1993-08-11 - Re: Secure voice software issues

Header Data

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
To: fnerd@smds.com (FutureNerd Steve Witham)
Message Hash: f36559598a064a54f156351d0bd5b14e26da5c37991c51bfd4c57309772b2881
Message ID: <9308112259.AA01362@toxicwaste.MEDIA.MIT.EDU>
Reply To: <9308112238.AA05820@smds.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-08-11 23:02:06 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 11 Aug 93 16:02:06 PDT

Raw message

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 93 16:02:06 PDT
To: fnerd@smds.com (FutureNerd Steve Witham)
Subject: Re: Secure voice software issues
In-Reply-To: <9308112238.AA05820@smds.com>
Message-ID: <9308112259.AA01362@toxicwaste.MEDIA.MIT.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> Am I wrong, or is Diffie-Helman only useful when you *don't* have
> a way of verifying who each other are?

No, DH is useful whenever you want to generate a session key between
two entities, and its even more useful because it doesn't require any
prior knowledge.  This means that you don't *need* to verify the
identity of the other person.  

However, without some way of verifying the key of the other party,
there is no easy way to detect a monkey-in-the-middle attack.  As was
put forward, a combination of DH to key exchange and RSA to detect
monkey-in-the-middle will protect you, but you lose your anonymity at
that point.

So, to return to your question, DH is useful even when you have a
method of verification.  So the answer to your question is yes, you
are wrong.