Encryption? Give it a rest

    Date30 Sep 2003
    CategoryCryptography
    3580
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Any hacker can tell you that data 'at rest' is much easier to access, but security efforts are being targeted in the wrong place, using complex, costly encryption schemes for data in motion.. . . Any hacker can tell you that data 'at rest' is much easier to access, but security efforts are being targeted in the wrong place, using complex, costly encryption schemes for data in motion.

    I recently watched a popular technology TV show that explained how Ethernet broadcasts all communications between two computers to all of the nearby computers, allowing a hacker with a sniffer (software that captures network traffic) to see other users' data.

    This was true in the old shared-loop days prior to 1994, but today most enterprises transfer data on switched networks. Data is transferred from point to point with no visibility of that data by other network-attached devices.

    This foils most sniffer-based hacking attempts from outside the corporate data centre. If the hacker is in the data centre itself, you have a very serious and very different problem. In that case the hacker could circumvent the security by loading the sniffer onto the server itself.

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