on network/computer security, operating system vulnerabilities and encryption. Security Alerts - Sites that list security alerts for all operating systems, hardware and software. NT Security News - News, alerts, resources and information concerning NT security issues. Unix Network Security Tools - Freeware/opensource tools. Introduction to Network Security - The original (1997) text available online. Home Network Security - A must read for every Internet user. Terrorism Research - Follows the other important aspect of security - terrorism, including its history and cyberterrorism. Linux Documentation Project - Central source for manuals, guides, man pages, HOWTOs, FAQs, etc. Firewall Forensics - Find out what your firewall logs are really saying.

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http://www.darkreading.com/

Computer Security's Six Most Important Words Of 2008
For good or ill, these six words were top of mind for security pros -- and hackers -- in the past year
By Tim Wilson, DarkReading Dec. 24, 2008 URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212501928

OK, here they are, in alphabetical order, the six most important words in IT security in 2008: botnets, cyberwar, downturn, DNS, enablement, and Obama. That's it. You can go about your business now. Still here? OK, maybe you want a little explanation as to why these words were so important in 2008. Geez, you're a hard person to satisfy. Well, if you must know, 2008 was a year of tectonic shifts in IT security. The technologies changed, the economy changed, and the role of security changed. Heck, even the people who make the laws about security changed. You could hardly swing a dead server without hitting some major security-shifting event, and most of those events will continue to have repercussions throughout the new year. Howzzat? Still not enough? Fine. If you need somebody to spell it out for you, we will. Let's look more closely at the six words and what they meant for security in the past year.

Botnets No, botnets weren't new in 2008. (Dang, we've hardly started, and you're already arguing with us. Do we have to turn this car around and go home?) But in 2008, botnets emerged as a chief method for delivering unwelcome attacks, from malware infections to simple spam. In 2008, we saw how big botnets could become. We started out the year with Storm, a holdover from 2007 that was just hitting its stride as we began 2008. In the first half, Storm was blamed for a wide range of crimes, including widespread phishing attacks and illegal pharmaceutical sales. In the end, Storm became more of an ill wind than a hurricane, but it gave us an idea of what a "botnet for hire" can do. The year also brought the resurgence of other botnets, including Kraken and Srizbi, which both found ways to outdo Storm. The industry also saw how pervasive botnets had become when, on two occasions, the rugs were pulled out from under them. The shutdown of two botnet "carrier networks" -- Atrivo and McColo -made a significant impact on botnet operations, and actually caused temporary slowdowns in the distribution of spam and malware.

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Cyberwar We know, we know, cyberwar didn't start in 2008. (Doggone it, will you just sit down and be quiet? You're going to put someone's eye out.) But the attacks by Russian entities on Estonian government Websites and computers in the spring of 2007 opened a new can of worms that governments and researchers across the world were wrestling with through much of 2008. For one thing, the attacks from Russia extended to other former Soviet republics, including Lithuania and the Republic of Georgia. Such events, along with ongoing cyberattacks in Iraq and other warring regions, helped demonstrate that cyberwarfare is becoming as standard-issue for modern armies and terrorist organizations as guns and grenades. In fact, as the Russia-Georgia conflict proved, cyberattacks can be a precursor to more tangible military action. These heated cyberconflicts have led to a wide range of "test" attacks between governments. China, especially, has been accused of wielding its cyberweapons against governments across the world, from neighboring Taiwan to sites in Pennsylvania. The governments of Australia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. have also reported successful attacks from China during the past year or so, though the Chinese government generally denies any involvement. Here in the United States, a number of hearings and reports in 2008 warned that the American infrastructure is not ready to defend itself against sophisticated cyberattacks from other countries. The "big one" didn't come this year, but some experts say it's only a matter of time.

Downturn Like every other aspect of business across the globe, IT security has been affected by the historic economic shifts that have occurred during the past year. Aside from the obvious re-evaluations of security spending and the predictions of security market consolidation, perhaps the most game-changing aspect of the economic downturn is the rapid rise of financially motivated cybercrime. In a nutshell, experts say, a poor economy brings higher rates of crime; as the market for legitimate technologies decreases, the market for criminal exploits increases. These criminal exploits might come from outside the company, or they might be seen in the form of internal attacks from employees and trading partners. Both types of attacks increased in 2008. Most pundits agree that 2008 represents only the beginning of the increase in cybercrime rates. As long as the economy is in a tailspin, they say, the instance of computer crime will continue to skyrocket.

DNS A look back at IT security developments in 2008 would hardly be complete without mentioning the Kaminsky vulnerability, a design flaw in the Internet's Domain Name Server (DNS) functionality that could potentially allow attackers to hijack sessions and send users to sites that are unintended or malicious. Security researcher Dan Kaminsky, who discovered the flaw, outlined some very real threats posed by the DNS flaw when he finally revealed its details in August.

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Kaminsky's process for revealing the flaw might have been as important as the details of the vulnerability itself. For the first time ever, he gathered the major DNS vendors, revealed the flaw to them simultaneously, and then agreed to try to keep the details under wraps until they all had a chance to develop and deploy patches. The slow rollout of the DNS vulnerability was only partially successful, but it set a new precedent for disclosure that was later used by other researchers during the year, as well. And it raised a firestorm of discussion in the security community as to when vulnerabilities are important enough to merit special disclosure treatment.

Enablement It's hard to pinpoint a single event that sparked it, but 2008 was clearly marked by a new message about IT security: It's no longer about limiting access -- it's about enabling it. Security vendors and IT managers alike have embraced this message, setting up the security manager as the guy who sometimes says "yes" instead of always saying "no." One company that has been consistently preaching this sermon during the past year is Palo Alto Networks, a next-generation firewall vendor that promises to help companies build enforceable security policies by tracking and controlling application access across the enterprise. However, Palo Alto is far from the only vendor now using this message: Industry giants such as Symantec, McAfee, and many others are now using the term "security enablement" broadly in their road maps and product literature. What's important about the buzzword is that it reflects a shift in strategy around IT security. Rather than building perimeters and shoring up defenses, security departments are now consciously looking for ways that they can give employees access to more data from more places, without creating additional risk. This shift in attitude affects everything from security architecture to mobile and remote access, and may help security managers break down the wall between IT security goals and overall business goals. At least, that's the idea we saw in 2008. We'll have to wait until 2009 -or beyond -- to see whether it has legs.

Obama The final word that was on everybody's lips -- and everybody's keyboard -- in 2008 was Barack Obama. (OK, that's two words. Sue us.) The upstart presidential candidate swept offices and Websites into a storm of discussion throughout the year, ultimately climaxing in his November victory. Much of the security discussion focused on the integrity of candidates' Websites, the rapid rise of spam, phishing, and malware attacks linked to election news and events, and the vulnerabilities surrounding electronic voting machines. Obama's rivals, John McCain and Sarah Palin, both suffered hacking incidents. Now that the elections are over, however, many security experts are asking more weighty questions about Obama's presidency. A blue-ribbon panel has already made recommendations on what the new president should do about key cybersecurity issues. Further questions about new cabinet posts, including a CTO and

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cybersecurity czar, also show a growing interest in the new president's initiatives on cyberwarfare, e-commerce security, personal data protection, and user privacy. And whether you're Barack Obama or the average IT security manager, it's clear that 2009 will be at least as eventful as 2008.

New 'Stealth' Technology Secures Data On Shared Networks
Unisys combines encryption and bit-splitting to keep data all in the workgroup
By Tim Wilson, DarkReading Nov. 18, 2008 URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212100633

The problem seems simple: How can data be transmitted over a large, shared network, yet restricted so that only a small group of individuals on the network can read it? The possible answers, as most security professionals will tell you, are anything but simple. Unisys today took a crack at this complex problem with the introduction of Stealth Solution for Network, a patented method of encrypting and "bit-splitting" data into smaller pieces while encrypting them again. The idea behind Stealth is to allow organizations to restrict the exchange of sensitive data to a fixed group of individuals who have the keys to encrypt and decrypt it --without forcing them to use a discrete network. Stealth can be used on an enterprise network to prevent other groups in the organization from viewing data, or it can be used over virtual networks or the Internet to help protect sensitive data from being accessed by outsiders, Unisys says. Stealth can also be used to keep users from straying outside their secure communities, Unisys states. By assigning a digital workgroup key to each community of interest, Stealth can ensure that users cannot access data outside of their assigned communities, the company says. "Stealth delivers the right information to the right people at the right time," says Ted Davies, president of Unisys Federal Systems. "Our government clients have been asking for a security solution like this for years. With Stealth, we can help them to simplify their networks without sacrificing security, while delivering significant cost savings." Initially, the Stealth technology is being targeted at defense and other government environments, but Unisys says it expects its new approach to catch on in commercial environments, where retailers, financial institutions, and healthcare providers are seeking to build "trusted networks" that allow the exchange of data with less fear of attack by hackers or identity thieves. Stealth, which was developed in a partnership with security vendor Security First, has been in development and testing for more than four years, Unisys says. It encrypts data, "bit-splits" that data into multiple packets as it moves through the network, and then reassembles the information packets for delivery to authorized users. These packets are proved secure through the use of certified encryption and unique bit-level splitting of the encrypted data. Stealth is a combination of software that resides on users' personal computers and -- for now -- a Dell 1950 server that manages and provides the

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workgroup license keys. Once authorized and granted workgroup keys, users create peer-to-peer encrypted tunnels vis available networks to share information, Unisys says. Unisys isn't giving details on Stealth products or prices yet, but the company plans a broad rollout next year. The new line will also include Stealth Solution for Storage Area Networks (SAN), which will extend the encryption and bit-splitting concept to the SAN environment.

How Companies Can Use IT Security To Protect Against Insider Attacks
Tough economic times present increased motivation for cybercrime. Experts from Gotham Digital Science share tactics that companies can use to protect against security attacks executed by disgruntled or former employees
By Gotham Digital Science , DarkReading Dec. 11, 2008 URL: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212400450

New York, NY, December 11, 2008 - Companies are vulnerable to IT attacks from criminals and competitors during the best economic climate and face increased risk when times are hard. According to Gotham Digital Science, an information security consulting firm that works with clients to identify, prevent, and manage security risks, the current downturn puts organizations at increased risk for attacks not only from anonymous criminals but from disgruntled or former employees. "Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. In an economic downturn, IT workers can be tempted to utilize their knowledge of an employer," said Matt Bartoldus, Director with Gotham Digital Science in London. "A disgruntled or laid off employee can be motivated by revenge or financial necessity to steal and/or sell data or cause work disruptions, and has familiarity that can be devastating to an organization." Gotham Digital Science, which helps clients assess risk in order to protect against and prevent cyber attacks that can lead to loss of money, intellectual property, customer information, and reputation, recommends a number of actions a company can take to thwart attacks. Manage Access: A disgruntled employee with knowledge of sensitive information can wreck havoc in minutes. Manage all the users on your network from a single source such as Windows Active Directory. This will enable you to both disable access to confidential information if an employee leaves or is laid off as well as to easily perform a routine audit to ensure that only authorized users are accessing the network. Protect your Data: Sensitive business information is often accessible to a wide range of employees, all of whom have the potential to copy and steal valuable information such as customer data, intellectual property, and financial information. Databases and shared network files (spreadsheets, word documents, reports containing charts and tables) often contain confidential information. Distribute sensitive data on a need to know basis and review network file storage to ensure access is limited to those who need it. Systems should be regularly reviewed and any

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unnecessary or outdated files should be removed. For highly confidential information, limit document printing and the use of cell phones with cameras. Restrict Data Transmission: In addition to limiting access to information, manage the methods through which data can leave the premises. Limit internet services to necessary sites, restrict use of unauthorized websites to prevent access to personal sites, and disable removable media to prevent sensitive date from being copied onto USB thumb drives or mobile phones. The same policy should be applied to CD/DVD writers to pre-empt the chance of sensitive information walking out the door. Think like an IT security specialist: IT staff, developers and system administrators have knowledge of and access to the systems that run your company. Make sure to change passwords and remove access whenever one of these employees leaves, and run a scan to check for "backdoors" that allow undetected remote network access and other malicious programs that can cause damage. Keep Track of Information: Should a security breach occur, identifying the source will help understand the scope of the problem and solve it more quickly. Archiving emails and phone records, saving deleted emails, and recording and logging phone calls will enable you to trace the origin. "In reality, these are things that companies should be doing regardless of the economic climate," said Brian Holyfield, a Director with Gotham Digital Science in New York. "But they become even more critical during a downturn. With these small steps, companies can protect themselves against a wide range of possible threats." Notes to Editors * Earlier this month IBM's ISS X-Force research team identified a 30% increase in network and web-based security events over the last 120 days, with the total number rising from 1.8 billion to more than 2.5 billion worldwide per day, according to data pulled from its managed security services client base of approximately 3700 clients worldwide. * According to another December study, "The Global Recession and its Effect on Work Ethics", by IT security data experts Cyber-Ark Software, more than half of 600 surveyed office workers from New York's Wall Street, London's Docklands and Amsterdam, Holland, have already downloaded competitive corporate data and plan to use the information as a negotiating tool to secure their next post. * According to the Ponemon Institute's "2007 Annual Study, The Cost of a Data Breach," the average total cost per data breach is more than $6.3 million to a US company. * According to new research from IT services company Vistorm, UK companies claim to understand the security challenges their businesses face and the consequences of non-compliance, yet only 48% do anything about it. Of 100 UK businesses surveyed, 79% of companies knew which of their assets were businesscritical and 91% understood the consequences of non-compliance. It also found that 43% of companies have inadequate security controls in place for protecting mobile data. About Gotham Digital Science Gotham Digital Science (GDS) is an information security consulting firm that works with clients to identify, prevent, and manage security risks. GDS specializes in security testing, software security, and risk management and compliance. GDS

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develops tools that solve specific security issues and offers a number of security training programs for IT professionals. With offices in New York and London, Gotham Digital Science can seamlessly assist clients on both sides of the Atlantic. For more information, visit our website at www.gdssecurity.com.

The 2009 Security Tsunami
By Rob Enderle, DarkReading Dec 19, 2008 URL: http://www.darkreading.com/blog/archives/2008/12/the_2009_securi.html

Many in the United States think the party in power has sacrificed too much privacy and liberty in order to address security concerns, particularly in regard to terrorism. The incoming administration is likely to undo a lot of this, but, at the same time, a massive number of very upset people with and without tech skills are going to find themselves jobless. Unfortunately, some of these people will make up for their income gap by engaging in illegal activities. This suggests security exposures are likely to spike in 2009 and that initial cuts in security spending both for the public and private sectors may have to be reversed around midyear. 2009: The Scary Year Ahead We've already had laid-off workers take over a plant and several instances where others have shot their co-workers and managers -- the most recent at a company Christmas party in Canada. Violent responses to large-scale downsizings are likely to increase dramatically in 2009 as waves of layoffs cast people into a market with nothing to offer. With a down stock market effectively eliminating their financial reserves, many will be extremely angry. In the past, laid-off employees have vandalized their companies, and the expected large number of IT-trained employees expected to be laid off in 2009 should result in several instances of cybervandalism. While defacing Web pages probably will be the most common, there undoubtedly will be several instances of serious and material damage done to systems by ex-employees who still have access to critical systems. As mentioned above, theft will increase sharply and range from petty theft of office supplies, equipment, and personal property to large-scale financial theft, home and business invasions, and identity theft. Financial desperation generally leads to some really bad decisions, and a large number of people will make them. Finally, financial downturns typically lead to a massive increase in financial scams. Folks in critical need for funds can be more easily tricked, and we will likely see a mix of both traditional phone-based attacks, phishing attacks, and full-on cyberfraud unlike anything we have ever seen in a given year. 2009: The Year Of Vigilance

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So many of the major security problems we will likely see in 2009 can be mitigated by just ensuring that employees know what to do, using good layoff practices, and making sure the company doesn't do anything stupid. A lavish executive party using corporate jets right after a big layoff would fall into the paint-a-target-onmy-back-stupid category, for instance. With regard to vigilance, employees should be asked to keep their eyes open and report suspicious activities. People who are very upset are seldom very careful, and often their behavior can be noted with enough time to evacuate a building, call the authorities, or at least lock a door. If an employee hears another make violent threats, that person should be encouraged to report it; an anonymous method for doing so would be advised. In anticipation of layoffs, practices to remove IT access at termination and the overall security process during a layoff should be reviewed. Many companies haven't done big layoffs in a while, and those that learn by doing will likely find the experience both excessively expensive and unacceptably dangerous. It would be wise to do security audits and tests to ensure that the company is prepared for what will likely happen in 2009. Firms like RSA, which has already been engaged in countering attacks in the financial community, could become invaluable in preparing for some of these issues. However, I still recommend that employees be brought in as part of the solution. If they know what to do, particularly in the face of a violent event, much of the damage can be mitigated and possibly even avoided. Done right, employees are forced to think of the repercussions. Sometimes that is enough to keep the employee from doing something unfortunate. Wrapping Up We are forewarned that 2009 will be filled with employee issues and that already many are drifting toward violence. Not being prepared for this eventuality will, in hindsight, look negligent, and I know the law firms, which are also under financial pressure, are setting up for a heavy litigation year. Do the work to ensure that your company, your employees, and you are safe, and it will pay high dividends next year by keeping you and your firm out of the headlines.

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BOOKS ON SECURITY
A. Internet Privacy 1. Internet and Online Privacy: A Legal and Business Guide Author: Andrew Frackman, Claudia Ray Published By: Alm Publishing Trade Paperback ISBN:097059707X Published: May 2002 2.Computer and Internet Use on Campus: A Legal Guide to Issues of Intellectual Property, Free Speech, and Privacy Author: Constance Hawke, Constance S Hawke Trade Paperback ISBN:0787955167 Published: October 2000 3.Complete Guide to E-Security: Protect your Privacy on the internet Author: Michael Chesbro Published By: Citadel Press Trade Paperback ISBN:0806522798 4.Internet Privacy For Dummies Author: John Levine, John R. Levine, Levine Published By: Hungry Minds Trade Paperback ISBN:0764508466 Published: July 2002 5.The Complete Idiot's Guide to Internet Privacy and Security Author: Preston Gralla Published By: Alpha Books Trade Paperback ISBN:0028643216 Published: January 2002 6.The Hundredth Window: Protecting Your Privacy and Security in the Age of the Internet Author: Charles Jennings, Lori Fena Published By: Free Press Hardcover ISBN:068483944X Published: April 2000 7.I Love The Internet, But I Want My Privacy, Too! Author: Debbie Olsen Published By: Prima Publishing Trade Paperback ISBN:0761514368 Published: August 1998 8.Privacy & Rights to the Visual: The Internet Debate Author: Jacques N. Catudal Published By: Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers, Incorporated Trade Paperback ISBN:0847688003 Published: January 1998 9.Ben Franklin's Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity from Plymouth Rock to the Internet Author: Robert Ellis Smith Published By: Privacy Journal Trade Paperback ISBN:0930072146 Published: June 2000 10.The E-Privacy Imperative: Protect Your Customers' Internet Privacy and Ensure Your Company's Survival in the Electronic Age Author: James Breithaupt, Mark S. Merkow Published By: Amacom Trade Paperback

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ISBN:0814406289 Published: May 2001

11.Privacy & Rights to the Visual: The Internet Debate Author: Jacques N. Catudal Published By: Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers, Incorporated Hardcover ISBN:0847687996 Published: January 1998 12.Internet Privacy Kit Author: Marcus Golcalves Published By: Que Hardcover ISBN:0789712342 Published: January 1997 13.Protect Your Privacy on the Internet Author: Bryan Pfaffenberger Published By: John Wiley & Sons, Canada Paper Text ISBN:0471181439 Published: April 1997

B. Privacy Law 1. In Pursuit of Privacy: Law, Ethics, & the Rise of Technology Author: Judith W. DeCew Published By: Cornell University Press Trade Paperback ISBN:0801484111 Published: January 1996 2.Confidentiality & Privacy in Social Work: A Guide to the Law for Practitioners & Students Author: Donald J. Dickson Published By: Free Press Hardcover ISBN:0684826577 Published: January 1998 3.Privacy and Employment Law Author: John, D.R. Craig Published By: Hart Publishing Hardcover ISBN:1841130591 Published: December 1999 4.Philosophical Law: Authority, Equality, Adjudication, Privacy Edited By: Richard Bronaugh Published By: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated Hardcover ISBN:0837198097 Published: January 1978 5.The Law of Privacy Explained Author: Robert E. Smith Published By: Privacy Journal Trade Paperback ISBN:0930072103 Published: January 1993 6.Make It Legal: Copyright, Trademark, & Libel Law: Privacy & Publicity Rights Author: Lee Wilson Published By: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Limited Trade Paperback ISBN:0927629089 Published: January 1990 7.Privacy, Law & Public Policy Author: David M. O'Brien Published By: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated Hardcover ISBN:0275904032 Published: January 1979

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8.Surveillance, Privacy, and the Law Author: John Gilliom Published By: University Of Michigan Press Hardcover ISBN:0472104934 Published: June 1994 9.Surveillance, Privacy, and the Law Author: John Gilliom Published By: University Of Michigan Press Trade Paperback ISBN:047208416X Published: July 1996 10.Privacy & Loyalty: In the Law of Obligations Edited By: Peter Birks Published By: Oxford University Press Hardcover ISBN:019876488X Published: January 1997 11.Personal Information: Privacy & the Law Author: Raymond I. Wacks Published By: Oxford University Press Trade Paperback ISBN:0198258674 Published: January 1994

C. Internet Identity Theft 1. Internet and Online Privacy: A Legal and Business Guide Author: Andrew Frackman, Claudia Ray Published By: Alm Publishing Trade Paperback ISBN:097059707X Published: May 2002 2.Computer and Internet Use on Campus: A Legal Guide to Issues of Intellectual Property, Free Speech, and Privacy Author: Constance Hawke, Constance S Hawke Trade Paperback ISBN:0787955167 Published: October 2000 3.Complete Guide to E-Security: Protect your Privacy on the internet Author: Michael Chesbro Published By: Citadel Press Trade Paperback ISBN:0806522798 Published: November 2001 4.Internet Privacy For Dummies Author: John Levine, John R. Levine, Levine Published By: Hungry Minds Trade Paperback ISBN:0764508466 Published: July 2002 5.The Complete Idiot's Guide to Internet Privacy and Security Author: Preston Gralla Published By: Alpha Books Trade Paperback ISBN:0028643216 Published: January 2002 6.The Hundredth Window: Protecting Your Privacy and Security in the Age of the Internet Author: Charles Jennings, Lori Fena Published By: Free Press Hardcover ISBN:068483944X Published: April 2000

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7.I Love The Internet, But I Want My Privacy, Too! Author: Debbie Olsen Published By: Prima Publishing Trade Paperback ISBN:0761514368 Published: August 1998 8.Privacy & Rights to the Visual: The Internet Debate Author: Jacques N. Catudal Published By: Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers, Incorporated Trade Paperback ISBN:0847688003 Published: January 1998 9.Ben Franklin's Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity from Plymouth Rock to the Internet Author: Robert Ellis Smith Published By: Privacy Journal Trade Paperback ISBN:0930072146 Published: June 2000 10.The E-Privacy Imperative: Protect Your Customers' Internet Privacy and Ensure Your Company's Survival in the Electronic Age Author: James Breithaupt, Mark S. Merkow Published By: Amacom Trade Paperback ISBN:0814406289 Published: May 2001 11.Privacy & Rights to the Visual: The Internet Debate Author: Jacques N. Catudal Published By: Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers, Incorporated Hardcover ISBN:0847687996 Published: January 1998 12. Internet Privacy Kit Author: Marcus Golcalves Published By: Que Hardcover ISBN:0789712342 Published: January 1997 13.Protect Your Privacy on the Internet Author: Bryan Pfaffenberger Published By: John Wiley & Sons, Canada Paper Text ISBN:0471181439

D. Firewalls 1.Inside Network Perimeter Security: The Definitive Guide to Firewalls, VPNs, Routers, and Intrusion Detection Systems: The Definitive Guide to Firewalls, Virtual Private Networks Author: Scott Winters Published By: Sams Trade Paperback ISBN:0735712328 Published: June 2002 2.Red Hat Linux Firewalls Author: Bill McCarty, McCarty Published By: Wiley Trade Paperback ISBN:0764524631 Published: November 2002 3.Firewalls: The Complete Reference Author: Gary Rollie, Keith Strassberg, Richard Gondek Published By: Osborne Trade Paperback ISBN:0072195673 Published: May 2002

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4.Computer Security Policies & Sunscreen Firewalls Author: Kathryn M. Walker Published By: Prentice-Hall Canada, Incorporated Paper Text ISBN:0130960152 Published: July 1998 5.Firewalls 24seven Author: Matthew Strebe Published By: Sybex Trade Paperback ISBN:0782140548 Published: March 2002 6.Linux Firewalls Author: Robert Ziegler Published By: Sams Trade Paperback ISBN:0735710996 Published: October 2001 7.Cisco Security Spcialist's Guide to PIX Firewalls Author: Callisma Published By: Syngress Trade Paperback ISBN:1931836639 Published: December 2002 8.Configuring Isa Server 2000: Building Firewalls For Windows 2000 Author: Thomas Shinder Published By: Syngress Book & CD-Rom ISBN:1928994296 Published: May 2001 9.Personal Firewalls for Administrators and Remote Users Author: Lisa Yeo Published By: Prentice Hall PTR Trade Paperback ISBN:0130462225 Published: December 2002 10. Protecting Your Web Sites with Firewalls Author: Marcus Gon Calves Published By: Prentice-Hall Canada, Incorporated Hardcover ISBN:0136282075 Published: April 1997 11.Guia Avanzada Firewalls Linux Author: Robert Ziegler Published By: Prentice Hall PTR Book & CD-Rom ISBN:8420529494 Published: September 2001 12.Absolute Beginner's Guide to Personal Firewalls Author: Jerry Ford Published By: Que Trade Paperback ISBN:0789726254 Published: October 2001 13.Building Internet Firewalls Author: Elizabeth D Zwicky Published By: O'Reilly & Associates Trade Paperback ISBN:1565921240 Published: September 1995 14.Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling The Wily Hacker Author: William Cheswick Published By: Addison Wesley Professional Trade Paperback ISBN:0201633574 Published: April 1994

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15.Firewalls For Dummies Author: Brian Komar, Joern Wettern, Ronald Beekelaar Published By: For Dummies Trade Paperback ISBN:0764540483 Published: June 2003 16.Internet Security and Firewalls Author: NIIT, Inc. Published By: Premier Press Trade Paperback ISBN:1931841977 Published: October 2002 17.Building Internet Firewalls Author: Elizabeth Zwicky Published By: O'Reilly & Associates Trade Paperback ISBN:1565928717 Published: June 2000 18.Cisco Secure PIX Firewalls Author: David Chapman Published By: Cisco Press Hardcover ISBN:1587050358 Published: December 2001 19. Firewalls & Internet Security Author: William Cheswick, William R. Cheswick Published By: Addison Wesley Professional Paper Text ISBN:020163466X Published: December 2004 20.Checkpoint Firewalls Administration Guide Author: Marcus Goncalves Published By: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Limited Trade Paperback ISBN:007134229X Published: November 1999

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