Linked by David Adams on Mon 8th Nov 2010 16:49 UTC, submitted by HAL2001
Privacy, Security, Encryption Firesheep is a Firefox extension that makes it easier to steal logins and take over social media and email accounts after users log in from a WiFi hotspot or even their own unprotected network. Zscaler researchers have created, and are now offering to every consumer, a free Firefox plugin called BlackSheep, which serves as a counter-measure. BlackSheep combats Firesheep by monitoring traffic and then alerting users if Firesheep is being used on the network. BlackSheep does this by dropping ‘fake’ session ID information on the wire and then monitors traffic to see if it has been hijacked.
Permalink for comment 449145
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Required SSL
by umccullough on Mon 8th Nov 2010 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Required SSL"
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

Developers are not the problem. It's the CAs and the browser vendors. Producing scary errors on self-signed certs protects absolutely bloody nobody and locks password protection to the SSL racket.


I'll agree that the entire concept of SSL certificate/encryption, with CA's and high prices, is indeed a broken system and a scam to some extent - but the "scary errors" browsers display have a valid purpose.

Given how SSL works, and how users expect it to behave, if you can't verify the certificate you're using belongs to the site you are surfing, you can't know that the encryption keys you're sharing with them haven't been tampered with by a middleman. On a public wifi network, this can be a real threat...

In any case - if I encounter a site with an "untrusted" certificate, and I don't figure it matters for that particular site (read: I'm not revealing personal information to the site), then I'll just accept it anyway.

These days, you can get a free Class 1 cert (unrevokable, single domain)... or a cheap Class 2 verification wildcard cert for like $25/year ($50 for two years) from StartCom:

http://www.startssl.com/

All major browsers accept these... so it's hard to complain about it much.

Edited 2010-11-08 22:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3