Search Mailing List Archives


Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] Cryptography super-group creates unbreakable encryption

Nadim Kobeissi nadim at nadim.cc
Tue Feb 19 14:13:46 PST 2013


On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 5:05 PM, Brian Conley <brianc at smallworldnews.tv>wrote:

>
> PS even crypto-gods are fallible. and that's not a bad thing, its just
> human nature.
>

Yep. The day after Silent Phone code was published, someone found a privacy
issue:
https://github.com/SilentCircle/silent-phone-base/issues/3

It's definitely true that the people behind Silent Circle are badasses. But
no one is excused from proper cryptography practice just because of who
they are. Mistakes exist in all software and it's totally okay and normal
for your software to have mistakes — just follow the proper procedure from
the first step.


>
> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM, Adam Fisk <a at littleshoot.org> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM, Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at nadim.cc> wrote:
>> > On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM, Adam Fisk <afisk at bravenewsoftware.org>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> I'm certainly more confident in the overall security of silent circle
>> in
>> >> its first release than I was in the overall security of cryptocat.
>> >
>> >
>> > Of course this is true. The first release of Cryptocat was made in early
>> > 2011 by me back when I was in my second year of university and only
>> barely
>> > beginning to understand proper programming and security practice. It
>> was an
>> > experimental product full of holes and by no means secure. The first
>> release
>> > of Silent Circle was by a team of superheroes with 25 years of
>> experience in
>> > being totally badass. Big difference!
>>
>> That's really my point exactly -- there are many things that determine
>> the security of a piece of software.
>>
>> >
>> > But when your model is closed-source, you're not participating in
>> > reviewable, verifiable security practice and you're negatively
>> affecting the
>> > practical cryptography industry as a whole. Look at Cryptocat — it
>> > progressed from a toy into a real product that I'm proud of, and that
>> fully
>> > passed a security audit with a 100/100 score just last week
>> > (
>> https://blog.crypto.cat/2013/02/cryptocat-passes-security-audit-with-flying-colors/
>> )
>> > after two years of hard work, restructuring and redesigning the whole
>> thing,
>> > and getting alternatively beaten up and helped by experts in the field.—
>> > This would have *never* happened had we not been open source from the
>> > beginning.
>>
>> Sure. Again, I believe that open source is a beneficial license for
>> security, but we have to keep in mind that it's a means to an end --
>> secure code -- and that it's not the only means. I think you were
>> beaten up unfairly under the circumstances for cryptocat 1, and I
>> similarly think we're beating up Silent Circle unfairly.
>>
>> >
>> > Being open source is a painful but necessary process. It invites
>> criticism,
>> > bone-breaking and having to admit bad design, apologize for your
>> mistakes
>> > and work hard on fixing them. But only through that process you create
>> > something great that benefits the security community by offering
>> > opportunities to learn. Sure, Silent Circle started off as a good
>> product,
>> > but by being closed-source they disregard the proper practice of what
>> makes
>> > this industry progress in terms of engineering, and they cast a shadow
>> of
>> > uncertainty and closed progress upon themselves, too.
>> >
>>
>> There are just so many aspects that go into software licensing that I
>> just don't draw that same line. If the goal is secure code, I again
>> think the key is having an adequate number of capable people analyzing
>> and dissecting that code on a constant basis. That can mean closed
>> source code audits, and it can mean having a full time security team
>> analyzing and improving the code at all times (Google, Facebook, many
>> others) regardless of the software license. Open source is awesome,
>> and I believe in it wholeheartedly, but I don't think if an
>> organization doesn't open source their code they're automatically
>> crazy and kicked out of the club.
>>
>> -a
>> --
>> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
>> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
>>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
>
> Brian Conley
>
> Director, Small World News
>
> http://smallworldnews.tv
>
> m: 646.285.2046
>
> Skype: brianjoelconley
>
>
>
> --
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/attachments/20130219/53a48ff9/attachment.html>


More information about the liberationtech mailing list