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I go back and forth on whether I think FireSheep is interesting or not. Clearly, it’s old technology re-hashed. But it is interesting not because it works, but that it surprises people that it works. We’ve been talking about these problems forever, and now companies are scrambling to protect themselves. I guess the threat isn’t real until every newbie on earth has access to the hacking tools to exploit it.
One of the more interesting analysis pages I’ve seen was one which had a scorecard. At first blush it’s fairly obvious but one thing stuck out at me regarding the last part of the scorecard, where they assigned scores to each of the various protocols like POP3 fails but POP3 over SSL/TLS gets an A. The interesting thing is that there isn’t an equivalent score for HTTP vs HTTPS. This all goes back to the 24 vulnerabilities Josh and I talked about in the browser implementation of SSL/TLS in the browser.
Just because something is speaking HTTPS some of the time doesn’t even mean that session alone is secure in a multi-tabbed environment, or with certain plugins, or certain settings or with certain settings within cookies, etc… It’s just not that straight forward. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had something that did act in a safe and sane way that allowed you to contact a site securely? Maybe something that was a secured transport layer (no, not TLS, I mean something actually secure). Maybe it’s something we can add on top of SSL/TLS over DNSSEC while we’re in the browser security world are still in the mood to shake things up.