Weakness in the keyserver network (Was Re: Global Directory signatures)

David Shaw dshaw at jabberwocky.com
Fri Jan 7 23:41:25 CET 2005

On Fri, Jan 07, 2005 at 05:00:08PM -0500, Jason Harris wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:01:33AM -0500, David Shaw wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 06, 2005 at 11:16:40PM -0500, Jason Harris wrote:
> > > So, you can DoS a webserver without even modifying content on it.
> > > How is this news?
> > 
> > It's not.  Nor is that the point.  The point is that the keyserver net
> > was vulnerable, but nobody really cared.  Now there is something that
> > will eventually cause a problem due to this vulnerability.  Plus, the
> You should specifically point out that you're referring to the GD here.
> > > Right, but let someone open some free webmail accounts, create some
> > > [Open]PGP keys, start placing keys on the GD, and start signing every
> > > key they find there.
> > Quite so, but this is a massively more difficult attack against the GD
> > than it is against the keyserver net.  The GD requires mailback
> > authentication, so the pace of adding keys cannot be nearly what it is
> > on the keyserver net where you can just add keys directly 24/7.
> So it will take a bit more programming to make the GD accept the bogus
> keys.  Or, maybe throwing keys at the GD and having it spam the world
> will be a sufficiently entertaining attack.

I give up.  When you actually want to discuss possible solutions for
the problem at hand, let me know.  I'm not all that interested in the
"The GD is eeeeeevil, and if it just disappeared the world would be
the Way I Want It To Be" stuff.

Fact: The GD exists.
Fact: It makes signatures.
Fact: They leak.

Now, you can deal with the facts, or you can complain.  Thus far, all
I'm seeing is complaining, and that bores me, so... bye.


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