Sniffen Packets

With a name like Sniffen, it's got to smell good.

PayPal to deploy SecurID

Apparently, PayPal is about to deploy a SecurID-like system. SecurID is a two-factor authentication scheme: a little widget generates a new code every minute or so. When you log in, you concatenate your password and the magic code. These are sent to the machine on the other side, which can compare the code against a known sample.

Notice that no challenge-response is involved, and at no point does the server authenticate to you. Further, no shared secret is established for use as a session authenticator. In practical terms, that means that there must be attacks against this. Here’s one: perform your normal phishing scheme. At exactly the moment you receive the secret code, log in to the user’s account and transfer money away from him.

The real problem here is not just users giving away their passwords: it’s weak authentication in general.