Risk
4/14/2011
05:36 PM
50%
50%

White House To Release Final Trusted Identity Plan

The public-private effort to strengthen online identity management and authentication will face challenges when it comes to execution, privacy, and security.

Obama's Tech Tools
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Obama's Tech Tools
The White House Friday will release the final version of a national identity and authentication strategy aimed at standardizing and strengthening identity management and authentication procedures for online transactions.

The plan is the result of more than a year of effort and collaboration between the White House, industry, government agencies, and privacy advocates.

But the private sector is taking a wait-and-see approach before ruling on whether the plan will resolve a long-time problem of the multiple identities and passwords people use when making online transactions, and the threats to privacy and security they pose.

The Obama administration's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) "addresses one of the thorniest issues facing those who want to engage in significant or sensitive online transactions: the lack of standard, interoperable, and trusted systems for proving online identity," Thomas Smedinghoff, a partner in the Privacy and Data Security practice at Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon LLP in Chicago, said in an email. Smedinghoff has reviewed and commented on drafts of NSTIC.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Chair of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard A. Schmidt are expected to release the plan, which has been in draft release since last June, at an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerceon Friday.

Among other things, it will recommend changes to privacy laws, possible revisions to the liability of online identity providers, and the creation of new government offices to play a leadership role in digital identity and authentication issues.

The strategy also will design and implement what it's calling an "Identity Ecosystem," which will include comprehensive identification and authentication standards and improved definition of the rights and responsibilities of various constituencies involved in online transactions including identity providers and citizens.

The ecosystem also would create an environment in which both public and private service providers can offer people secure online credentials that can work across a range of websites.

The proposal has one security provider concerned that, if not carefully monitored or regulated, the ecosystem could "turn into a free-for-all Identity marketplace."

Identity Finder, which provides security for data used in identify theft, said if not managed properly, the ecosystem could create risks such as the opportunity for "hyper-identity theft" through the creation of powerful identity credentials; a false sense of control, privacy, and security among users; and new markets in which to commoditize human identity, according to a statement.

Others in the private sector expressed concern that the plan, while a fine idea, may not achieve its goals unless the federal government takes the swift action it's promising to enact the plan.

"Like all strategies, it will only be as good as its execution," said Mike Osburn, principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, a top federal contractor who has worked closely with the government on the plan.

He said in an email that while the industry as a whole is behind NSTIC, "The litmus test will be whether it really begins to accept private credentials as a means to offer a more secure, more convenient experience for consumers."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6501
Published: 2015-03-30
The default soap.wsdl_cache_dir setting in (1) php.ini-production and (2) php.ini-development in PHP through 5.6.7 specifies the /tmp directory, which makes it easier for local users to conduct WSDL injection attacks by creating a file under /tmp with a predictable filename that is used by the get_s...

CVE-2014-9209
Published: 2015-03-30
Untrusted search path vulnerability in the Clean Utility application in Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Services Platform before 2.71.00 and FactoryTalk View Studio 8.00.00 and earlier allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse DLL in an unspecified directory.

CVE-2014-9652
Published: 2015-03-30
The mconvert function in softmagic.c in file before 5.21, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.37, 5.5.x before 5.5.21, and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, does not properly handle a certain string-length field during a copy of a truncated version of a Pascal string, which might allow remote atta...

CVE-2014-9653
Published: 2015-03-30
readelf.c in file before 5.22, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.37, 5.5.x before 5.5.21, and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, does not consider that pread calls sometimes read only a subset of the available data, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (uninitialized memory ...

CVE-2014-9705
Published: 2015-03-30
Heap-based buffer overflow in the enchant_broker_request_dict function in ext/enchant/enchant.c in PHP before 5.4.38, 5.5.x before 5.5.22, and 5.6.x before 5.6.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors that trigger creation of multiple dictionaries.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.