At SOURCE Seattle, I had the pleasure of seeing Jeff Lowder and Patrick Florer present on “The Base Rate Fallacy.” The talk was excellent, lining up the idea of the base rate fallacy, how and why it matters to infosec. What really struck me about this talk was that about a week before, I had…Read More Base Rate & Infosec
Yesterday, DAn Kaminsky said “There should be a yearly award for Best Security Data, for the best collection and disbursement of hard data and cogent analysis in infosec.” I think it’s a fascinating idea, but think that a yearly award may be premature. However, what I think is sorta irrelevant, absent data. So I’m looking…Read More Time for an Award for Best Data?
I wanted to share an article from the November issue of the Public Library of Science, both because it’s interesting reading and because of what it tells us about the state of security research. The paper is “Willingness to Share Research Data Is Related to the Strength of the Evidence and the Quality of Reporting…Read More Sharing Research Data
The security of modern password expiration: an algorithmic framework and empirical analysis, by Yingian Zhang, Fabian Monrose and Michael Reiter. (ACM DOI link) This paper presents the first large-scale study of the success of password expiration in meeting its intended purpose, namely revoking access to an account by an attacker who has captured the account’s…Read More Paper: The Security of Password Expiration
In “Close Look at a Flu Outbreak Upends Some Common Wisdom,” Nicholas Bakalar writes: If you or your child came down with influenza during the H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak in 2009, it may not have happened the way you thought it did. A new study of a 2009 epidemic at a school in Pennsylvania…Read More Infosec's Flu
I haven’t read the paper yet, but Schneier has a post up which points to a paper “Side-Channel Leaks in Web Applications: a Reality Today, a Challenge Tomorrow,” by Shuo Chen, Rui Wang, XiaoFeng Wang, and Kehuan Zhang.about a new side-channel attack which allows an eavesdropper to infer information about the contents of an SSL…Read More More Bad News for SSL
There has been a disconnect between the primary research sectors and a lack of appropriate funding in each is leading to decreased technological progress, exposing a huge gap in security that is happily being exploited by cybercriminals. No one seems to be able to mobilize any signficant research into breakthrough cyber security solutions. It’s been very frustrating to see so much talk and so little action. This post proposes one possible solution: Information Security Pioneers Fellowship Program (ISPFP), similar to Gene Spafford’s proposal for a Information Security and Privacy Extended Grant (ISPEG) for academic researchers.Read More Everybody complains about lack of information security research, but nobody does anything about it
In his ongoing role of “person who finds things that I will find interesting,” Adam recently sent me a link to a paper titled “THE HUMAN FACTORS ANALYSIS AND CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM–HFACS,” which discusses the role of people in aviation accidents. From the abstract: Human error has been implicated in 70 to 80% of all civil…Read More Human Error
I’ve recently read “Quantified Security is a Weak Hypothesis,” a paper which Vilhelm Verendel published at NSPW09. We’re discussing it in email, and I think it deserves some broader attention. My initial note was along these lines: I think the paper’s key hypothesis “securtity can be correctly represented with quantitative information” is overly broad. Can…Read More Is Quantified Security a Weak Hypothesis?
What’s the biggest problem with quantum cryptography? That it’s too expensive, of course. Quantum anything is inherently cool, just as certain things are inherently funny. Ducks, for example. However, it’s hard to justify a point-to-point quantum crypto link that starts at one-hundred grand just for the encryptors (fiber link not included, some assembly required), when…Read More Quanta In Space!