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-2013-4262
Published: 2014-07-28
svnwcsub.py in Subversion 1.8.0 before 1.8.3, when using the --pidfile option and running in foreground mode, allows local users to gain privileges via a symlink attack on the pid file. NOTE: this issue was SPLIT due to different affected versions (ADT3). The irkerbridge.py issue is covered by CVE-...

CVE-2013-4840
Published: 2014-07-28
Unspecified vulnerability in HP and H3C VPN Firewall Module products SECPATH1000FE before 5.20.R3177 and SECBLADEFW before 5.20.R3177 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via unknown vectors.

CVE-2013-7393
Published: 2014-07-28
The daemonize.py module in Subversion 1.8.0 before 1.8.2 allows local users to gain privileges via a symlink attack on the pid file created for (1) svnwcsub.py or (2) irkerbridge.py when the --pidfile option is used. NOTE: this issue was SPLIT from CVE-2013-4262 based on different affected versions...

CVE-2014-2974
Published: 2014-07-28
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in php/user_account.php in Silver Peak VX through 6.2.4 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that create administrative accounts.

CVE-2014-2975
Published: 2014-07-28
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in php/user_account.php in Silver Peak VX before 6.2.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the user_id parameter.

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