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Re: wanted: educate us please on key dongles

On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:42:13PM +0200, Adam Borowski wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:17:33PM +0200, Marc Haber wrote:
> > On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:09:38AM +0100, Jonathan McDowell wrote:
> > > The Start is based on the GnuK and I think should be upgradable to do 4K
> > > keys. The Pro uses a non-free smartcard internally for the RSA
> > > operations. I believe the Start should also be capable of ECC, as per
> > > the GnuK. It's possible Nitrokey haven't updated their firmware to
> > > support this yet.
> > 
> > I might be missing something, but I am wondering what a free hardware
> > design will help here. I am not in a position to validate it anyway, and
> > an USB token is unlikely to take any private data and phone it home.
> > What do I gain from using the GnuK over a yubi- or nitrokey other than
> > being able to say "yay, it's free"?
> Assume you're passing a border, or otherwise have the token temporarily in
> hands of someone nasty.
> * with a non-backdoored token: there's no way to copy the key off the token,
>   the attacker may try their luck decapping, or try https://xkcd.com/538/
>   while keeping you in custody the whole time

In this usecase, the idea is the same for a free and a non-free token,
with the added fun of perps being too stupid to believe that the device
is indeed secure and continuing the torture of the human to make her
reveal the secret key.

> * with Yubikey 4 (suspected): they send the secret handshake, get a copy of
>   the key, and you don't even know anything happened

That's a point, but I cannot validate whether the free hardware
design running the free software crypto app isn't backdoored anyway due
to lack of knowledge and expertise.


Marc Haber         | "I don't trust Computers. They | Mailadresse im Header
Leimen, Germany    |  lose things."    Winona Ryder | Fon: *49 6224 1600402
Nordisch by Nature |  How to make an American Quilt | Fax: *49 6224 1600421

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