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Old 04-17-2011, 07:14 AM   #21
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White House Unveils Plan for Secure Online IDs

The White House on Friday outlined its plan for a secure online identification system intended to allow people to ditch the user ID/password setup for a "trusted identity" they would obtain from a private company that specializes in verifying identities.
White House Unveils Plan for Secure Online IDs | News & Opinion |

Seems the White House has been following this thread as well.

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Old 04-17-2011, 07:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
There is no such thing as a completely secure computer... unless it is turned off.

[edited out stuff here]

A better practice is to use a limited privilege account (or guest access privileges). Those accounts do not allow the user to install software (or attackers that try to take control during their logged in session). Of course, the user cannot install software themselves so they would need to log in the an admin level account for computer maintenance tasks. This is a hassle, but IMO a worthwhile trade-off of convenience for security.

This practice is not fool proof but it can foil certain types of attacks. There are other ways attackers can compromise a computer that is in use with a limited privilege account...
That computer you mention must also have the network cable disconnected, lest a magic packet be sent to wake the computer up.
The limited account idea is very good. I admin a small business network distributed to 8 locations. Where the employees have re-infected their computers several times, I have installed new systems with limited accounts. The new systems are humming along with no internet games or specialized screen savers installed. The business manager asked for the admin password, as it was limiting for them. I refused, and then was asked by the operations manager for updated list of all passwords. I sent them, included my warning that the admin password must not be given to anyone. I expect service calls to double as a result of this.

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Old 04-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
White House Unveils Plan for Secure Online IDs

White House Unveils Plan for Secure Online IDs | News & Opinion |

Seems the White House has been following this thread as well.
Ah, yeah, about that...

This becomes what a systems engineer would call a single point of failure.

The approach is vulnerable to a type of man in the middle attack which allows the attacker to take over your trusted ID for the duration of a session. Public WiFi networks are ideal for deploying this sort of attack. The method works well against RSA token devices and similar one-time 'secure' authentication mechanisms.

Then, of course, there will be the inevitable break-in to the secure online ID provider.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:34 PM   #24
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I have 4 user names and corresponding passwords. I don't know that it is a good system --- it just sort of evolved over the years. I'd be interested in any critical comment. (1) my high security name/password I use for root on my home systems and for the systems at work I administered (before I retired), (2) my personal accounts at home and at work, (3a) one net name and (3b) another net name, both with the same password, which I use for forums and for purchasing accounts like Amazon. The (1) and (2) ids have never been exposed on the net.

Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
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