May 13, 2005

Penny-eating worms, and how crypto should be

Research on apotential SSH worm is reported by Bruce Schneier - this is academic work in advance of a threat, looking at the potential for its appearance in the future. Unusual! There is now optional protection available for the threat, as an option, so it will be interesting to see if this deploys as and when the threat arises.

Ping rites to say that he "recently started a weblog on usable security at

"I haven't seen any other blogs on the topic, so it seemed like a good idea to get one going. I invite you to read and comment on the entries there, and i hope you will find them interesting."

Great stuff. HCI/security is at the core of phishing. Which also brings us to an article about how the KDE people and the usability people eventually came to see eye to eye and learn respect for each other's strangenesses:

"When trying to set up a mail account with an OpenPGP key in KMail, you have to make settings in three different configuration modules. Users have problems understanding that. This is not a technical issue, because once the user discovers how it works he can set everything up. But to make the developers understand that users might have a problem with the workflow, you have to explain the context of usage and the way common users think."

Which brings me to something I've been meaning to shout about - when I (finally) got KDE 3.4 compiled and running, and started using Kmail (Thunderbird has too large a footprint) the GPG encryption feature just started working!

I'll say that again: encryption using my GPG Keys JUST STARTED WORKING!!! Outstanding! That's how encryption should be - and I don't know how they did it, but read the article for some clues.

It's not perfect - for example, the default is some hairbrained attachment scheme that nobody I know can read, so I have to remember each time to select "Inline (deprecated)" which is of course how it should be sent out for cross-platform independence. But it sure beats vi&cut&paste.

Posted by iang at May 13, 2005 03:14 PM | TrackBack
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