Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Podcast: Crypto-Gram 15 April 2007: Limiting the degree to which each individual must be trusted

from the Apr 15, 2007 Crypto-Gram Newsletter
by Bruce Schneier

* JavaScript Hijacking

JavaScript hijacking is a new type of eavesdropping attack against Ajax-style Web applications. The attack is possible because Web browsers don't protect JavaScript the same way they protect HTML; if a Web application transfers confidential data using messages written in JavaScript, in some cases the messages can be read by an attacker.
Like so many of these sorts of vulnerabilities, preventing the class of attacks is easy. In many cases, it requires just a few additional lines of code. And like so many software security problems, programmers need to understand the security implications of their work so they can mitigate the risks they face. But my guess is that JavaScript hijacking won't be solved so easily, because programmers don't understand the security implications of their work and won't prevent the attacks.

* U.S. Government Contractor Injects Malicious Software into Critical Military Computers

One of the ways to deal with the problem of trusted individuals is by making sure they're trustworthy. The clearance process is supposed to handle that. But given the enormous damage that a single person can do here, it makes a lot of sense to add a second security mechanism: limiting the degree to which each individual must be trusted. A decent system of code reviews, or change auditing, would go a long way to reduce the risk of this sort of thing.

time 13:11
PS: this is my cheat sheet of Bruce Schneier's Podcast:
http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0704.html

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