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
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
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-2014-5316
Published: 2014-09-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Dotclear before 2.6.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted page.

CVE-2014-5320
Published: 2014-09-21
The Bump application for Android does not properly handle implicit intents, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive owner-name information via a crafted application.

CVE-2014-5321
Published: 2014-09-21
FileMaker Pro before 13 and Pro Advanced before 13 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incorrect fix for CVE-2013-2319...

CVE-2014-5322
Published: 2014-09-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Instant Web Publish function in FileMaker Pro before 13 and Pro Advanced before 13 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incorrect fix for CVE-2013-3640.

CVE-2014-6602
Published: 2014-09-21
Microsoft Asha OS on the Microsoft Mobile Nokia Asha 501 phone 14.0.4 allows physically proximate attackers to bypass the lock-screen protection mechanism, and read or modify contact information or dial arbitrary telephone numbers, by tapping the SOS Option and then tapping the Green Call Option.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio