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  • 1. E-Commerce Security ISM 4480 University of South Florida
  • 2. Online Security Issues
    • Computer security:
      • The protection of assets from unauthorized access, use, alteration, or destruction.
    • Types of security:
      • Physical security: Securing tangible devices such as disk drive.
      • Logical security: Securing nonphysical assets such as data.
    • Security policy:
      • A written statement describing (1) which assets to protect and why, (2) who is responsible for protection, and (3) which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
      • First step is determining which assets to protect from which threats.
  • 3. Dimensions of Security Policy
    • Access control:
      • Preventing unauthorized people (hackers) from accessing internal/ sensitive data.
      • Technology: Login validation, Firewalls.
    • Authentication:
      • Securely identifying clients and servers logging into network.
      • Technology: Digital certificate, Digital signatures.
    • Non-repudiation:
      • Providing undeniable proof of message origin and recipient.
      • Technology: Digital certificate, Digital signatures.
    • Data integrity:
      • Preventing unauthorized modification of message during transit.
      • Technology: Encryption, Digital envelope.
  • 4. Dimensions of Security Policy
    • Eavesdropping (secrecy):
      • Preventing unauthorized people or device from reading or copying messages during transit.
      • Technology: Virtual private network, encryption.
    • Viruses/Worms:
      • Preventing unauthorized programs from infiltrating and damaging internal data/network.
      • Technology: Virus checking software.
  • 5. Managing Security Risks
    • Countermeasures are procedures to recognize, reduce, or eliminate security threats.
    • Not all threats are worth active prevention; low impact risks (e.g., spam) are better ignored or contained.
    Impact (cost) Low High Contain and Control Prevent Insurance or backup Ignore Probability Low High
  • 6. Three Areas of Security Client Server Communication Channel Java Applets Client Scripts (Javascript, VBscript) ActiveX Objects Virus/Worms/Zombie Cookies Privacy Denial of Service Data Integrity Authentication Non-repudiation Wireless Networks Access control Dictionary Attack Trojan Horse Eavesdropping Buffer overflow Solutions: Login validation, virus checkers, encryption, SSL, S-HTTP digital certificates, digital signatures, browser settings, firewalls
  • 7. Java Applets
    • Java: A high-level programming language developed by Sun.
    • Applets: Java programs that are downloaded with web pages and executed automatically in browsers whenever that page is loaded.
    • Solution:
      • Java Sandbox: Confines applet actions to a set of rules defined by a security model.
  • 8. Javascript
    • Scripting language developed by Netscape to help Web designers build active content on client platforms.
    • Useful for:
      • Client data validation.
      • Building personalized interfaces.
    • Can also be used for attacks by:
      • Executing code that destroys client’s hard disk.
      • Disclosing e-mail stored in client mailboxes.
      • Sending sensitive information to attacker’s server.
    • Solution:
      • Browser permissions can be set to prevent client scripts from executing.
  • 9. ActiveX Controls
    • Object containing programs and properties that Web developers place on Web pages to connect to databases and perform similar functions.
    • Commonly programmed using C++ and Visual Basic.
    • Provides complete access to operating system running Microsoft Windows.
      • Can be programmed to delete files, reformat hard disk, send e-mails to people in users’ address book, shut down the computer, etc.
    • Actions cannot be halted once they begin execution.
  • 10. Computer Viruses
    • Virus:
      • Malicious software that spreads by attaching itself to a valid program (e.g. e-mail) and causes damage when host program is activated (e.g., reformat hard disk, shut down computer, send spam).
    • ILOVEYOU virus:
      • Created by 23-year old Filipino student.
      • Spread to 40M computers in 20 countries via e-mail sent to addresses stored in Microsoft Outlook address book.
      • Destroyed digital music and photo files.
      • Searched for and forwarded user passwords to the attacker.
      • $9B in damages, mostly in worker productivity.
    • Antivirus software is used to detect viruses and worms, but these software are never complete.
  • 11. Other Threats
    • Trojan horse:
      • Program hidden inside another program or Web page that masks its true purpose.
    • Zombie:
      • Program that secretly takes over another computer to launch attacks on other computers, making it difficult to trace the source of problem.
    • Steganography:
      • Hiding information (e.g., a command) within a piece of valid information such as a graphic file.
      • Hard to detect especially if hidden file is encrypted.
      • Used by Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations?
  • 12. Cookies
    • Cookies:
      • Small text files written on client’s hard disk with information specified by the server.
      • Can be written by a third-party site, by placing a tiny graphic on primary server’s pages (web bug).
    • Two types:
      • Session cookies: Exist until the Web client ends connection
      • Persistent cookies: Remain on client computer indefinitely
    • Can be used to store state information.
    • Can be misused to track client clickstream without knowledge and report that to server.
    • Solutions:
      • Browsers provide settings to turn off or review cookies prior to use.
      • Third party programs to block cookies selectively (e.g., Webwasher).
      • Cookie Pal displays all cookies for users to view/delete/manage.
  • 13. Communication Channel Security
    • Privacy Threat:
      • Unauthorized disclosure of private information.
      • Sniffer programs records information passing through a computer or router that is handling Internet traffic.
      • Backdoors (e.g., open ports on Microsoft servers) utilized to “sniff” incoming/outgoing IP traffic.
      • Solution: Anonymizer – makes web surfing anonymous.
    • Denial of Service (DoS) Threats:
      • Goal is to disrupt, deny, or choke normal computer processing.
      • DoS attacks flood servers with worthless messages such that legitimate data processing is slowed or timed out.
  • 14. Comm. Channel Threats (cont.)
    • Data Integrity Threats:
      • Active wiretapping: A message stream altered by an unauthorized party.
      • Cybervandalism: Electronic defacing of an existing Web site’s page.
      • Masquerading/spoofing: Pretending to be someone you are not by changing IP addresses on data packets into a fake one.
    • Threats to Wireless Networks:
      • If left unprotected, anyone in the vicinity of a wireless network can log in, access network resources, and cause harm.
      • Wardrivers are attackers driving around with wireless-equipped laptops and sniffer utilities to search for accessible networks.
      • Can be protected using Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP), but many home users don’t set it up or don’t change factory login/passwords.
  • 15. Solution: Encryption
    • Encryption:
      • Coding messages into unintelligible ciphertext using a mathematical algorithm and a secret key for Internet transmission.
    • Symmetric/Private Key:
      • Same key used for both encryption and decryption.
      • Examples: Data Encryption Standard (DES - US govt. standard), Triple DES, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES - NIST standard).
    • Asymmetric/Public Key:
      • Involves two mathematically related keys:
        • Public key (freely available to the public at large).
        • Private key (known only and kept secret by the key owner).
      • Different keys used for encrypting (receiver’s public key) and decrypting (receiver’s private key) messages.
      • Example: Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), RSA.
      • More secure than private key encryption, but significantly slower.
  • 16. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
    • Netscape’s solution combining public and private key encryption to encrypt entire client/server sessions.
    • SSL sessions indicated by URL starting with https://
    • Client and server messages encrypted using a private session key , while initial “handshake” (authentication, etc.) done using public key.
    • Session layer protocol: Can secure FTP, HTTP form data, telnet, etc.
    • Session keys may be 40, 56, 128, or 168 bits long.
    • How it works:
      • Browser requests server’s digital certificate (proof of identity).
      • Browser checks certificate fingerprint and serial # against its public key to authenticate the server.
      • Browser generates a session key, which is sent to server encrypted with server’s public key.
      • Session key is used for all communication between browser and server, and dropped at the end of the session.
  • 17. SSL: How It Works
  • 18. Solution: Digital Certificates
    • Digital certificate:
      • Program embedded in a Web page or e-mail attachment that verifies that the sender or Web site is who it claims to be (authentication).
      • Uses public key encryption to validate message sender.
    • Key elements:
      • Certificate owner’s name and public key.
      • Dates between which the certificate is valid.
      • Serial number of the certificate.
      • Certification authority (issuer of certificate).
      • Digital signature of the certification authority.
    • Certificate authority (e.g., Verisign):
      • Trusted third party who guarantee a client’s or server’s identity.
      • Use varying identification (driver’s license, notarized signature) to offer different classes of certificates (different key lengths).
      • Certificates expire after one year or can be revoked by CA.
  • 19.’s Digital Certificate
  • 20. Secure HTTP (S-HTTP)
    • CommerceNet’s proposed HTTP extension to enhance Internet security.
    • Encrypts individual messages (rather than entire sessions as in SSL).
    • During handshake, S-HTTP sets up special packet headers with multiple security features (server authentication, client authentication, message integrity, etc.) which may be designated as required, optional, or refused.
    • Authentication done using digital certificates issued by a trusted certification agency.
    • All client or server messages are wrapped in a “secure envelope” with the necessary security fields.
    • Application layer standard: Works only with HTTP (not with FTP, telnet).
    • Less used than SSL for e-commerce transactions.
  • 21. Hash Coding
    • Hash coding:
      • Helps detect data integrity problems.
      • A hash algorithm is used to calculate a hash value (message digest) from a message (two messages may not have the same hash value).
      • One-way function: hash values cannot be decoded to original message.
      • Sender sends both message and hash values; receiver recomputes hash value and compares with received hash value to determine if message was altered during transit.
      • Example: MD5.
    • Digital signature:
      • Combines public key encryption (for authentication), private key encryption (for message encryption) and hash coding (for data integrity).
      • Strongest encryption technology available.
  • 22. Digital Signatures Buy 100 shares of company X XY%@4?2> Plaintext M Hash Value encrypted using S’s private key Session key encrypted using R’s public key Buy 100 shares of company X WV6%$#21 Session key 85TR&%$8F Hash value decrypted using S’s public key GHJ&*96w() Session key decrypted using R’s private key Decrypted session key used to decrypt message 85TR&%$8F Hash value XY%@4?2> 85TR&%$8F Hash value recomputed from message and compared with received hash value ? 56FG@%4D Encrypted message, encrypted hash value and encrypted session key send to R Original message encrypted using session key 56FG@%4D Original message encrypted using session key
  • 23. Security for Server Computers
    • Server access:
      • Displaying contents of server folders and allowing users to view files within (due to improper server configuration if index.htm file is missing).
      • Dictionary attack programs: Cycle through an electronic dictionary, trying every word in the dictionary as password to hack in.
    • Database threats:
      • Storing username/passwords (or other sensitive info) in unencrypted tables, which may be available to a hacker.
      • A Trojan Horse program which may change database access rights.
    • Buffer overflow :
      • Memory overflow caused by an error/bug that shuts down the server.
      • During overflow, hacker may overwrite critical registers with new info that will take control of the server when it is rebooted for buffer overflow.
  • 24. Firewalls
    • A hardware/software combination installed at the entry point of a secured network (Intranet).
    • Only authorized traffic are allowed to pass through the firewall.
    • Packet-filter firewall:
      • Filters inbound/outbound IP packets based on source and destination addresses/ports in packet headers and preconfigured filtering rules.
      • Can be easily “spoofed”.
    • Gateway servers:
      • Firewalls that filter traffic based on the application requested.
    • Proxy-server firewalls :
      • An application that hides IP addresses/ports of internal servers from external hosts, and redirects /rejects access requests as programmed.
      • More secure: Internal addresses are always hidden from hacker view.