Perimeter
1/29/2012
10:40 AM
Taher Elgamal
Taher Elgamal
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The Value Of Device Authentication

'Fingerprinting' evolving to protect device IDs

Since the beginning of e-commerce in the mid-1990s, businesses noticed that transactions conducted online can be strengthened in assurance if we can “remember” that a particular device is the same that was used before to conduct successful transactions. A known device provides knowledge about the history of the device and can mitigate against fraudulent transactions that use stolen cards.

Later on, similar techniques now referred to as device fingerprinting are quite popular in detecting devices that have been used to conduct fraud online. Several businesses have started up that provide knowledge about connected devices.

Fraudsters have since responded with techniques to continuously change the device ID in order to deceive these systems. Furthermore, the use of botnets has increased in the fraud rings since these devices are likely to only appear one time and are impossible to detect in this regard.

Having said all that, it is useful to remember devices that users have used to conduct online transactions, and to tie these to the fraud history of the devices. Many different techniques are used today to fingerprint devices, mostly using browser environment fingerprinting, but some actually use techniques that detect certain characteristics about the machine hardware itself.

Several industry efforts are working on improved and perhaps cryptographically strong versions of a device ID. These techniques will become available soon and will help prevent fraudsters from making their machines “look different” every time they use them. I will discuss this a bit more in my next blog.

Dr. Taher Elgamal is the inventor of the Elgamal Digital Signature scheme, which is the basis for Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA). While serving as chief scientist of Netscape Communications, he was the driving force behind SSL. He is the founder of IdentityMind.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JJ1819
50%
50%
JJ1819,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2012 | 5:31:47 AM
re: The Value Of Device Authentication
A single solution for authentication is fingerprinting, it is the unique id which is highly impossible to misuse.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0607
Published: 2014-07-24
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in Attachmate Verastream Process Designer (VPD) before R6 SP1 Hotfix 1 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by uploading and launching an executable file.

CVE-2014-1419
Published: 2014-07-24
Race condition in the power policy functions in policy-funcs in acpi-support before 0.142 allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2360
Published: 2014-07-24
OleumTech WIO DH2 Wireless Gateway and Sensor Wireless I/O Modules allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via packets that report a high battery voltage.

CVE-2014-2361
Published: 2014-07-24
OleumTech WIO DH2 Wireless Gateway and Sensor Wireless I/O Modules, when BreeZ is used, do not require authentication for reading the site security key, which allows physically proximate attackers to spoof communication by obtaining this key after use of direct hardware access or manual-setup mode.

CVE-2014-2362
Published: 2014-07-24
OleumTech WIO DH2 Wireless Gateway and Sensor Wireless I/O Modules rely exclusively on a time value for entropy in key generation, which makes it easier for remote attackers to defeat cryptographic protection mechanisms by predicting the time of project creation.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.