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[Discuss] Why the dislike of X.509?

On 8/28/2014 1:40 PM, Derek Atkins wrote:
> Passwords?  We don't need no stinking passwords!  You don't need to know
> your user's passwords, you have access to their keys!  If I could dump a
> copy of your KDC database then I could then impersonate any user (or
> server!) on your network and read all their traffic.  I don't need to
> know their passwords to do that.

I don't have their keys. I have one-way hashes of their keys. And your
hypothetical dump will have the same one-way hashes. No, that wouldn't
keep you from exploiting the compromise but it would slow you down.

> A bad actor can do *everything* with a compromised KDC.  Yes, there are
> steps to prevent compromise, just like there are steps to prevent
> compromise of an X.509 CA.  The main difference here is that if I

Except there aren't. X.509 lacks mechanisms to prevent and detect root
certificate compromises. It was intentionally designed this way. It was
designed this way so that, for example, government oversight and the NSA
can decrypt all messages within the agencies under their authority. This
all happens silently, undetectable by affected users, by design.

Attempts have been made to address this design "feature". None to date
have proven consistently reliable.

Rich P.

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