RSA Schadenfreude #1

March 18, 2011

I suspect that IF RSA’s database of seed, serial number, and customer assignation has been acquired, we will start seeing chunks of it for sale very soon.  There’s two scenarios I’m thinking of.

1.  The database was acquired specifically with the idea to sell the information.  It has a limited lifetime, and is particularly useful to potential buyers that possess other information they can use in conjunction with the db.  You’d need to make that money now before RSA replaces tokens, or comes up with a clever scheme to neutralize the threat.

2.  The database was acquired with the goal of compromising specific customers of RSA.  In that case, the same lifetime applies, but you will want a smokescreen to mask your attacks, and to potentially mask your intentions.

My friend Mike shared his ideas regarding one potential attack.  We agree that it’s nasty, but disagree (slightly) on a detail of how effective it could be made.  It *is* noisy, so a smokescreen would add beneficial confusion.

I really, really dislike soft tokens, but in this case I think that IF an attack compromised their token issue database, the length of time it will take to replace hard tokens will keep them exposed longer.

I wonder if RSA has anything interesting they can do with the way PINs are used to buy some time…if that’s what happened.

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