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Purdue University - Discovery Park
Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Who do you trust?

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In my earlier posts on passwords, I noted that I approach on-line password “vaults” with caution.  I have no reason to doubt that the many password services, secure email services, and other encrypted network services are legitimate.  However, I am unable to adequately verify that such is the case for anything I would truly want to protect.  It is also possible that some employee has compromised the software, or a rootkit has been installed, so even if the service was designed to be legitimate, it is nonetheless compromised without the rightful owners knowledge.

For a similar reason, I don’t use the same password at multiple sites—I use a different password for each, so if one site is “dishonest” (or compromised) I don’t lose security at all my sites.

For items that I don’t value very much, the convenience of an online vault service might outweigh my paranoia—but that hasn’t happened yet.

Today I ran across this:
MyBlackBook [ver 1.85 live] - Internet’s First Secure & Confidential Online Sex Log!

My first thought is “Wow!  What a way to datamine information on potential hot dates!” grin 

That quickly led to the realization that this is an *incredible* tool for collecting blackmail information.  Even if the people operating it are legit (and I have no reason to doubt that they are anything but honest), this site will be a prime target for criminals.

It may also be a prime target for lawyers seeking information on personal damages, divorce actions, and more.

My bottom line: don’t store things remotely online, even in “secure” storage, unless you wouldn’t mind that they get published in a blog somewhere—or worse.  Of course, storing online locally with poor security is not really that much better…..

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