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Re: Debian should move away from MD5 (and at best also from SHA1) (in secure APT and friends)

On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 01:14:19PM +0200, Bernhard R. Link wrote:
> > > part at all) will only weaken security. So I think what you say is an
> > > argument for keeping md5sum, so that noone think they can use that
> > > information for security.
> >
> > This argument is based on the incorrect assumption that everyone in the
> > world knows md5 is broken.
> No it is based on the assumption that in that set of people that care
> about security at all but have little enough knowledge of security
> to mix up protection against faulty hardware with protection against
> attackers there is at least one user having heared the meme
> "md5 considered broken" and might combine those half-knowledges to
> the correct result that debsums is not about security against attackers.
> Causing at least one user to not think they could use debsums as protection
> against wilfull file modification by sticking with md5 is (given there are
> no benefits from switching hashes at all) a very strong argument that
> switching hashes for debsums to stick to the hashes it uses.
For the reference: the manpage says:

debsums is intended primarily as a way of determining what installed files
have been locally modified by the administrator or damaged by media errors
and is of limited use as a security tool.

If you are looking for an integrity checker that can run from safe media,
do integrity checks on checksum databases and can be easily configured to
run periodically to warn the admin of changes see other tools such as:
aide, integrit, samhain, or tripwire.


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