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RE: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion

From: Hallam-Baker, Phillip <pbaker@verisign.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 08:10:45 -0800
Message-ID: <2788466ED3E31C418E9ACC5C316615570E575F@mou1wnexmb09.vcorp.ad.vrsn.com>
To: "Dan Schutzer" <dan.schutzer@fstc.org>, "Mary Ellen Zurko" <Mary_Ellen_Zurko@notesdev.ibm.com>
Cc: "W3C WSC Public" <public-wsc-wg@w3.org>
Modern crypto is for almost all purposes 100% effective. We have issues today due to legacy deliberately weakened crypto (40bit) and use of DES - a three decades old standard from 1975.
We are currently phasing out SHA-1 because we are not confident of its effectiveness past 2025 or so. We are about to complete the phase out of RSA 1024 which is probably good till at least 2015.
With symmetric algorithms we are incredibly conservative because we can afford to be. Using the strongest available crypto does not add to the processing overhead markedly versus weak crypto.
With asymmetric algorithms there is a processing overhead and there is a possible issue with RSA 2048 in 2025 or so. Now if we were any other part of the computing world we would simply wait till three years before disaster strikes and then get everyone to panic like the COBOL jockeys did during Y2K or as they called it 'the pension fund'.
Security engineering is different. We obsess about the stuff we can control because there is so much that we either can't or don't know how to control.


	From: Dan Schutzer [mailto:dan.schutzer@fstc.org] 
	Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2007 7:08 AM
	To: 'Mary Ellen Zurko'; Hallam-Baker, Phillip
	Cc: 'W3C WSC Public'
	Subject: RE: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion

	Funny I thought crypto was not 100% effective, which is why crypto length codes and algorithms have to be upgraded from time to time. Its all about making the processing power necessary to exhaustively search through all possibilities computationally infeasible with today's computer power. As the computer power increases, the crypto needs to be stepped up.



	From: public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mary Ellen Zurko
	Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 12:27 PM
	To: pbaker@verisign.com
	Cc: W3C WSC Public
	Subject: RE: ACTION-335 logotypes and ISSUE-96 discussion


	I will indulge in a rathole, in part, because I do think it represents an important philosophical category for WSC participants, so that being explicit about it and airing it will be a good thing long term for discussions and consensus. 
	> The reason that we tend to obsess at 100% is that cryptography 
	> allows us to be pretty good at some aspects of technical security. 
	I have another view about why 100% is important to some security people. It's because, in security, anything less than 100% represents the opportunity for attack. It is a vulnerability. Security people naturally don't want vulnerabilities,and particularly don't want to be responsible for any vulnerabilities. Even if the action they take represents, as you put it, a risk reduction. It can be difficult, both personally and organizationally, to be proud of and promote the risk reduction, while bearing the responsibility for some of the subsequent risk. And that's even if you're lucky enough to be able to articulate the risk reduction clearly. Not that you've got a hope of being able to actually prove it. 
Received on Monday, 19 November 2007 16:15:45 UTC

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