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Re: [Long] How to recover private keys for various Microsoft products


In <[email protected]>, on 01/21/98 
   at 04:29 AM, [email protected] (Peter Gutmann) said:

>Microsoft uses two different file formats to protect users private keys,
>the original (unnamed) format which was used in older versions of MSIE,
>IIS, and other software and which is still supported for
>backwards-compatibility reasons in newer versions, and the newer PFX/PKCS
>#12 format.  Due to a number of design and implementation flaws in
>Microsofts software, it is possible to break the security of both of
>these formats and recover users private keys, often in a matter of
>seconds.  In addition, a major security hole in Microsofts CryptoAPI
>means that many keys can be recovered without even needing to break the
>encryption.  These attacks do not rely for their success on the presence
>of weak, US-exportable encryption, they also affect US versions.

This is a battle I have been fighting for years now. Do not TRUST
Mircosoft for security. Plane and simple. They have shown for years now
that they are incapable or unwilling to spend the time, money, and effort
to produce secure products (Remember the MS claims of NT being C2 rated?

I have spent quite a bit of effort trying to educate ISV's not to use the
MS crypto API for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, for the most part
it falls on deaf ears. Most ISV's are unwilling to accept the fact that
security as an afterthought does not work. Combine this a public that does
not care about security but is willing to accept the warm fuzzies from
pseudo-security and you get bug filled crap like the MS CryptoAPI accepted
throughout the market place.

I have come to the point now that I will not use any commercial security
software nor will I recommend it to any of my clients. If it is not
burdened with GAK, as with software from IBM and Lotus, it is flawed by
shear incompetence as with software from Microsoft and Netscape.

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William H. Geiger III  http://users.invweb.net/~whgiii
Geiger Consulting    Cooking With Warp 4.0

Author of E-Secure - PGP Front End for MR/2 Ice
PGP & MR/2 the only way for secure e-mail.
OS/2 PGP 2.6.3a at: http://users.invweb.net/~whgiii/pgpmr2.html                        
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