[cap-talk] network level designation and authorization

Stiegler, Marc D marc.d.stiegler at hp.com
Thu Jun 8 14:05:20 EDT 2006


> i suppose this is the first item of business: trashing the 
> concept of VPN as perimeter defence.
> 
> are those unguessable YURL's so unguessable once broadcast 
> over wireless?

Of course they are unguessable. The secret part of the YURL is encrypted
with SSL before it ever hits the radio waves.

> leaked across a sniffed LAN?

Nope, same reason, the secret part is encrypted, sniff all you like.  

>people mention 
> SSL here, but i would argue SSL (in its traditional form: 
> verisign, thawte, etc) is just as broken for this purpose as 
> VPN's used for perimeter defense of an unprotected interior.

I just don't see how you get to that conclusion, even if you do assume
verisign (YURLs don't assume versign, though it is compatible with
verisign). The crypto works the same with or without the CA.

If you assume that the connecting pipe crypto can be attacked, all is
lost, whether it is a YURL or a VPN or whatever. The reason a YURL is
safe going over wireless is exactly the same reason a VPN is safe going
over a wireless, the crypto is already in effect.

Another point about a YURL that is worth noting. Suppose one breaks or
steals a YURL. The typical YURL carries only a little authority (like
the authority to edit a single web page). Such a break is a tiny thing
compared to the penetration of a VPN connection. A YURL-based network of
connections has a larger number of weaker authorizations. They are made
easy to use by the fact that the authority is bundled with the
designation, ie, the way to get to the web page is to click on the
bookmark, which is something you'd have to do even if running over a
vpn. Meanwhile, configuring and maintaining a vpn requires additional
effort above and beyond the management of the bookmarks you'd need
anyway.

--marcs




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