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Practical Computer Security through CryptographyThe core protocols upon which the Internet was built are insecure. Weak authentication and the lack of low level encryption services introduce vulnerabilities that propagate upwards in the network stack. Using statistics based on CERT/CC Internet security incident reports, the relative likelihood of attacks via these vulnerabilities is analyzed. The primary conclusion is that the standard UNIX BSD-based authentication system is by far the most commonly exploited weakness. Encryption of Sensitive password data and the adoption of cryptographically-based authentication protocols can greatly reduce these vulnerabilities. Basic cryptographic terminology and techniques are presented, with attention focused on the ways in which technology such as encryption and digital signatures can be used to protect against the most commonly exploited vulnerabilities. A survey of contemporary security software demonstrates that tools based on cryptographic techniques, such as Kerberos, ssh, and PGP, are readily available and effectively close many of the most serious security holes. Nine practical recommendations for improving security are described.
Document ID
20020080914
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Authors
McNab, David (MRJ Technology Solutions, Inc. Moffett Field, CA United States)
Twetev, David
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
December 30, 1998
Subject Category
Computer Systems
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 509-10-61
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.