The fact that any CA can issue a certificate for any domain name is commonly cited as the weakest aspect of the PKI ecosystem. Although CAs want to do the right thing, there are no technical controls that prevent them from doing whatever they chose to do. That’s why we say that the PKI ecosystem is a weak as the weakest link. With hundreds of CAs, there are potentially many weak links.

CAA creates a DNS mechanism that enables domain name owners to whitelist CAs that are allowed to issue certificates for their hostnames. It operates via a new DNS resource record (RR) called CAA (type 257). Owners can restrict certificate issuance by specifying zero or more CAs; if a CA is allowed to issue a certificate, their own hostname will be in the DNS record. For example, this is what someone’s CAA configuration could be (in the zone file):

example.org. CAA 128 issue "letsencrypt.org"

Password management should be simple and follow Unix philosophy. With pass, each password lives inside of a gpg encrypted file whose filename is the title of the website or resource that requires the password. These encrypted files may be organized into meaningful folder hierarchies, copied from computer to computer, and, in general, manipulated using standard command line file management utilities.

pass makes managing these individual password files extremely easy. All passwords live in ~/.password-store, and pass provides some nice commands for adding, editing, generating, and retrieving passwords. It is a very short and simple shell script. It's capable of temporarily putting passwords on your clipboard and tracking password changes using git.

When you purchase your system with a mainboard and Intel x86 CPU, you are also buying this hardware add-on: an extra computer that controls the main CPU. This extra computer runs completely out-of-band with the main x86 CPU meaning that it can function totally independently even when your main CPU is in a low power state like S3 (suspend).

The PCI Council says you must remove completely support for SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0. In short: servers and clients should disable SSL and then preferably transition everything to TLS 1.2.

However, TLS 1.1 can be acceptable if configured properly. The Council points to a NISTpublication that tells you how to do this configuration.

The Problem: You want people to be able to create a unique user account, with a password, which they will use to access your application. How can you safely implement this feature?

Easiest Solution: Use libsodium, which provides a secure password hashing API in most languages. As of version 1.0.8 it uses the scrypt algorithm, but in the next release (1.0.9) it will also offer Argon2, the most recent, carefully-selected algorithm from the Password Hashing Competition. Libsodium offers bindings for most programming languages.

Antivirus programs need to be able to inspect a lot of data and file types from a variety of sources: the Web, email, the local file system, network shares, USB attached storage devices, etc. They also have a large number of components that implement various layers of protection: drivers for intercepting network traffic, plug-ins that integrate with browsers and email clients, graphical user interfaces, antivirus engines with their subsystems that perform signature-based, behavior-based and cloud-based scanning and more.

This is what security researchers call a very large attack surface, meaning there is a lot of potentially vulnerable code that attackers can reach in a variety of ways. Furthermore, when it comes to antivirus products, much of this code runs with the highest possible privilege, something that researchers argue should be avoided as much as possible.

As Green puts it, “Your computer is now only as secure as that database of keys held by Microsoft, which means it may be vulnerable to hackers, foreign governments, and people who can extort Microsoft employees.”

Free SSL certificates for everyone! the https://letsencrypt.org/ initiative backed by Akamai, Cisco, Mozilla and EFF, is going to offer free certificates. On this post I am going to explain how I have automated the process of creation and renewal of certificates, on a Debian server with a lot of virtualhosts with the minimal modification of the apache conf files.

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low.

Speaking less than three days after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129 and injured hundreds more, Mr. Brennan complained about “a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists.”

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