[OpenID] Fwd: OpenID Spoofing

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Sat Jan 13 02:24:34 UTC 2007

Dmitry Shechtman wrote:
 > I know I'm not thinking hard yet, but wasn't SSL
 > supposed to solve MITM?

But SSL did not solve MITM

1.  Not everyone uses SSL who should use it, in part
because it is painful to install and grossly inefficient
to use, so the user is unlikely to be surprised, or even
to notice, that a web page is not SSL when it should be.

2.  No one ever clicks the certificate to see who they
are dealing with.  I could quite easily get a
certificate made out to "scams and rip offs,
amalgamated" for the url national.bank.jim.com, and it
would work fine for phishing purposes.  For a long time
the certificate on e-gold.com was made out to a company
no one had ever heard of, and for a while it was made
out to a company that had ceased to exist.  E-gold
performed transactions worth many millions of dollars
before anyone complained that they were transacting with
a nonexistent company.

3.  If they did click, the information on the
certificate would be entirely useless, which is why no
one ever clicks.

I think yurls and SRP will solve MTM.  Yurls enable a
secure link - one party can point to another party, and
when you click on a link, you will go to the intended
party.  The problem, however, is how did you get that
link.  We need a system that ensures that messages are
accompanied by proof of relationship - that a message
that purports to come from a site where you have a login
relationship *does* come from a site where you have a
login relationship.

          James A. Donald

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