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22 Aug 2019

What does blockchain have to do with voting? Internet

Apropos of recent news stories about a blockchain based voting system that was hacked before its first election, someone asked:

Perhaps final recognition that a lot of blockchain is hype? Or simply an interesting side-story?

A blockchain can ensure that the lies you see are the same lies that were published, but that doesn't have much to do with voting.

Voting has a very peculiar security model -- you need to verify that each person voted at most once, you need to count all of the votes for each candidate, and you need not to link the two. A lot of very bad voting systems are built by people who wrongly assume that its security model is similar to something else, which it is not.

An obvious example is Diebold who built voting machines that worked like ATMs, which was a disaster, since the way you audit ATMs depends on the details of each transaction being linked to the person doing it.

Paper ballots have a lot to recommend them. It's easy for poll workers to observe that each voter puts one ballot into the box, they're relatively easy to count (we use mark sense machines here) and compared to the spaghetti code in direct recording machines, they're quite tamper resistant.


posted at: 20:26 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/notvote.html

17 Mar 2019

A short history of DNS over HTTP (so far) Internet
The IETF is in the midst of a vigorous debate about DNS over HTTP or DNS over HTTPS, abbreviated as DoH. How did we get there, and where do we go from here?

See more ...


posted at: 22:14 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/dohsofar.html

24 Jan 2019

What's wrong with this security model? Internet
I'm moving some of my financial accounts to Lively, a fintech startup. We've had the usual chit-chat about details of where the money is coming from on the messaging system on their web site. It works fine, when there's something new they send me a note saying to log in and check my messages. Except that today they sent me a message through a third party "secure" messaging service. To protect the guilty, we'll call it Hubri.

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posted at: 15:28 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/sosecret.html

05 Sep 2018

GDPR didn't affect spam? Not so fast. Internet

I have recently become aware of a blog post from Recorded Future that attempts to analyse the effects of the GDPR on online security. Unfortunately, it starts by asking an irrelevant question, and then goes on to use irrelevant metrics to come to a meaningless answer.

The premise of Recorded Future's article -- that spammers would send more spam and register more domains because GDPR came into effect -- tells us nothing useful about how GDPR affects anything. It's the wrong question, it's not a question most security people are concerned with, and it ignores how spam and spammers work.

See more ...


posted at: 11:11 :: permanent link to this entry :: 2 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/recorded-future.html

12 Feb 2018

Why is it so hard to run a Bitcoin exchange? Internet
One of the chronic features of the Bitcoin landscape is that Bitcoin exchanges screw up and fail, starting with Mt. Gox. There's nothing conceptually very hard about running an exchange, so what's the problem?

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posted at: 22:55 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/bithard.html

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