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Twitter Encryption Privacy

Twitter Implements Forward Secrecy For Connections 38

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the nsa-sad-it-doesn't-know-what-you-ate-five-minutes-ago dept.
Fnord666 writes with this excerpt from Tech Crunch "Twitter has enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy across its mobile site, website and API feeds in order to protect against future cracking of the service's encryption. The PFS method ensures that, if the encryption key Twitter uses is cracked in the future, all of the past data transported through the network does not become an open book right away. 'If an adversary is currently recording all Twitter users' encrypted traffic, and they later crack or steal Twitter's private keys, they should not be able to use those keys to decrypt the recorded traffic,' says Twitter's Jacob Hoffman-Andrews. 'As the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, this type of protection is increasingly important on today's Internet.'" Of course, they are also using Elliptic Curve ciphers.
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Twitter Implements Forward Secrecy For Connections

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  • So they switch to SSL? Thats kind of the point of the DH exchange in SSL. Stealing the key later still doesn't get you access to the data since the DH exchange ensures that neither side ever transmits enough information to derive the key.

    • So they switch to SSL? Thats kind of the point of the DH exchange in SSL. Stealing the key later still doesn't get you access to the data since the DH exchange ensures that neither side ever transmits enough information to derive the key.

      Because twitter security is important.

      ... particularly to big companies and brands. Maybe this will help them monetize their service?

    • Re:SSL? (Score:5, Informative)

      by thue (121682) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @10:03AM (#45506717) Homepage

      Perfect Forward Security is optional in SSL - you can run SSL without DH exchange. That is the whole point of the article.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        I got the first post, do you seriously think I read the article? Be happy it was at least in the right ballpark topic wise!

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @10:04AM (#45506719)
    In boundaries of my imagination, the user account password is pretty much the only private data that Twitter stores.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "In boundaries of my imagination, the user account password is pretty much the only private data that Twitter stores."

      Twitter messages are public but users can also send private messages.
      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter#Privacy_and_security [wikipedia.org]

      Also, it's possible to "protect" tweets. The Twitter account will say:
      "Only confirmed followers have access to @username's Tweets and complete profile. Click the "Follow" button to send a follow request."
      Source: https://support.twitter.com/articles/14016-about [twitter.com]

    • by thue (121682)

      If NSA has a complete record of which tweets you read, then the NSA already knows a lot about you.

  • PFS Determination+ (Score:5, Informative)

    by cffrost (885375) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @12:13PM (#45507205) Homepage

    I recommend Calomel SSL Validation [calomel.org] to anyone who's interested in the security of their SSL/TLS connections. It adds a toolbar button, the color of which is determined by a weighted, composite score based on various connections security parameters: Bit-lengths, algos (e.g., AES > RC4), PFS, handshake/protocol, domain matching, etc. Clicking the button displays the complete break-down, including a percentage-score for overall connection security.

    There's also a Tools menu dialog that allows one to toggle >=128 bit, >=256 bit, PFS, and/or FIPS connections exclusively, among other security and interface tweaks.

    Along the same lines, I also recommend CipherFox [github.com], which has a configurable status-bar display of symmetric/asymmetric algos and their bit-lengths, and the hash function used in a secure connection. CipherFox also allows RC4 to be toggled, which is handy in conjunction Calomel.

    The above are all freeware that appear to be written and published by individuals lacking a nefarious corporate agenda.

  • by Midnight_Falcon (2432802) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @01:02PM (#45507485)
    I just checked gmail.com with Calomel SSL Validation (thanks to cffrost's post [slashdot.org]) and it appears gmail uses PFS as well. How come this wasn't news?
  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @09:02PM (#45510871)

    While the NIST curves are suspect, slow, and problematic in a number of other ways, there are fast and safe [cr.yp.to] elliptic curves.

  • There are two ciphers family that will provide PFS: DHE (Diffie-Hellman Exchage) and ECDHE (Elliptic Curve DHE). Having PFS enabled for all modern browsers is just about the server offering both families with appropriate priorities, so that clients pick a PFS enabled cipher. Qualys SSL server test [ssllabs.com] is a good tool for checking for an appropriate configuration, although it could make clearer that you cannot both have PFS for modern browsers, and protect against BEAST server-side.

    Note that the Elliptic Curve us

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