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The WiKID Blog

The WiKID Blog, musings on two-factor authentication, information security and some other stuff.

Accidental Rugged Devops

This week at Secureworld Expo Atlanta, I had the pleasure of hearing Gene Kim talk about Rugged DevOps. When I first ran into Gene, he was with someone I worked with previously at another start-up.  That sent me down memory lane.

Where to keep the keys?

Lori MacVittie has a great post over Devcentral at F5 about the current state of Identity for Cloud. It is well worth a read.

Authentication isn't strong without encryption

A few days ago, Twilio posted about using their SMS service to "Build a Phone-based Two-Factor Authentication" (sic). As we have noted before, SMS-based systems are technically better than static passwords, but SMS-based authentication schemes seem to be proliferating without any consideration given to their relative security.  Twilio seems like a great service and this post shows how easy it is to use, but I think this post deserves a response, lest developers add insecure code to their application or are left with false impressions about the security of their authentication mechanisms.

Do factors really factor anymore?

In the old days, two-factor authentication was quite simple. It was defined as using more than one of 1. Something you know; 2. Something you have or 3. Something you are. This definition seemed to work well for us for some time. Now, however, it is seriously fraying. Why? Consider this:

Single-site browser

Read Jeremiah Grossman's post about "A Single-Site Browser’s impact on XSS, CSRF, and Clickjacking".  The benefits of using a Single-Site Browser are clear: reduced risk of XSS, CSRF and Clickjacking.  So, why isn't every bank in the world and every user of SSL-VPNs not deploying single-site browsers?

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