my ass, let's see what a well known security expert has to say:
The Fallacy of Cracking Contests
You see them all the time: "Company X offers $1,000,000 to anyone who can
break through their firewall/crack their algorithm/make a fraudulent
transaction using their protocol/do whatever." These are cracking
contests, and they're supposed to show how strong and secure the target of
the contests are. The logic goes something like this: We offered a prize
to break the target, and no one did. This means that the target is secure.
This is exactly what Yves did in his mail. Multiple times, only to
distract the innocent. He even claims he challenged security researchers
on his blog, claiming that this somehow shows the solution to be secure.
More so, let's look at what Bruce Schneier describes as pretty good
warning signs for snake oil cryptography (which clearly falls into the
unprofesessional, almost criminal category). Any of these warning signs
alone he describes as "pretty good" indicators for snake oil:
Warning Sign #4: Extreme cluelessness.
Yves doesn't know what a CSPRNG is, he isn't aware that HMACs are used
for csprngs, he claims security proofs cannot exist and so on. What's
worse, these are _exactly_ the algorithms that security researchers use as
solution to the problem. If he had invested any amount of time into some
research, he should know these things.
Personally, that's fine - he isn't a cryptographer. But likewise he is
obviously the wrong person to design his own secure algorithm, rather then
use existing algorithms that either don't have the vulnerability in the
first place or can presumably be used to fix it.
Again, the issue isn't that Yves doesn't know cryptography, the issue is
that he doesn't know it, but still claims his custom algorithm designs are
Warning Sign #7: Unsubstantiated claims.
That's what Yves does all the time - he makes claims that things are
secure, the algorithm is proven, everybody who disagrees is wrong in
everything they ever said and so on. When asked to substantiate these
claims, he never provides anything but _more_ unsubstantiated claims.
The relevant claims I made are all substantiated: that no known-to-be-safe
algorithms are used, that the security relies on ad-hoc hacks designed
by non-experts, and that no evidence is known. The reason they can be
substantiated easily is because they are negative claims: I obviously
don't have to believe in the security of a system without any evidence,
and it's not up to me to show that it is secure (or not). Yves, who does
the positive claims, uses them to break software, but doesn't provide any
evidence that it actually fixes the problem.
Warning Sign #8: Security proofs.
There are two kinds of snake-oil proofs. The first are real mathematical
proofs that don't say anything about real security. The second are fake
Yves idea of proof boils either down to "I am convinced" and "I have data
that shows it is safe". I do not require a security proof to be convinced,
but claiming it's proven and then presenting his personal convictions
Warning Sign #9: Cracking contests.
[...] For now, suffice it to say that cracking contests are no
guarantee of security, and often mean that the designers don't
understand what it means to show that a product is secure.
Here it is again. Challenging me to prove his algorithm to be insecure
(with money!) says nothing about security, but is a good indicator that he
doesn't understand what security against these attacks even means.
The choice of a Deliantra, the free code+content MORPG
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