[ZendTo] Re: password protection

Papp Tamas tompos at martos.bme.hu
Wed Jun 27 11:06:48 BST 2012

On 06/27/2012 11:26 AM, Mike Brudenell wrote:
> Hi, Tamas -


> On 26 June 2012 17:06, Papp Tamas <tompos at martos.bme.hu 
> <mailto:tompos at martos.bme.hu>> wrote:
>     Users trust in sysadmins, they have to.
>     Anyway zip password is also a good idea, but it's not enough safe,
>     not enough.
>     I prefer server side protection.
> I think we'll have to agree to differ on this one: if I were 
> conducting highly sensitive research using specialist data I wouldn't 
> feel I could leave it to someone else to encrypt for me before 
> uploading it for transferring to someone else.
> Implementing encryption on the server side wouldn't necessarily make 
> it any stronger, and could actually (depending on what the SysAdmin 
> chose to set up) be weaker than you'd like, giving you a false sense 
> of security. For additional security you could look at using something 
> like GnuPG to:
>  1. Set up a public/proviate key pair, then
>  2. encrypt your data using your colleague's public key, and then
>  3. digitally sign it with your own private key.
> Upon receipt your colleague can then:
>  1. Verify that it was really you who sent it by validating the file
>     with your published public key, and then
>  2. decrypt it using their own private key (which only they know the
>     pass-phrase to).
> Yes, it's hoops to jump through but it gives them reassurance that the 
> data really was from yourself, and you reassurance that only they can 
> read the data. Gives plenty of security (but possibly overkill for 
> what you need?). Oh, and couldn't be implemented server-side as it 
> needs people's private and public keys for the process. :-)

You're right. But the application is used by users. They don't care 
about gpg or any other kind of encrypting. If there is no easy way, they 
don't use anything. Of course for maximum security they can use both 
option (I wrote before) and in case gpg is not necessary, web 
authentication would be good enough.

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