Computer security

The CA System is Intractably Broken

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 

I’m dealing with the hassle of setting up certs for a new site over the last few days. It means using startcom’s certs because they’re pretty good (only one security breach) and they have a decently low-hassle free certificate that won’t trigger BS warnings in browsers marketing fake cert mafia placebo security products to unwitting users. (And the CTO answers email within minutes well past midnight.)

And in the middle of this, news of another breach to the CA system was announced on the heels of Lenovo’s SuperFish SSL crack, this time a class break that resulted in a Chinese company being able to generate the equivalent of a lawful intercept cert and provided it to a private company. Official lawful intercept certificates are a globally used tool to silently crack SSL so official governments can monitor SSL encrypted traffic in compliance with national laws like the US’s CALEA.

(aww, someone liked this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5858538)

But this time, it went to a private company and they were using it to intercept and crack Google traffic, and Google found out. The absurdity is to presume that this is an infrequent event. Such breaches (and a “breach” isn’t a lawful intercept tool, which are in constant and widespread use globally, but such a tool in the “wrong” hands) happen regularly. There’s no data on the ratio of discovered breaches to undiscovered breaches, of course. While it is possible that they are always found, seemingly accidental discoveries suggest far wider misuse than generally acknowledged.

The cert mafia should be abolished. Certificate authorities work for authoritarian environments in which a single entity is trusted by fiat as in a dictatorship or a company. The public should trust public opinion and a tool like Perspectives would end these problems as well as significantly lower the barrier to a fully encrypted web as those of us trying to protect our traffic wouldn’t need to choose between forking over cash to the cert mafia for fake security or making our users jump through scary security messages and complex work-arounds.

Posted at 00:53:59 GMT-0700

Category: FreeBSDPrivacySecuritytechnology

cyrus-sasl-saslauthd-2.1.26 auth_krb5.c compile error

Saturday, January 5, 2013 

Upgrading cyrus-sasl-saslauthd-2.1.25 to the current cyrus-sasl-saslauthd-2.1.26, I started to get auth_krb5.c compile errors that were terminating the compile like:

<command-line>: warning: this is the location of the previous definition
mv -f .deps/auth_getpwent.Tpo .deps/auth_getpwent.Po
cc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H
-DSASLAUTHD_CONF_FILE_DEFAULT=\"/usr/local/etc/saslauthd.conf\" -I. -I.
-I.. -I. -I./include -I./include -I./../include   -I/usr/local/include
-DKRB5_HEIMDAL -I/usr/local/include  -O3 -pipe -march=native
-DLDAP_DEPRECATED -fno-strict-aliasing -MT auth_krb5.o -MD -MP -MF
.deps/auth_krb5.Tpo -c -o auth_krb5.o auth_krb5.c
In file included from mechanisms.h:35,
                 from auth_krb5.c:51:
saslauthd.h:190:1: warning: "KRB5_HEIMDAL" redefined
<command-line>: warning: this is the location of the previous definition
auth_krb5.c: In function 'auth_krb5_init':
auth_krb5.c:105: warning: assignment discards qualifiers from pointer
target type
auth_krb5.c:106: warning: assignment discards qualifiers from pointer
target type
auth_krb5.c: In function 'auth_krb5':
auth_krb5.c:184: error: 'krb5_verify_opt' undeclared (first use in this
function)
auth_krb5.c:184: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
auth_krb5.c:184: error: for each function it appears in.)
auth_krb5.c:184: error: expected ';' before 'opt'
auth_krb5.c:233: error: 'opt' undeclared (first use in this function)
*** Error code 1

Stop in
/usr/ports/security/cyrus-sasl2-saslauthd/work/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26/saslauthd.
*** Error code 1

Stop in
/usr/ports/security/cyrus-sasl2-saslauthd/work/cyrus-sasl-2.1.26/saslauthd.
*** Error code 1

Stop in /usr/ports/security/cyrus-sasl2-saslauthd.

with some expert advice from the port maintainer, Hajimu UMEMOTO (what is not to love about BSD and open source?  Something goes wrong, the guy who knows everything about it tells you how to fix it right away).   He correctly ascertained that I had security/krb5 installed, a dependency of  openssh-portable.  Kerberos, HEIMDAL and GSSAPI occasionally have interactions, but his advice was to make with the directive KRB5_HOME=/usr/local. I put this into /etc/make.conf to make it permanent, deinstall/reinstalled security/krb5 and then cyrus-sasl-2.1.26 compiled perfectly.

Thanks Mr Umemoto!

Posted at 13:41:23 GMT-0700

Category: FreeBSDtechnology