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Showing posts with the label PCI Compliance

More Fun With PCI

I received a notification from a large security auditing firm that of the ciphers currently available, only RC4 ciphers will be considered PCI compliant. My assumption based on the notification is that this move is intended as a rejection of CBC (Cipher Block Chaining). Well, that's fine as far as I am concerned. CBC has some serious issues as implemented in SSL v3 / TLS v1.0. In a nutshell, you can time responses for applications using the block cipher to get ranges of possible data in SSLv3 and partial payload decryption in TLS. So-called "stream" ciphers like RC4 are immune to this particular attack vector. You don't get private keys from the attack, its by no means a fast attack (minimum of three hours), and you need access to monitor the session . Further, patches for CBC exist to over-ride the timing exploit (for example the NSS libraries used by Mozilla have been patched). I will save debunking the man in the middle hysteria for a later post. What frustrate

PCI Compliance Scans and Scams

HIPAA, SOX, SAS-70 - those whose business relies on hosting a website are no stranger to the regulatory schemes of trade organizations and their acronyms. The PCI Data Security Standard is perhaps the most well known and widely adopted. PCI DSS is a set of very general outlines of security best practices for those who process and/or store credit cards using computers. Compliance is certified by a third party corporation (a Qualified Security Assessor or QSA), and demand is created by offering lower credit card transaction fees to websites who are certified as compliant. On the whole, the initiative has had some big successes. Credit card companies win by reducing incidents of fraud as more sites adopt standard security features, merchants win through reduced transaction costs and by being able to advertise a third party certification of secure site design and companies responsible for certification get to exist and create new jobs in the process. The standards have gone a long way to