[Owasp-leaders] NIST, the NSA and fun with crypto reviews

Paweł Krawczyk pawel.krawczyk at hush.com
Sun Sep 15 16:48:53 UTC 2013


Not sure if by avoiding rather unlikely risk of NSA surveillance by
aborting NIST standards, we don't expose ourselves to a much more
likely risk of implementing non-standard protocols. How many people
have NSA (or FAPSI or DSSI) surveillance written down (seriously) in
their risk profile? And if you do, do you alse counter electromagnetic
surveillance and tons of other techniques that average web application
owner doesn't even know about?
If you're extra paranoid specifically about encryption, why not use
good old AES - and counter 99,9% of the risks that you're *really*
concerned about - and then add yet another layer using Serpent? But
not instead...
-- 
 Paweł Krawczyk, CISSP
 http://ipsec.pl http://echelon.pl
 +44 746 2166716

On 15.9.2013 at 12:29 AM, "Jim Manico"  wrote:I am personally aborting
NIST standards when I can.

>From AES -> Serpent and Twofish
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(cipher) and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twofish 
>From SHA -> Whirlpool
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirlpool_(cryptography)

And as for the NSA subverting crypto standards, take a look at our own
experience at the ESAPI for Java project.

Back in June 2010 the NSA graciously agreed to review the crypto of
the ESAPI for Java project:

> [Esapi-dev] NSA to perform ESAPI review
> http://lists.owasp.org/pipermail/esapi-dev/2010-June/000816.html

The made a few suggestions to make it "stronger" but otherwise
validated our implementation.

Now flash forward to this month.

> [Esapi-dev] ESAPI Java and Authenticated encryption implementation
> http://lists.owasp.org/pipermail/esapi-dev/2013-August/002285.html

They did not add anything that was malicious, but Ooops! they missed
something important.

The has been fixed, however.

> [Esapi-dev] Crypto and the "ESAPI for Java" release 2.1.0
>
http://lists.owasp.org/pipermail/esapi-dev/2013-September/002291.html

We live in interesting times.

Aloha,
Jim

> FYI: From NY Times :
>
>> Cryptographers have long suspected that the [NSA] planted
vulnerabilities
>> in a standard adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of
Standards and
>> Technology and later by the International Organization for
Standardization,
>> which has 163 countries as members.
>
>
> Note that I am explicitly not stating an opinion, just forwarding
> potentially related information.
> 
> 
> On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM, Bev Corwin  wrote:
> 
>> NIST seeks early adopters of draft cybersecurity framework
>>
>>
>> 
http://insidecybersecurity.com/Cyber-Daily-News/Daily-News/nist-seeks-early-adopters-of-draft-cybersecurity-framework/menu-id-1075.html#!
>> 
>>  Bev
>> 
>> 
>>  _______________________________________________
>>  OWASP-Leaders mailing list
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>>  https://lists.owasp.org/mailman/listinfo/owasp-leaders
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