Perimeter
1/29/2012
10:40 AM
Taher Elgamal
Taher Elgamal
Commentary
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
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
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9676
Published: 2015-02-27
The seg_write_packet function in libavformat/segment.c in ffmpeg 2.1.4 and earlier does not free the correct memory location, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service ("invalid memory handler") and possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted video that triggers a use after free.

CVE-2014-9682
Published: 2015-02-27
The dns-sync module before 0.1.1 for node.js allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the first argument to the resolve API function.

CVE-2015-0655
Published: 2015-02-27
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Unified Web Interaction Manager in Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to a POST request, aka Bug ID CSCus74184.

CVE-2015-0884
Published: 2015-02-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows before 9.10.32(T) and Service Station before 2.2.14 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse application with a name composed of an initial substring of a path that contains a space character.

CVE-2015-0885
Published: 2015-02-27
checkpw 1.02 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a -- (dash dash) in a username.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.