CMSC 414 Computer and Network Security Lecture 14 Jonathan Katz

CMSC 414
Computer and Network Security
Lecture 14
Jonathan Katz
Password-based protocols
 Any password-based protocol is potentially
vulnerable to an “on-line” dictionary attack
– On-line attacks can be detected and limited
– How?
 Off-line attacks can never be prevented, but
protocols can be made secure against such attacks
 Any password-based protocol is vulnerable to off-
line attack if the server is compromised
– Once the server is compromised, why do we care?
Password-based protocols
 Best: Use a password-based protocol which is
secure against off-line attacks when server is not
– Unfortunately, this has not been the case in practice
(e.g., telnet, cell phones, etc.)
– This is a difficult problem!
Password storage
 In the clear…
 Hash of password (done correctly)
– Doesn’t always achieve anything!
– Makes adversary’s job harder
– Potentially protects users who choose good passwords
 “Salt”-ed hash of password
– Makes bulk dictionary attacks harder, but no harder to attack a
particular password
 Encrypted passwords? (What attack is this defending
 Centralized server stores password
 Threshold password storage
Centralized password storage
 Authentication storage node
– Central server stores password; servers request the
password to authenticate user
 Auth. facilitator node
– Central server stores password; servers send
information from user to be authenticated by the central
 Note that communication with the central server
must be authenticated!
Authentication tokens
 RSA SecureID
 PIN-protected memory card
 Cryptographic smartcards
 Aladdin eTokens
 Still need a secure protocol!
 How much entropy is there?
 How private are these?
 How reliable are they?
 Revocation?
 Difficult to use securely
– Errors
– Non-uniform
– Still need a secure protocol…
Biometric authentication
 How can you securely authenticate yourself to a
remote server using your fingerprint?
 Trivial solution:
Completely vulnerable to eavesdropping!
Better(?) solution
, nonce)
, nonce)
A single-bit difference in the scanned fingerprint
results in a failed authentication!