1996-01-31 - Re: FV Demonstrates Fatal Flaw in Software Encryption of Credit Cards

Header Data

From: andreas@horten.artcom.de (Andreas Bogk)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 4bd28c6791ad1bd7c8b1644b7c32c4b3c032f709d11bbd7e541709114fe2071c
Message ID: <y8aybqqxr1e.fsf@horten.artcom.de>
Reply To: <Al3GYGSMc50eQWYAdR@nsb.fv.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-01-31 08:42:18 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 16:42:18 +0800

Raw message

From: andreas@horten.artcom.de (Andreas Bogk)
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 16:42:18 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: FV Demonstrates Fatal Flaw in Software Encryption of Credit Cards
In-Reply-To: <Al3GYGSMc50eQWYAdR@nsb.fv.com>
Message-ID: <y8aybqqxr1e.fsf@horten.artcom.de>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


>>>>> "Nathaniel" == Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@nsb.fv.com> writes:

First, pray tell, what prevents me from writing a virus that patches,
say, Eudora and Netscape, so they automatically reply to all FV-mails?

Or, to quote your security FAQ:

>To defeat this mechanism requires someone to steal a First Virtual
>account identifier; 

... which is plainly and unencrypted visible in the E-Mails ...

>to identify the corresponding email address (which
>is not public knowledge, cannot be determined from the account
>identifier, and will not be released by First Virtual); 

... which is in the header of said E-Mail ...

>to know or guess the account password; 

... which is quite impossible unless you have your own FV shop,
monitor IP traffic or a *malicious program on the user's computer* ...

>to intercept all incoming messages to that email address; 

... which said malicious program is of course completely unable to do ...

>and, of course, to know what First Virtual is and understand what our
>messages are about and how to respond to them.

Wow! I didn't think of that!

And while I'm at it, it doesn't take much to be more secure than
credit card payments. You shouldn't be too proud of that.

And it shouldn't take an experienced programmer one whole week to
write a keyboard sniffer.

But I think it's not too pessimistic to say that _any_ software-based
payment scheme can be hacked using malicious programs.

    Nathaniel> world today.  Once it detects a credit card number, a
    Nathaniel> criminal program could use any of several techniques to
    Nathaniel> send that number to the original criminal without
    Nathaniel> providing any way to trace the criminal's receipt of
    Nathaniel> it.  (If you're skeptical about this claim, we'd prefer
    Nathaniel> to talk with you privately, as we've never seen the
    Nathaniel> "best" methods for doing this spelled out in public,
    Nathaniel> and we would prefer to keep it that way.)

Oh, wow, it's your secret. I would post a message containing the
credit card number encrypted with a public key cipher to
alt.foo.bar. Or to the IRC. And it's not too difficult to hack
university computers, so I could even receive mail there without being
traceable. Not to speak of remailer chains. Any other ideas?


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