Risk
5/12/2005
06:20 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Phones Fight Phonies

On Tuesday, VeriSign hosted a dinner for journalists at Le Colonial in San Francisco to help get its message out about strong authentication. Representatives from AOL, IBM, and Intuit also were in attendance. The idea is that journalists get good food and the hosts get good press. Of course, it's not officially quid pro quo, but it's hard to imagine companies sponsoring such events without some hope that what goes around comes around. Coincidentally, Bite public relations managed the affair.

On Tuesday, VeriSign hosted a dinner for journalists at Le Colonial in San Francisco to help get its message out about strong authentication. Representatives from AOL, IBM, and Intuit also were in attendance.

The idea is that journalists get good food and the hosts get good press. Of course, it's not officially quid pro quo, but it's hard to imagine companies sponsoring such events without some hope that what goes around comes around. Coincidentally, Bite public relations managed the affair.Anyway, VeriSign had come to town for a conference called Digital ID World 2005, where the company explained its plans to make two-factor (strong) authentication cheap and affordable.

Strong authentication involves using something one has-an ATM card, example-in conjunction with something one knows-a personal identification number or PIN. It generally provides better security than weak authentication, which utilizes just one of those two components, such as a password or a door key.

It's a potentially useful technology that could help reduce identity theft and fraud.

The challenge for VeriSign and other security companies is that authentication tokens are expensive and there's no established open standard. In the absence of such a standard, it's doubtful that consumers would be thrilled to carry different tokens for every commercial Web site they deal with.

The answer, it seems, is the cell phone. They're everywhere already. Using them as authentication tokens just makes sense, to me at least.

VASCO Data Security, an enterprise security company, is doing just that. The company said today that it's now offering its Digipass software security token for Java-enabled mobile phones.

Sounds promising.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8142
Published: 2014-12-20
Use-after-free vulnerability in the process_nested_data function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.re in PHP before 5.4.36, 5.5.x before 5.5.20, and 5.6.x before 5.6.4 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted unserialize call that leverages improper handling of duplicate keys w...

CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2013-7401
Published: 2014-12-19
The parse_request function in request.c in c-icap 0.2.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a URI without a " " or "?" character in an ICAP request, as demonstrated by use of the OPTIONS method.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.