Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ICMC16: Plenary Keynote Sessions

Welcome and Introduction Ryan Hill, Community Outreach Manager, atsec information security

Changed the time of year for the conference, and location (had to make it International, after all) - and have the largest attendance to date!  Even though it's only 6 months after the last conference.  Seems the new time of year is working out.

Cryptographic Module User Forum (CMUF) Overview, Matt Keller, Vice President, Corsec 

CMUF was founded during the first ICMC, with the goal of getting government and industry to meet and discuss issues.  An open dialogue benefits all.  It's an open group.  Working on improving security policies, to make them more useful for actual users.  A new working group is spinning up to look at power on self tests. Goal is to get a lot of people, each putting in a small bit of time. Join now, and you may win a free registration to next year's ICMC!

Conference Keynote: Building our Collective Cryptographic Community
Joe Waddington, Director General, Cyber Protection, Government of Canada

How many cryptographic instances are in this room?  Given there are 270 people here, and each person has a phone (which includes several different cryptographic instances), credit cards, ID cards, car keys.... there are thousands. In one room. And everyone expects these to just work. Nobody gives much thought to whether or not they are effective, we are just trusting that these transactions will be secure.

Think about how many social media accounts in this room - think about the petabytes of information that a company like Facebook is processing every day. We all trust that they will do this in a secure manner.

Now, with IoT, we are putting cameras in our refrigerators.  We don't want other people to be able to look into our refrigerator, so that has to be encrypted as well.

When Waddington joined the Canadian government, he was not surprised to see there were 100 different departments, but was surprised that there were 100 different CIOs, and dozens of HR databases.  This is a big problem and Canada is working on resolving this and consolidating.

Cryptography is hard and takes time to get right - time well spent.  The standards are the 'simple' part here. Complex implementations and software are making this harder to get right. Often with this cloud software development, folks are thinking about supporting their application for ... months. But, we need to protect data for years (30-40 or more!).

Need to partner with government, industry and academia to make sure we are doing the right things. No single organization has the answer.

Conference Keynote: Assuring the Faithfulness of Crypto ModulesDavid McGrew, Cisco Fellow, Cisco Systems

A faithful module does what is expected and nothing more.  An unfaithful one might have a side channel where it could leak information.

We start out with standards. Those become open source implementations (seems like a prerequisite to get traction for a standard), vendor implementations, etc.  The encryption could become unfaithful at several stages - in the design or implementation phase.  Open Source seems to be a big target, with so many contributors [VAF NOTE: though most seem to have a relatively small core development group].  Companies are at risk as well, need to worry about people being bribed, malicious.

Need to worry about just plain ol' mistakes as well (heartbleed and goto fail;).

You even have to worry about code injection attacks, like changing hard-coded values in a binary.

All sorts of areas to attack: key generation, encryption, etc.

How do we detect this? Black box testing and implementation review.   Can they catch everything? No, but at least a step in the right direction.

Reference: Mass-surveillance without the State: Strongly Undetectable Algorithm-Substitution Attacks. Why bother attacking the cipher itself, if you can undermine the randomness or change the cipher? Much easier. 

We have to worry about protocol side channels as well, like randomized padding, timing channels and variability in options, formatting, and headers.

Still, what can we do? 

Better oversite of our standards, better vetting and formal tracking of reviews for open source [VAF NOTE: quite frankly, industry should do this, too, if they aren't already!].  We need to do security reviews and track them, and additionally independent validation.  Even better - run time validations!

Fortunately, work is being discussed in this area.  See the CMVP working groups that have recently formed.